How to Create PDF Documents for Free

by Kathryn Hatashita-Lee

Microsoft Office applications include the option to save your documents in the Adobe PDF format, so you can create PDF files without having to purchase extra software or add-ins. Advantages of the PDF file format include a compact file size and optimization for high quality prints from your own printer or a commercial printer. The converted PDF file will preserve all of your text and illustrated content, which you can share with others or send as an email attachment.


Open the Microsoft Office file you wish to publish as a PDF file. Types of files that you can convert to PDF include Excel worksheets, PowerPoint presentations and Word documents.


Click the “File” tab on the ribbon to display a list of commands, and then click “Save As” to open the Save As dialog box.


Click the preferred location for your PDF file from the options in the left navigation pane. For example, click “Desktop” or a named folder.


Type the name of your PDF file in the File Name field.


Click the drop-arrow next to the "Save as Type" field to open the list of file formats and choose “PDF.”


Click the “Save” button to close the dialog box and convert your file to a PDF.


  • check To read the PDF file, install Adobe Reader, a free PDF viewer (link in Resources).
  • check To create a high print-quality document, click the "Standard (publishing online and printing)" radio button in the Save As dialog box.
  • check To create a small file, click the radio button for "Minimum size (publishing online)" in the Save As dialog box.
  • check To save a limited range of pages as a PDF file in a multi-page document, click the “Options” button in the Save As dialog to open the Options dialog box. Edit the "Page Range" section, and then click the “OK” button to close the Options dialog box. Click the “Save” button to close the Save As dialog and convert the pages to a PDF file.
  • check To save a OneNote file as a PDF, click the “File” tab, click the “Save As” button, click the “PDF (*.pdf)” button in the Select Format pane, and then click the “Save As” button to open the Save As dialog box. Click the radio button for the preferred page range: “Selected Pages,” “Current Section” or “Current Notebook.” Click the “Save” button at the bottom of this dialog box.

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