How to Export a Microsoft Word Document as a PDF

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Do you have a Microsoft Word document you need to export as a portable document format (PDF) file? Here are four ways to export or convert your Word document as a PDF.

Of course, you can also convert a PDF to Word to make the document editable.

How to Convert a Word Document to PDF in Microsoft Word

You can export a Microsoft Word document directly from Microsoft Word using the Export or Save As features.

Using “Export”

  1. Open the Word document you want to export as a PDF.
  2. Click on “File” in the top-left corner.
Microsoft Word File Tab
  1. Go to “Export” in the sidebar, click on “Create PDF/XPS Document,” then “Create PDF/XPS.”
Microsoft Word Export
  1. Type a filename for your PDF and choose a save location, then click on “Publish.”
Microsoft Word Export Location

Using “Save As”

  1. Open or create the Word document you want to export.
  2. Click on “File” in the top-left corner.
Microsoft Word Home
  1. Go to the “Save As” or “Save a Copy” tab and choose where you want to save your PDF file.
Microsoft Word Save As Save A Copy
  1. Click on the drop-down for file types, then select “PDF (*.pdf).”
Microsoft Word Save As File Type
  1. Type a filename. If you’d like to edit the author, tag, and title metadata fields, click “More options” below the drop-down to reveal those fields.
Microsoft Word More Options
  1. Click “Save” to export the file.
Microsoft Word Meta Fields

Note: you can’t add a password to PDFs while exporting from Word. Try LibreOffice if you want that feature.

Tip: did you know it’s easy to add a checklist in Word?

How to Export a Word Document as a PDF in Google Docs

Follow the steps below to download any Microsoft Word document as a PDF using Google Docs, which is free to use with a Google account.

  1. Go to Google Docs in your web browser.
  2. Click on “Blank” under “Start a new document.”
Google Docs Home
  1. Click on “File” in the top-left corner.
Google Docs File
  1. Click on “Open.”
Google Docs File Menu
  1. Go to the “Upload” tab and click on “Browse.” (You can also drag the Word document from your file explorer to the “Open a file” screen.)
Google Docs Open A File
  1. Look for the Word document or .docx file and click on “Open.” Wait for your file to finish uploading.
Google Docs Open
  1. After uploading, your file will open in a new tab. Click on the “Open with Google Docs” button.
Google Docs Open With Google Docs
  1. Click on “File,” hover over “Download,” and select “PDF Document (.pdf)” from the nested menu. Wait for the download to finish.
Google Docs File Menu Download

How to Convert a Word Document to PDF Using LibreOffice Writer

LibreOffice is open-source software that has a Microsoft Word counterpart, LibreOffice Writer. Install it and follow the steps below to use LibreOffice to convert a Word document to PDF.

  1. Launch LibreOffice Writer on your computer.
  2. Click on “File” at the top left and select “Open.”
Libreoffice Writer File
  1. Locate the Word document you want to export, select it, then click on “Open.”
Libreoffice Writer Open
  1. Once your Word document opens, click on “File,” hover over “Export As,” and click on “Export as PDF.”
Libreoffice Writer Export As
  1. In the “PDF Options” window, click on “Export.” Skip this step if you want to password-protect the PDF.
Libreoffice Writer Pdf Options
  1. Go to the “Security” tab in the “PDF Options” window and click on “Set Passwords.”
Libreoffice Writer Pdf Options Security
  1. Set and confirm the open and permission passwords and click “OK.”
Libreoffice Writer Pdf Options Set Passwords
  1. In the “PDF Options” window, confirm that the passwords were applied and click on “Export.”
Libreoffice Writer Pdf Options Security Encrypted
  1. Choose where to save your PDF and click on “Save.”
Libreoffice Writer Pdf Save

Do you want to sign your Word document before sending it off? We have a tutorial to show you how to do that.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some free online Word to PDF conversion tools I can use?

You can use online tools like Smallpdf, PDF Converter, and PDF2Go to convert Word documents to PDF.

Note that some websites have limits on file size and the number of times you can convert a Word document to PDF. To get unlimited conversions, it’s best to use the web version of Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or LibreOffice Writer.

How do I edit a PDF’s metadata or add a password after I convert it from a Word document?

If you want to modify the author, tags, and title metadata after Word to PDF conversion, use an online tool like Sedja, PDF Candy, or 2PDF.

Try PDF2Go, iLovePDF, or Smallpdf if you want to add a password to your PDF. If you have a paid subscription to Adobe Acrobat, you already have the option to add a password to PDFs. You can also remove a password from a PDF using various tools.

Image credit: Pixabay. All screenshots by Natalie dela Vega.

Natalie dela Vega
Natalie dela Vega

Natalie is a writer specializing in tech how-tos and gaming. When she's not writing, she plays PC games and travels. Here at MakeTechEasier, you will see her write about guides, tips, and solutions for Windows and iOS.

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