Create a PDF file using Microsoft Office

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Microsoft Office has the fantastic ability to create a PDF file for you. I’ve always been surprised at how many people are still unfamiliar that this function is now built-in to Office. Prior to Microsoft Office version 2010 the ability to create a PDF file from your Word document, Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation, was only possible using the function of a third-party program. A lot of the programs which were available required you to “print” your file to a fake printer installed on your computer. You then chose where you wanted to save the file and voila, it was ready. Microsoft Office 2010 and onwards no longer requires the use of a third-party tool, finally, you can create a PDF file straight from the Office program without the requirement for any other software.

I think for the most part people are not aware of this function because we have all gotten so busy with our work that we tend to skim over the applications and only focus on the tools we use regularly and ignore the rest.

For those who are not familiar PDF stands for Portable Document Format. They are commonly used to present information in a format that can be viewed on any computer regardless of the application software or operating system installed. Adobe is most commonly associated with the PDF file format due to Adobe’s early involvement in the file format. Users can download a free Adobe PDF reader which allows you to open and view PDF files from the Adobe website.

For this example, I am going to create a PDF file from a Word document.

  1. Open the document or file you wish to convert
  2. Select File > Save As or press the F12 key on your keyboard
  3. The Save As dialog box will appear:

Create PDF using MS Office

  1. From the Save as type drop-down menu select PDF (*.pdf) from the list

Create a PDF using Microsoft Office

  1. If you wish to give the file a different file name to the MS Word version, amend it within the File name field
  2. You will notice a checkbox available to Open file after publishing. If you want the PDF file to open so you are able to view it straight after clicking Save, then make sure this checkbox is selected

Create a PDF using Microsoft Office

  1. Click Save
  2. The file will be displayed if you selected the option to Open file after publishing
  3. Navigate to the file location you saved the PDF document and check the file is there and double-click to open it.

If you would like to see some great tips for using shortcut keys in various Microsoft Office products – check out these posts:

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