Aug 16

How To Save Word Document as PDF

How to save a word document as PDF is something I get many emails about and it is surprisingly easy to do if you have Microsoft Office 2007 or the later offering Microsoft Office 2010 as Microsoft added this functionality to the suite in both these versions.

If you have an earlier version  you will probably have to use either an online converter or a separate PDF converter application to save a word document as PDF.

A PDF (Portable Document Format) is a popular format that can be read by anyone who has a version of adobe reader which is freely available from www.adobe.com and is often used when you dont want the document modifying or want to be sure that the reciprient will be able to read it.

Start off by opening Microsoft Office Word from your programs menu or desktop icon and then opening the Word document you would like to save as a PDF document. Once you have the document open click the office button in the top left hand corner of your screen. Then select Save as and then on the right column select PDF or XPS.

Save word as PDF 1

In the save window give you document a name and ensure that the save as type is selected as PDF. Tick the open file after publishing option as this allows you to see the document in its PDF form in adobe reader after you have saved the word document as a PDF.

convert word to PDF 1

Click Publish. You should see your document open in adobe reader and thats it you have managed to save your word document as PDF.

Common Problem

Word The file is in use by another application or userSome people may receive the following error when trying to save their word document as PDF “The file is in use by another application or user”

This is quite a common error that is seen often when trying to save word documents as PDFs and in most cases is caused by your antivirus software seeing this as a malicious action and stopping you from converting your word document to PDF.


The solution is very simple but took me personally a long time to figure out. Simply pause your antivirus or security suite while you save the document as a PDF. Most antivirus software has an option to pause protection or disable shields You should find that doing this will enable you to save the document just remember to enable your security software again after saving.


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  1. Thomas

    Hi Craig
    Saving to PDF is a feature that I use a lot in Office. It is nice that we don’t need to have a PDF printer installed in order to save as PDF from MS Office.
    Thomas recently posted..You have not won 100.000, but…My Profile

  2. Salman

    Great tute Craig …

    As Thomas said, “Save as PDF” is a great feature in MS office that easily converts word docs to pdf files without the hassle of using a separate software for conversion.
    Salman recently posted..How To Edit Videos SmartlyMy Profile

  3. Anandajoti

    Dear Craig, thanks for that. Suddenly around two weeks ago I started getting “the file is in use by another application or user” signs and couldn’t figure out what was causing it. Now I suspend MSE and it goes through OK. Bit of a bind though as I have to save as pdf so many times.

    1. Craig

      I know the feeling. If I find an alternative solution I will post as it is a. Pain having to disable the av every time.

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