How to Convert a Microsoft Word Document to PDF (Four Ways)

Updated on June 2, 2020
melbel profile image

Melanie has a BS in physical science and is in grad school for analytics & modeling. Her research is in computational chemistry.

Why convert to PDF?

There are numerous reasons why you might want your Word document to be a pdf file. There are often incompatibilities between versions of Microsoft Word that can mess up your careful formatting. In addition, not everyone has Microsoft Word, but nearly everyone has access to viewing a pdf.

PDFs are an industry standard, so how a pdf looks on one computer will change very little from how it looks on another computer. This makes PDFs great for carefully laid out documents such as resumes and design specifications.

These are just some of the many reasons you might want a PDF file instead of a Word document. Rest assured, converting a Word doc to a PDF is super easy! There are two ways to do this. If you have access to Microsoft word, follow the instructions marked, "If you have Microsoft Word..." If you don't have access to this software or if the file is not compatible with your version of Word, you'll want to skip down to the third method.

Video showing two popular methods for converting a Word document to a pdf

Method 1: If you have Microsoft Word...

If you have Microsoft Word, converting a Word document to pdf is simple! This can be achieved by using Word to open the document you're wanting to convert. First, check over your document to make sure the formatting is how you want it to be.

Step 1: Click "File" in the upper left-hand corner.
Step 2: Navigate to the "Save as" button and click it.
Step 3: Select the directory you would like to save to.
Step 4: Under the file name, select the file type dropdown box. The default should be something like Word Document (*.docx).
Step 5: In the dropdown menu, select PDF (*.pdf) and hit save.

After completing these steps, you will find a pdf version of your Word Document saved in the directory you selected.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Click "File"Click "Save as"Select PDF (*.pdf)
Click "File"
Click "File"
Click "Save as"
Click "Save as"
Select PDF (*.pdf)
Select PDF (*.pdf)

Method 2: If you have Microsoft Word

If the first method doesn't work, this is another way you can try to turn a Word doc into a pdf. Instead of saving as a pdf, in this method, we will be printing to a pdf. Don't worry, this doesn't actually print anything out of your printer!

Step 1: Click "File" in the upper left-hand corner.
Step 2: Select "Print."
Step 3: In the box that pops up, select your printer in order to access the Printer dropdown menu.
Step 4: In the dropdown menu, select "Microsoft Print to PDF."
Step 5: In the box that pops up, select the directory you would like your document to print to, name your file, and click save.

Voila! You've just printed your file to a PDF. Go to the directory you've printed to and you'll find your file waiting there for you!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Click "File"Select "Print"Click the Printer dropdown menu to change the way you print.Select "Microsoft Print to PDF"Select the directory you would like to save to, then name your file. Finally, click save.
Click "File"
Click "File"
Select "Print"
Select "Print"
Click the Printer dropdown menu to change the way you print.
Click the Printer dropdown menu to change the way you print.
Select "Microsoft Print to PDF"
Select "Microsoft Print to PDF"
Select the directory you would like to save to, then name your file. Finally, click save.
Select the directory you would like to save to, then name your file. Finally, click save.

Method 3: Google Documents

This method takes advantage of Google Documents to convert your file. This method may not preserve your formatting, but it will work in a pinch and is super secure!

Step 1: While logged into your Google account, navigate to https://docs.google.com/document/

Step 2: In the middle of the page, on the right-hand side, select the folder. (The hover text on the folder will say "Open file picker."

Step 3: In the box that pops up, click the button that says "select a file from your device."

Step 4: Fix any formatting and font issues that may occur from the .doc being incompatible with Google Docs so that your file appears how you want it to.

Step 5: Navigate to the directory where your Word file is saved, select it, and click open. Your Word file will then open in Google Docs.

Step 6: In the upper left-hand corner, select File. Then select Download. Finally, select PDF Document (.pdf)

After you complete the above steps, a .pdf version of your Google Docs file will be saved to your computer.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Select the folder in the middle of the page on the right-hand side.Click "select a file from your device"Navigate to the directory where your Word file is saved, select it, and click open.In the upper left-hand corner, select File. Select Download. Select PDF Document (.pdf)
Select the folder in the middle of the page on the right-hand side.
Select the folder in the middle of the page on the right-hand side.
Click "select a file from your device"
Click "select a file from your device"
Navigate to the directory where your Word file is saved, select it, and click open.
Navigate to the directory where your Word file is saved, select it, and click open.
In the upper left-hand corner, select File. Select Download. Select PDF Document (.pdf)
In the upper left-hand corner, select File. Select Download. Select PDF Document (.pdf)

Method 4: File Conversion Websites

If you do not have Microsoft Word or do not have a version that is compatible with the file that you're working with, this method will get the job done. This method takes advantage of websites that convert Word docs to PDF, so do keep your own privacy in mind. For example, if you're converting a business contract, you may want to avoid this method as you cannot guarantee what a website will do with your file. If it's a school paper, you should be fine.

To find a website that will do this for you, do a quick Google search for "convert doc to pdf free" and you should quickly find an option that will work for you.


© 2020 Melanie

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Patkay profile image

      Patrick Kamau 

      5 weeks ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Very good information on how to to turn a word document into a PDF. I am used these methods and they work well. Thanks for sharing.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      5 weeks ago from Norfolk, England

      Thanks for showing me how to do this. It's very useful to know.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      5 weeks ago from UK

      This is a very useful article and one worth saving for future reference. I had trouble this week converting photos from the hiec format to jpeg.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, turbofuture.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)