Tip of the week # 480
25 March 2016

Save the current document, presentation or worksheet as a PDF (Word, PowerPoint, Excel) *

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a file format used to present documents in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. One of the purposes of saving your documents as a PDF is to keep the format and text of your files from being modified. It is very easy to save MS Office files as PDFs, without the need for any other software or add-ins.

Here's how:

  1. Click the File tab and select Save As. (Or press F12.)
  2. If necessary, type a File name.
  3. Press TAB and type P (or select PDF *.pdf from the drop-down list).
  4. Press ENTER or click Save.

(I'll add F12, TAB, P, ENTER as the shortcut of the week on our home page and will update the shortcut archive accordingly; see roem.co.uk/inc/shortcut_archive.pdf.)

After you've saved a file as a PDF, you cannot convert it back to an MS Office file format without specialised software or a third-party add-in. (After all - and as mentioned before - one of the purposes of the PDF format is to keep the format and text of your files from being modified.) To change the PDF file, open the original file in your Office program, make your changes, and save the file in PDF format once more.

By the way, if you want to email your document, presentation or workbook as a PDF attachment, you can do that without first having to convert it to PDF and/or opening Outlook. See tip_347.php for details.

Finally, I like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy Easter!

* Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.