Word to PDF: Saving, Exporting or Converting

The Microsoft Word document format, Docx, is a great format with a lot of flexibility and software support. However, there may be instances where the recipient of your document doesn’t have a word processing software or when your document must look the same no matter the device it’s viewed on. In such cases, PDF can be the better choice. Today we’re going to show you how to convert a Word document to PDF so you can decide for yourself.

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However, because people have varying requirements and preferences, we’ll be walking you through three methods to achieve this. First, we’ll start by showing you how to save a Word document as a PDF directly from the Word document. We’ll then cover how to convert a Word document to PDF by exporting from Word. Finally, for those of you who don’t own the Office suite, we’ll show you how to use a third-party Word to PDF converter.

Bear in mind that you should get roughly the same output regardless of the method you use, so it really comes down to preference.

How to Save a Word Document as a PDF

The most intuitive way to convert a Word file to PDF involves the ever-familiar “Save As…” menu. With just a couple of clicks, you can output your document in Adobe’s PDF format instead:

  1. Press the “File” button in the top-left of your Word document

    Windows 11 - Word - Open File

  2. Save a copy of your Word document as a PDF

    To do so, press the “Save a Copy” button in the sidebar (big surprise), then click “This PC” under the “Other locations” heading.

    Finally, press the dropdown under the document name that says “Word Document (*.docx)”, and change it to “PDF (*.pdf)”, then press “Save”.

    Windows 11 - Word - File - Save a Copy - This PC - Dropdown Arrow - PDF - Save

  3. Press “More options” underneath your drop-down window

    Windows 11 - Word - File - Save a Copy - This PC - Dropdown Arrow - PDF - More Options

  4. OR: Press the “Options…” button in File Explorer

    Windows 11 - Word - File - Save a Copy - This PC - Dropdown Arrow - PDF - More Options - Options

  5. Choose your document settings and PDF options and press “OK”

    Once you’ve chosen your options, you can save the PDF as normal.

    Windows 11 - Word - File - Save a Copy - This PC - Dropdown Arrow - PDF - More Options - Options

How to Convert a Document to PDF Using Word (Exporting)

For a slightly more straightforward process, you can export can convert docx to PDF by exporting your Word document. Here’s how:

  1. Press “File” in the top left of your Word document

    Windows 11 - Word - Open File

  2. Press “Export” in your sidebar, then “Create PDF/XPS Document”

    Windows 11 - Word - Open File - Export - Create PDF XPS

  3. Press the “Options…” button in your File Explorer window

    Windows 11 - Word - Open File - Export - Create PDF XPS - Options

  4. Choose your PDF options and press “OK”, then “Publish” 

    Windows 11 - Word - Open File - Export - Create PDF XPS - Options

How to Make a Docx file a PDF with a Word to PDF Converter

If you don’t own Microsoft Word or don’t want to have to open a document in Word every time to convert it, you can use a third-party tool. We’ll be using a tool called File Converter, which you can use for multiple formats. Make sure you have it downloaded and installed before you continue.

  1. Right-click your document and press “Show more options”

    Windows 11 - File Explorer - File Context Menu - Show More Options

  2. Hover over “File Converter” and press “To Pdf”

    Windows 11 - File Explorer - File Context Menu - Show More Options - File Converter - To PDF

  3. Wait for the export process to complete and view your file

    You can even do this for multiple files at once by selecting all of them before you press the “to Pdf” button.

    Windows 11 - File Explorer - File Context Menu - Show More Options - File Converter - To PDF - Done

Extra: How to Save to/Print to PDF From Any App

Windows 10 How to save to print to PDF in any App

If you need to convert to PDF from applications and file formats other than Word, your best bet is to follow our tutorial on how to use Bullzip PDF printer. This will also give you some additional customization.

Extra: How to Create a PDF from Images

Now you know how to make a Word Document a PDF, but what if you want to create your PDF out of images instead? For that, you can follow our dedicated how to create a PDF from images tutorial.

Windows 10 - Select Images - Print - Printer - Microsoft print to PDF

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