Is there an easy way to save a Word document as a pdf?

In WordPerfect, you just “publish as pdf” and your document is a pdf.

I’ve not found an easy way to do that with Word - have I just missed it?

I’ve always used pdfcreator for that:

But if you have Word 2007: There’s an add-in:

I use CutePDF Writer. Free and excellent.

I have a voice activated system. It works like this:

<secretary name here>, please make a pdf out of this <hands her hard copy>. Thanks.

She doesn’t like it when I mess with the fancy ass new copy machine that seems to do everything, because it does nothing for me, and then she has to fix it.

If you have the full version of adobe acrobat, it installs a toolbar for IE and Ms Office. Click the toolbar button to convert a document to pdf. I use the IE toolbar all the time to convert web pages to pdf.

I second this, it installs a print driver, so any program that prints can gave its output saved as a pdf.

I have used PDF995 for years. It is free and uses the print driver method.

hmm, one of those free programs may solve a problem at work. We created some pdf forms for our web site. People can fill them out and print. But, they can’t save the filled out form unless they’ve bought a full version of acrobat. I’ll have to try pdfcreator and see if it will save the form. That would be very helpful.

Another PDF995 user here.

On the off-chance that you’re using Mac, no third-party software is required. Just go to File > Print, and in the bottom left of the dialogue box that pops up there will be a drop-down menu labeled “PDF…”. This allows you to save as PDF, open the PDF in Preview, and a bunch of other things.

You can also use, which will open Word documents (including 2007 and above) and allow you to save as PDF. A PDF printer is probably an easier option for a quick one-off, though.

What MikeS said. You can’t do that on a PC? I’d die.

Another vote for CutePDF. It’s simple to install and use and free for both home **and **business use.

You do realize, don’t you, that that is the hard way compared to “Print->PDF” and destroys many of the advantages of PDF, such as text searching, small file size and sometimes, image quality?

It hurts my techno-geek heart when people do that.

After nine different answers on several different ways you CAN do it on a PC, what prompted you to insert this non-GQ comment:?

I was simply very surprised that it needs a third party application, since in most other ways the programs are very similar on both platforms. MikeS had provided the answer that I had come in to share, but en route through the thread I had learned that it was not possible in the same way on a PC, which was news to me.

And I apologize if it sounded like I was PC-bashing. I use PCs, too, but I guess I’ve just never tried to make a PDF on one.

A word of caution when generating PDF documents…

Before you blindly use a particular PDF generator, make sure that you can open the PDF documents and copy/paste text successfully. Put the PDF on a USB drive and go to a different machine (better still, a different platform such as Mac vs. PC) and verify that text copies and pastes correctly.

The problem is that the PDF standard allows creation of PDFs that can be properly rendered, but cannot be text indexed. You will be quite distressed if you find yourself in possession of 20,000 PDF documents that cannot be searched because the generator tool did not embed the reverse mappings for the fonts.

Here is my own tale of woe

This is a short description of the technical issue I faced:
(from khkremer on

Here’s a writeup I did on some PDF portability pitfalls.

It is worth considering enabling PDF/A formatting if your tools allow it. This is a standard that is intended for archival purposes, with longevity and portability.

With reference to minor7flat5’s concerns, I just tested, and found that CutePDF Writer does not have these problems. It converts Word to fully searchable PDFs. However, I was very interested in what minor7flat5 had to say, because I have a whole bunch of PDF documents like that: they cannot be searched, and if you try to copy and paste the text from them you get gibberish. I had sort of assumed this was some sort of copy protection put on it by the original publisher (though pretty ineffective, as it is still easy enough to copy the files as a whole), but maybe it was just incompetence.

I guess, from what your article says, that there is no easy or cheap way to make these files searchable, which is a great pity. I do have a copy of ABBYY Finereader Sprint Plus, that came with my scanner, but so far as I can tell there is no way to get it to read PDFs, just image files.


The problem you warn of can be a feature in some cases. As an example, if I email invoice.pdf to a client, I’d prefer it to be impossible for them to alter the numbers etc., but I’ll take difficult.

Quickbooks allows you to print an invoice, or email a pdf, but doesn’t have a “save as pdf” feature. The “the print to file as pdf” is a godsend, and I find that CutePDF writer works as well as others have said upthread, just I wish it were harder to alter the result.