How to Create a PDF File

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There are basically three methods for creating PDF files. Every computer on campus should have access to the first two methods.

If you need any help creating your PDF file, you can contact the Help Desk.

Microsoft Office

All Office programs have the built-in capacity to create PDF files. For example, in Word, create or open the document you wish to save as PDF. Once the document is finalized and ready to be converted:

  1. In the top menu, click File and then Save As.
  2. Choose the location where you wish to save your file.
  3. At the bottom of the Save As window, use the Save as type drop down to select PDF. This will change the suffix of the filename from .docx to .pdf.
  4. Name your file, and save it as with any other file.

Remember to also save your original Word document. If you need to make a change, it will be in the Word document, not the PDF. This same procedure will work with Excel, PowerPoint, and other Microsoft Office programs.


If you are not using a Microsoft Office program, you can use CutePDF to create a PDF file. CutePDF is a printer driver that will work with any program, such as your web browser.

  1. Once you are ready to create your PDF file, choose File and then Print.
  2. On the Print screen, change the printer to CutePDF Writer by selecting it from the printer list.
  3. Click Print.
  4. Rather than printing, a Save As dialog window will open. Chose the name of your file and a location and then save it as with any other document.

If you want an actual printed copy of the same document, you will need to change your printer back to your default or close the program and reopen it.

Adobe Acrobat DC

You can use Adobe Acrobat DC (not Adobe Reader) to create PDFs directly. Also, if you have Adobe Acrobat DC installed on your computer, your Microsoft Office programs may include a “Save as Adobe PDF” option in the File menu.