Microsoft Word is one of the old and popular word processing apps used for different purposes. By default, Word will save the document in .docx format while supporting compatibility mode with .doc format. Due to its popularity, almost all rich text processing apps support .doc and .docx file formats. However, the problem comes when you share a Word document with other users who may view the content on different devices. The best option is to convert your Word document to PDF format to make sure the content is shared safer, secured and in readable format.
Problems in Sharing Word Document
Apple offers Pages for free on Mac, iPhone and iPad. However, Microsoft offers Word as part of premium Microsoft 365 subscription. You have to pay a monthly fee to use the latest Word version which makes many users to move away from Word and work on alternative free apps. In addition, people also use smartphones to read email attachments and documents without Word installed. This could lead to different problems as listed below:
- Many corporate companies use custom fonts which will not be available for those reading the document outside the network.
- There are lot of fonts available in Word which are not available in other applications. For example, Word for Mac has a popular Source Sans Pro font. However, this is not available in Pages app and you will see a warning like “This document has missing fonts”. You need to choose a replace font to change the entire document with another font. This can easily kill all the formatting you have done for hours.
- Anyone can edit Word document and share the updated content without author’s permission. You can avoid this by converting it to PDF format. Due to this fact, nowadays many people share sales pitch documents in PDF format.
- Images and other alignments will be retained in PDF especially when users view the document in small mobile devices.
- PDF files can be opened with Edge and Chrome browsers without the need of Acrobat or text processing apps.
You can check out the advantages of using PDF format for your documents in this article.
How to Convert Word Document to PDF Format?
There are two ways to convert Word document to PDF format.
- You are the owner of Word document or you have Word app installed on your device.
- You do not have Word app and received the Word document from someone and wanted to convert to PDF with proper formatting.
Let us explain using Word app on Windows, Mac and smartphones to convert your document to PDF along with converting online without Word app.
1. Converting Microsoft Word to PDF in Windows
When you have Word app, it is easy to convert the document to PDF format.
- Open you document and click “File > Save As” menu.
- You will see multiple options to save your file and select “Browse”.
- This will open the standard “Save As” dialog box in Windows and Word will try to save the document in default “Word Document” (.docx) format.
- Click on “Save as type” dropdown and select “PDF” option.
- You will see additional optimization options for saving your PDF document. Select “Standard” if you want to print the PDF, otherwise select “Minimum size” when you want to use the PDF for online publishing.
- Select “Open file after publishing” checkbox and click on “Save” button.
- The converted PDF file will now open with the default app, mostly in Adobe Acrobat or in Microsoft Edge browser.
1.1. Share PDF in Email without Saving
Word also allows you to share the document in PDF format directly from the app.
- Click on the “Share” button located on top right corner of Word app.
- You will see a “Share” pop-up like below and click on “PDF” option showing below “Attach a copy instead” section.
- This will open a new email with your default email client in Windows with the converted PDF attached in the email.
- Fill other details in the email and send your PDF document without saving it to your computer.
2. Converting Microsoft Word to PDF in Mac
Follow the below instructions in Word for Mac with Microsoft 365.
- Open the Word document and click on “File > Save As…” menu. This will open the dialog box for selecting location to save your file.
- Word will try to save the file in default .docx format.
- Click on the “File Format” dropdown to view other file formats available for saving your document.
- Select “PDF” option from the list available under “Export Formats” heading.
- You will see PDF optimization options similar to Windows. Choose best for electronic distribution or best for printing option depending upon your need.
- Click on “Export” button to start converting Word document to PDF.
- You will see the conversion progress and the file will be saved in the selected location.
You don’t have an option to open the PDF after conversion and you need to navigate to the location manually to find and open the file.
2.1. Sharing PDF Directly from Word for Mac
Instead of saving the PDF file, you can directly share the converted PDF document in email while viewing the Word document.
- Go to “File > Share” menu and select “Send PDF” option.
- This will open your default email app in Mac and compose a new email with the converted PDF file as attachment.
- Fill up recipient email and subject details to send the PDF file.
Remember, the converted PDF file will not be saved to your Mac in this method.
3. Convert Word to PDF in Word Mobile Apps
When you have Microsoft 365 subscription, it is a good idea to use Word and other Office apps in Android and iPhone using the same subscription. We will explain converting Word to PDF using Word app in iPhone. You can follow the similar instructions in Android Word app also.
- Open the document in Word app and tap on three dots icon on top right corner.
- You can either send the PDF copy in email or export the document to your phone.
- Tap on “Export” and select PDF format.
- Select the location to save your file, type the document name and tap on “Export” to get the PDF file.
- For sending in email, either tap on the share icon and select “Send a Copy” option or tap on three dots icon and select Send a Copy”.
- Change the format to PDF and select your email client to send the PDF file in email.
4. Online Word to PDF Conversion
There are online PDF converters available to change Word to PDF format. The advantage here is that you can use these online tools on mobiles and desktops when you don’t have Word app installed.
- Go to SmallPDF and access the PDF converter tool.
- Upload your Word document and the conversion will start automatically.
- Click “Download” button and select “Save to device” option to save the converted PDF file to your device. You can also share the converted PDF document by clicking on “Share” button.
You can get two free conversions per day and use Google Drive or Dropbox to upload and download files. Only problem with this method is that you need to upload your document to their server. Therefore, this is not suitable when you have confident documents or you can upgrade to premium option to convert safely.
It is easy to convert your Word document to PDF format either using Word app or using third-party tools. we recommend using PDF format while sharing document to keep the content secure and safe.