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How to Save or Export a Word Document As a PDF File

Save a Word Document as a PDF File (It’s Quick and Easy)

How to Save a Word Document As a PDF File

Microsoft Word documents are among the most commonly saved types of files as PDFs. PDF files contain text and occasionally images created in Microsoft Word

While PDFs are great for creating accurate digital copies of paper documents, you can also save a PDF from a regular Word document.

If you have a Word document that you’d like to save as a PDF file, you can use the Microsoft Word desktop app or Word for the Web. Here’s how.

Tip: You can also convert a document to a PDF using Microsoft Word.

Note: Instructions in this article apply to Word 2021, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, and Word 2010. Word for Microsoft 365, Word for the Web, and Word for Mac. For this guide, we are using Word for Microsoft 365 as an example.

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

Save a Word document as a PDF

Word saves its files as Word documents (also known as Docx) by default, but you can also save a Word document as a PDF file. Here’s how.

1. Open the document you want to save as a pdf.

Open the Word document you want to save as a pdf

2. Select the File tab from the top left in the Ribbon.

Select the File tab from the top left

3. Select Save As from the left menu pane.

Select Save As

4. From the Save As screen, select Browse to choose where you want to save the file on your computer.

Select Browse to choose where you want to save the file
  • If required, you can rename the file.

5. Click the drop-down arrow next to Save as type.

Click the drop-down arrow next to Save as type

6. Select PDF (*.pdf) from the list.

From the drop-down list, select PDF (*.pdf)

7. Select the Options button to customize your PDF.

Select the Options button to customize your PDF
  • For example, select page(s), optimize for image quality, or encrypt the pdf with a password.

8. Once done, click OK.

Click OK

9. Then, select Save.

Then, select Save

10. The saved PDF file will launch in your default PDF viewer.

RELATED: How to Save a Word Document on a Mac

Export a Word document as a PDF

Word 2016, Word 2019, Word 2021, and Word for Microsoft 365 have a new feature that lets you export a Word document to a PDF file. In this example, we’re using Word for Microsoft 365.

Note: In Word for the Web, you can only export a document to a PowerPoint presentation.

To export your Word document to PDF, follow the steps below.

1. Open a Word document you want to export to a pdf.

Open a Word document you want to export to a pdf

2. Click the File tab in the Ribbon menu at the top-left.

Click the File tab in the Ribbon menu

3. Select Export from the left pane menu.

Select Export from the left pane menu

4. In the Export window, choose the Create PDF/XPS Document option.

Choose the Create PDF/XPS Document option

5. Select the Create PDF/XPS button on the right side.

Select the Create PDF/XPS button

6. In the Publish as PDF or XPS window, select a folder where you want to save the file on your computer.

Select a folder where you want to save the file on your computer
  • Change the file name if you want to, and make sure the Save as type is PDF (*.pdf).

7. Select Publish.

Select the Publish button

8. The published PDF file will open in your default PDF viewer.

Download a Word document as a PDF

If you don’t have Microsoft Word installed on your computer, you can use Word for the Web to save/download a Word document as a PDF. Here’s how.

1. Go to Word for the Web.

2. Click the Sign up for free button.

Click the Sign up for free button

3. Type your email and create a strong password.

Create a new Microsoft account by typing your email and a password
  • You can use an email or a phone number to create an account.

4. Enter the code to verify your email or phone number.

Enter the code to verify your email or phone number

5. Once signed in, launch Word from the left apps menu.

Launch Word from the left apps menu

6. On the right side, click Upload.

Click the Upload button

7. Locate the Word document and click Open.

Locate the Word document and click the Open button

8. Once your document opens in Word online, click on File from the top left.

Once your document opens in Word online, click on File

9. Select Save as > Download as PDF.

Select Save as > Download as PDF

10. A copy of this saved document downloads to your computer as a PDF file.