How to Convert a File to a PDF Document

By Techwalla Contributor

In the past, converting a document to PDF (Portable Document Format) from Word, Excel or PowerPoint, required having additional software such as Adobe Acrobat or a similar product.Microsoft's PDF support is available for eight of its programs (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Publisher, Visio, OneNote, Access, and InfoPath). If you're using Office 2007 or above, you can easily turn any of your documents into the PDF format with a few simple steps. Alternatively, you can use the free OpenOffice suite to convert files to PDF format. Another option is to use an online PDF converter, such as PrimoPDF (primopdf.com/online.aspx).

Step 1

Create a document in Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint and save it in the default format.

Step 2

Select "Save As" from the Office menu and select "PDF or XPS" from the drop-down option. The default is PDF when the Save As dialog appears. You can choose to save one page only or your entire project. Check the box to view the document after it is converted to ensure that your PDF document looks correct. You can also choose to format the PDF "Standard" -- suitable for commercial printing, or "Minimum" -- if you're publishing online.

Step 3

In Microsoft Publisher, save your project first, then select "Publish as PDF/XPS" from the "File" menu.

Step 4

If your word processor doesn't support PDF conversions, you can convert using an online PDF converter, such as PrimoPDF. To do so, navigate to the PrimoPDF website (primopdf.com/online.aspx). Select the file that you want to convert by clicking the "Browse" button. Then type your email address in the appropriate field. Your converted PDF file will be sent to your email address.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have Office 2007, you need to download and install the free Microsoft Save as PDF add-in (Microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=9943) before converting a file to a PDF document.
  • If the PDF option does not show up in your MS Office products, you may need to download and install the add-in from Microsoft's website. The link is listed below.