Converting a PDF document to version 1.4 may be necessary in certain situations, such as when the target device or software does not support newer versions of PDF files. In this guide, we will discuss the steps you need to take to convert a PDF document to version 1.4.

Understanding the PDF 1.4 Version

Before diving into the process of converting PDF files to the 1.4 version, it’s essential to understand what it is and why it’s important. PDF 1.4 is an older version of the PDF standard that was released in 2001. While newer versions have been introduced, the 1.4 version remains relevant today because of its compatibility with older software and operating systems.

PDF 1.4 provides a range of features that make it a popular choice for many users. It allows for the embedding of fonts and the use of transparency and layers, making it ideal for creating more complex documents. Additionally, PDF 1.4 files tend to be smaller in size than more recent versions, which can be helpful when working with limited storage space.

Misconceptions about PDF 1.4

There is a common misconception that PDF 1.4 files are outdated and not relevant in today’s digital landscape. However, this is far from the truth. While it’s true that newer versions of the standard have been released, PDF 1.4 remains a viable option for many users. In fact, many industries still rely on PDF 1.4 for specific applications, such as printing and archiving.

Converting PDF to 1.4 Version

Converting a PDF file to the 1.4 version is a straightforward process that can be completed using a range of different tools and software. Here’s how to do it:

Method 1: Using Adobe Acrobat

One of the easiest ways to convert a PDF file to the 1.4 version is by using Adobe Acrobat, a popular PDF editor. Here are the steps:

  1. Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat.
  2. Click on the “File” menu and select “Save As Other” > “Reduced Size PDF.”
  3. In the “Make Compatible With” section, select “Acrobat 5.0 and later” from the drop-down menu.
  4. Click on “OK” to save the file.

Method 2: Using Online Converters

Another option is to use an online converter tool. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to an online converter tool such as Smallpdf or PDF24.
  2. Upload your PDF file.
  3. Select “PDF 1.4” as the output format.
  4. Click on “Convert” to start the conversion process.
  5. Download the converted PDF file.

Method 3: Using Command Line

If you prefer using the command line, you can use Ghostscript to convert your PDF file to the 1.4 version. Here are the steps:

  1. Install Ghostscript on your computer.
  2. Open the command prompt and navigate to the directory where your PDF file is located.
  3. Enter the following command:

gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dCompatibilityLevel=1.4 -o output.pdf input.pdf

  1. Replace “input.pdf” with the name of your PDF file, and “output.pdf” with the name you want to give to the converted file.
  2. Press enter to execute the command.

Method 4: Using Free PDF Printers

Another option is to use free PDF printers such as CutePDF or PDFCreator. Here are the steps:

  1. Install the PDF printer on your computer.
  2. Open the PDF file you want to convert.
  3. Click on the “Print” button, and select the PDF printer as the printer.
  4. In the printer properties, select “PDF 1.4” as the output format.
  5. Click on “Print” to start the conversion process.
  6. Save the converted PDF file.

FAQs – How to Convert PDF to 1.4 Version

What is a PDF 1.4 version and why would I need to convert my PDF to it?

PDF 1.4 is an older version of the Portable Document Format that was introduced in the year 2000. While newer versions of PDF, such as PDF 2.0 or later, offer more advanced features and security options, some programs and devices may only be compatible with PDF 1.4. If you encounter an error or issue when trying to open your PDF on a certain software, converting it to PDF 1.4 could be a solution.

How can I check if my PDF is already in version 1.4?

To check the version of a PDF file, you can open it in Adobe Acrobat or another PDF reader software, and then go to the “File” menu and select “Properties.” In the Properties dialog box, look for the “PDF Version” information, which will state the version number of the file. If it is already version 1.4 or earlier, you do not need to convert it.

What tools or software do I need to convert a PDF to 1.4 version?

There are several tools and software available to convert PDF files, but not all of them support the conversion to a specific version. To convert your PDF to version 1.4, you can use Adobe Acrobat, which offers the option to save a PDF as version 1.4. You may also use online PDF converter tools that specify they can convert to PDF 1.4.

How do I convert an existing PDF file to version 1.4 using Adobe Acrobat?

To convert a PDF to version 1.4 using Adobe Acrobat, you need to open the PDF file in the Acrobat application. Go to the “File” menu, select “Save As Other,” and then click on “Reduced Size PDF.” In the “Make compatible with” drop-down list, choose “Acrobat 5.0 and later” or “Acrobat 1.4 and later,” then click on “OK.” A new PDF file will be created and saved in the version you selected.

Are there any downsides or limitations to using PDF 1.4?

While PDF 1.4 is still widely supported, it lacks some of the more advanced features and security options found in newer versions of PDF. For example, PDF 1.4 does not support transparency or OpenType fonts, and it has weaker encryption options. However, if compatibility with a specific program or device requires the use of PDF 1.4, it may still be a viable option.


By Jack