Programs like Adobe Acrobat are excellent tools for viewing PDF (Portable Document Format) files and converting files into PDF. But if you don’t have such a program on your PC, don’t worry. You can still create basic PDF files in Windows.

These instructions refer to most Microsoft Office files, including those in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Print to PDF

  1. Open your document.
  2. Use the Ctrl+P keyboard shortcut to open the print window.
  3. Click or tap Microsoft Print to PDF in the printer list.
  4. Click or tap Print.
  5. A new window will open and prompt you to name the PDF file. Name it, and click or tap Save.

Once saved, the PDF file may not automatically open, so you’ll have to go to the destination where you saved it to open it.

Note that the Print to PDF approach saves the document for viewing only – metadata included in the source file such as links will not be translated into the PDF file. If you need the hyperlinks, use the Save as PDF approach, which will transfer all the data into a new PDF file. Here’s how to save a file as PDF while keeping the file’s metadata:

Save as PDF

  1. Open your document.
  2. Select File > Save As.
  3. Click or tap Browse and choose where to save the file in the pop-up window.
  4. Click or tap the Save as Type drop-down box and select PDF
  5. Click or tap Save.

Tip: If you want to save the PDF file in the same location as the original file, just name it and change the “file type” as PDF on the Save As page. You can also save the PDF to OneDrive.