Is there a way to convert a sign designed in Word 2013 to a CMYK print-ready file?

It is for a 3' x 6' vinyl sign.

We are trying to retain two gold accent symbols, the gold line, shadowing, etc. of the original Word design.

3' x 6' sign.png

We seem to lose those elements if we convert the Word file to a pdf and then use a ghostscript converter like pdf2cmyk.com... The accents symbols don't show up in Adobe Reader.

enter image description here

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

  • You need to check the export settings: the symbols probably disappear because they are probably fonts that are not being embedded. The setting is usually something like "rely on system fonts only." You want to not rely on system fonts.
    – Yorik
    Feb 1, 2017 at 16:34

3 Answers 3


Convert to PDF from Word, would be the logical and easy solution, and open it in Illustrator or maybe, better yet, Photoshop at the resolution and size required for your print. But I think that your problem is how the graphics get converted to the PDF. I will recommend it to print directly to Ghostcript or to an EPS file and then open that file in Photoshop.

If that fails, the best route would be to recreate the file in a more suitable software program like Illustrator, CorelDraw or even Photoshop and then make your print.

  • Thank you for your advice, jlgarcia! We will look into your recommendations. Feb 2, 2017 at 5:15

Converting a Word document to CMYK print ready is "fooling" yourself. It is better to leave the document as RGB and let the conversion being done later by the printr's driver. (In fact probably doing a "design" in Word is)

Almost any digital print (A vinyl) should be sent as RGB.

My first choice would be printing the Word document to any PDF virtual printer and sending this file.

Of course some tests could be necessary to achive the desired color.

  • Thank your for your feedback, Rafael. Much appreciated! We will look into your recommendations. Feb 2, 2017 at 5:17

Adobe Acrobat converts the colors to CMYK and assigns a color profile for the wanted printing process. Those functions reside in tab "Print production". If you have or can afford to rent the genuine Adobe Acrobat, check it. It's the de-facto industry standard.

Addendum. Be sure that the lost parts are images and embedded into your file. Any linked data and some uncommon flashy fonts are in a danger to get lost outside your computer. The first option to choose in making the PDF is to present all text as curves, not as fonts. Unfortunately unsure if MS offers this option.


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