Save workbooks in PDF format

Excel 365
The PDF file format is widely used because there are many free programs, applications, and websites for viewing PDF files and the official free Adobe Reader program. A significant amount of modern professional printing equipment has hardware support for the PDF format, which allows you to print files in this format without using any software.

The PDF version of the Excel workbook or worksheet can be viewed and printed by those who do not have Excel.

Excel offers at least three ways to save a workbook in PDF format. Choose the one you prefer:

   A.   Save the workbook as a PDF file using the Save As pane:

On the File tab, click Save As (or Save a Copy, if you opened a document from any non-local storage), then from the File type dropdown list, select PDF:

Save as PDF in Excel 365

If needed, click the More options... link to open the Save As dialog box with additional options that control the PDF output details (see below):

More options in Save as PDF Excel 365

Note: Read more about the Accessibility Checker.


   B.   Save the workbook as a PDF file using the Save As dialog box

On the File tab, click Save As, then click Browse to open the Save As dialog box.

In the Save As dialog box:

  • From the Save as type list, select PDF:
    Save as PDF in Excel 365
  • If you want to create a PDF file that has a smaller file size (but lower quality), click Minimum size (publishing online)
  • To modify any of the default settings, click the Options... button to open the Options dialog box:
    Options in Save as Excel 365

    In the Options dialog box:

    • In the Page range section, specify the pages to include in the PDF file
    • In the Publish what section, specify sheets, selected items, or print areas
    • In the Include non-printing information section, enable or disable non-printing elements such as file properties
    • Select compliance
  • If you do not want to automatically open the new PDF file in your default PDF viewer, clear the Open file after publishing checkbox:
Open file after publishing in Save as Excel 365

   C.   Export the workbook to a PDF file

On the File tab, click Export, then click the Create a PDF/XPS button:

Create a PDF/XPS in Excel 365

In the Publish as PDF or XPS dialog box, specify a filename and location and set some other options (see above, the same as in the Save As dialog box):

Publish as PDF or XPS in Excel 365

Note: XPS is another "electronic paper" format developed by Microsoft as an alternative to PDF. However, there is currently little third-party support for the XPS format.

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