How to Change a Microsoft Word Doc Into a PDF File

An easy way to share information on websites and via email is to put it into PDF format. The file can then be easily downloaded from the internet and viewed by anyone with who has the free Adobe Reader software. You do not need the full version of Adobe Reader to create PDF files. You can create them from Microsoft Word documents very quickly and easily with the help of a free software program named Open Office.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Word
  • Open Office
  • Adobe Reader (optional)


    • 1

      Open your Open Office Software. Select “Open Office Writer” for this project.

    • 2

      Click on “File” and then “Open.” Locate the Microsoft Word document you wish to change into a PDF file. Once selected, click “OK."

    • 3

      Review the document in Open Office Writer. Check for oddball characters and formatting changes. Make any necessary corrections to your document.

    • 4

      Move your mouse pointer across the Open Office toolbar to the PDF icon. It is a red-and-white box with “PDF” written along the bottom. Resting your pointer on it will bring up a small box containing the phrase “Export Directly as PDF." Click on the PDF icon.

    • 5

      Name your new PDF file. Make sure the file format that is selected is PDF. Click “Save.” The Microsoft Word document has now been changed into a PDF file and is ready for use as such.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you frequently need to make PDF files, it may make more sense to create them in Open Office rather than Microsoft Word.
  • You can change the file into a PDF without the PDF icon. Click on “File,” then “Export as PDF."
  • If you need to make corrections withing the file once it's been saved as a PDF, the best way is to open the original Microsoft Word file, make the changes and then save it as the previous PDF file. This will allow you to overwrite the old file with the new changes. Then you can repost or resend the updated PDF file.
  • Adobe Reader comes pre-installed on many computers. Most people have it without needing to download it.
  • Microsoft Word documents can create problems when copied into other formats. Weird characters will sometimes appear, or formatting will be altered. Reviewing the document before changing it into a PDF file is an important step.
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