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PLI How to Convert Your Documents to the Portable Document Format (PDF)

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is a computer file format developed by Adobe Systems so that any kind of document created on any kind of computer can be viewed exactly as it was designed — no need for the user to have the original authoring application. PDF has become a de facto standard for online documents and forms.

UC Berkeley has signed campus license agreements to provide the most commonly used software from Microsoft and Adobe to all students at no cost. It is strongly recommended that you take advantage of this.

To retain your file's format when you share your files with other people or when you print your files by using commercial methods, you can save files as PDF files. Use PDF format when you want a file that:

  • Looks the same on most computers.

  • Has a small file size.

  • Complies with an industry format.

Examples include resumes, legal documents, newsletters, files that are intended to be only read (not edited) and printed, and files that are intended for professional printing.

Microsoft Office for Mac 2011

Word » Creating a Document » Opening and Saving

Save as PDF

  • On the File menu, click Save As.

  • In the Save As box, type a name for the file.

  • On the Format pop-up menu, click PDF.

  • Click Save.

The resulting PDF will only retain any existing hyperlinks if the original document is in the Open XML (.docx) format.

Note: After you have saved a document as a PDF file, you cannot convert it back to an Office file format without specialized software or a third-party add-in.

Earlier versions of Microsoft Word for Mac (2004, 2008) split document sections into separate PDF files. You will then need to combine them into a single PDF file using Adobe Acrobat Pro (File » Create » Combine Files into a Single PDF...), or a free online service such as

Microsoft Office 2010 (or 2013) for Windows

Save as PDF » Word

This information also applies to Microsoft Word Starter 2010.

  1. Click the File tab.

  2. Click Save As.
    To see the Save As dialog box in Word 2013, you have to choose a location and folder.

  3. In the File Name box, enter a name for the file, if you haven't already.

  4. In the Save as type list, click PDF (*.pdf).

    • If you want the file to open in the selected format after saving, select the Open file after publishing check box.

    • If the document requires high print quality, click Standard (publishing online and printing).

    • If the file size is more important than print quality, click Minimum size (publishing online).

  5. Click Options to set the page to be printed, to choose whether markup should be printed, and to select output options. Click OK when finished.

  6. Click Save.

Microsoft Office 2007 for Windows

Microsoft Office 2007 supports the PDF file format, but you must first install the free Save as PDF or XPS add-in. Go to the Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS Add-in for 2007 Microsoft Office programs and follow the instructions on that page.

Save as PDF » Word

  1. Click the Microsoft Office Button, point to the arrow next to Save As, and then click PDF or XPS.

  2. In the File Name list, type or select a name for the document.

  3. In the Save as type list, click PDF.

  4. If you want to open the file immediately after saving it, select the Open file after publishing check box. This check box is available only if you have a PDF reader installed on your computer.

  5. Next to Optimize for, click Standard (publishing online and printing).

  6. Click Options to set the page range to be printed, to choose whether markup should be printed, and to select the output options. Click OK.

  7. Click Publish.

Microsoft Office 2003 for Windows and earlier users will need Adobe Acrobat Pro or, alternatively, any number of free PDF creators that you can download from the web including PrimoPDF for Windows, or convert files online without downloading any software with Baltsoft's PDF Converter (free) or Adobe's (convert up to 5 files for free when you sign-up for a trial)

Mac OS X (from almost any application that can print)

  1. Select File: Print... in any open document

  2. Click the PDF button in the lower left corner of the Print dialogue box

  3. Click 'Save As PDF...'

  4. Specify a filename and location, and then click Save.