How to save a Microsoft Word document as a PDF file

Updated: 04/01/2018 by Computer Hope

Microsoft Word documents are one of the most common types of files to be saved as a PDF. PDF files typically consist of text and sometimes pictures, which is content that can be created using Microsoft Word.

If you have a Word document that you want to save as a PDF file, there are several ways to do so. Click on a link below for instructions on how to create a PDF from a Word document.

Save Word document as a PDF

In most versions of Microsoft Word, you can save the Word document straight to a PDF file type by following the steps below.

  1. Open an existing Word document or create a new Word document.
  2. Click on the File tab or menu option at the top left of the Word program window.
  3. Click the Save As option in the File menu.
  4. On the Save As window, click the Browse button or option to select a location on your computer to save the file.
  5. In the Save as type drop-down list, select the PDF (*.pdf) option.

Microsoft Word - Save as PDF file type

  1. Click the Save button to save the Word document as a PDF.

A new feature available in Microsoft Word 2016 is the ability to export a Word document to PDF format, creating a PDF file. Follow the steps below to export your Word 2016 document to PDF.

  1. Open an existing Word document or create a new Word document.
  2. Click on the File tab or menu option at the top left of the Word program window.
  3. Click the Export option in the File menu.
  4. Select the Create PDF/XPS Document option, then click the Create PDF/XPS button.
  5. In the Publish as PDF or XPS window, choose the location where you want to save the file. Make sure the Save as type drop-down list is set to PDF (*.pdf), then click the Publish button.
  6. The published PDF file will be opened in your default PDF viewing application.

Print Word document to a PDF

A Word document can be electronically printed to a PDF format, creating a PDF file. Printing to PDF requires that your computer has a PDF creation program installed, so that Word can print to that PDF converter. We recommend one of the two following free PDF conversion applications.

Download and install one of the two PDF conversion applications, then follow the steps below to print your Word document to a PDF file.

  1. Open an existing Word document or create a new Word document.
  2. Click on the File tab or menu option at the top left of the Word program window.
  3. Click the Print option in the File menu.
  4. On the Print page or window, change the selected printer to the CutePDF Writer or PrimoPDF printer option, depending on which one you installed.

Microsoft Word - Print to PDF

  1. Click the Print button.
  2. If using CutePDF, a Save As window will open. Choose the location where you want to save the PDF file, enter a File name for the PDF file, and click the Save button.
  3. If using PrimoPDF, a PrimoPDF window will open. By default, the Save As option will be set to Ask when creating PDF. You can leave this as the default, or you can change the option to Specific folder, requiring you to then select where to save the PDF file on your computer. Click the Create PDF button and follow any additional prompts to create and save the PDF file to your computer.