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How to Convert a Word Document to a PDF (Do It For Free)

Here’s how to convert a Word document to PDF.

How to Convert a Word Document to a PDF

PDFs are useful for distributing documents so that everyone sees them the same way. Documents are typically created in another app and then converted to PDF. While PDFs are great for creating exact digital versions of paper documents, you can also easily create a PDF from a regular Word document.

Note: Instructions in this article apply to Word 2016, Word 2019, Word 2021, and Word for Microsoft 365.

Convert a Document to a PDF Using Microsoft Word

If you’ve Microsoft Word installed on your PC or Mac, the simplest way to convert a Word document to pdf is directly in MS Word. It’s easy and free.

Open the document you want to convert into PDF.

Open a document in Microsoft Word to convert into PDF

Select the “File” tab from the menu bar.

Select the “File” tab in Word

Click on “Save As” from the left pane on the home screen.

Click on “Save As” option from the left pane in Word

Tip: If you have an Adobe pdf reader installed on your computer, you will see the “Save as Adobe PDF” option under “Save As.” Click on “Save as Adobe PDF” and then specify the location and click Save.

Then, from the Save As window, choose the location where you want the PDF saved (OneDrive, Downloads, New Folder, This PC, an existing folder, or wherever).

From the Save As window, choose the location where you want to save PDF

Click the dropdown arrow and choose “PDF (*.pdf)” from the dropdown list of options.

Click the dropdown arrow and choose “PDF (*.pdf)” from the list of options

You can change the filename now if you want to. When ready, click Save.

Click the Save button

After saving the PDF, you’ll see your Word document, and its PDF version will open automatically. That is how you can convert a Microsoft Word document to pdf.

Tip: You can save a Word document to a PDF in the Word desktop app or Word on the Web.

RELATED: How to Save or Export a Word Document As a PDF

If You Don’t Have MS Word

If you don’t have Microsoft Word installed on your computer and need to convert a document someone sent you to PDF, you have a few options:

  • A Word to PDF Conversion Website: Many websites offer to convert a Word document into a pdf file for free. We recommend smallpdf.com/word-to-pdf to convert Word into pdf online. This free Word to pdf converter is a secure site that works quickly. It does a great job on Word documents with even minor formatting. It’s also free if you only need to convert a few Word documents to PDF. A paid subscription unlocks additional features such as unlimited conversions (the ability to convert multiple documents at once) and the capability to convert more file types.
A Word to PDF Conversion Website
  • Google Drive: A Word document can be uploaded to Google Drive, saved as a Google Document, and then converted to PDF. It is sufficient if you have a simple, mostly text Word document with less formatting (and this is possible only if you have a Google or Gmail account).
Convert a Word document into PDF using Google Drive
  • LibreOffice: LibreOffice is a free and powerful open-source office suite (also known as OpenOffice) with many of the same features as Microsoft Office. You can even open and convert Word documents to PDF.

Can I convert Word to PDF for free?

The “Save As” menu option in Microsoft Word lets you convert a Word document to PDF on any computer. Open your document, click File > Save As > select PDF, and then click Save.