Top 6 Methods on How to Convert Excel to PDF?

convert excel to pdf

When working with excel files, you may need to share them with other people. To ensure that your Excel file can be opened on different devices, operating systems, and platforms, without the need to have a spreadsheet app or program, converting it into PDF is often necessary. In this article, we will take you through the top methods you can use to convert Excel to PDF. 

1.     Save Excel as PDF

If you do work with excel files on a regular basis, there is a high chance that you already have Microsoft Excel installed on your computer. If this is the case, converting the XLS or XLSX files to PDF should be easy. 

On Windows PC

To convert excel to PDF on Windows PC using the Microsoft Excel program, you will need to follow the steps we have outlined below:

Step 1: Locate the file you would like to convert to PDF on your hard drive. Right-click the document, hover over Open with… and then choose Microsoft Excel. 

Step 2: On the top-left corner, hit File > Export and then select Create PDF/XPS. 

Step 3: Double-check to make sure that PDF (*.pdf) is selected next to the Save as type. 

Step 4: Hit publish to Save the document as a PDF. 

On Mac 

If your device is running on macOS, you will need to follow the steps below to convert excel to PDF using the Microsoft Excel:

Step 1: After opening your Excel document, hit the File option and then select Save As. This should open a dialogue box for saving the file. 

Step 2: Next to File Format, select PDF. 

Step 3: Hit the Save button to complete the process. 

Note: The instructions outlined above are applicable to Microsoft Excel versions 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel for Office 365. 

2.     Use PC-based Programs to Convert Excel to PDF

PDFelement Pro

This is a third-party PDF tool that has a wide range of features. One of its features makes it possible for you to convert Excel to PDF. The tool is available for both Mac and Windows PC users. 

PDFelement Pro is not 100% free. While it may have a free trial version, the trial version will have limitations. To convert your Excel file into PDF using PDFelement Pro, follow the steps we have outlined below:

Step 1: After installing the tool on your computer, launch it.

Step 2: On the Home interface, hit the Create PDF option. This should allow you to choose a file to create a PDF file from. Choose the Excel file you would like to convert to PDF.

pdfelement excel to pdf converter

Step 3: After importing the file, go to File and then choose Save as. After specifying the destination location, hit the Save button. Your Excel document should be converted into a PDF file. 

iSkySoft PDF Creator for Mac

On Mac, you can use a third-party tool made by iSkySoft. The tool will give you the ability to create PDFs from Excel, EPUB, Word, Plain Text, etc. in just a couple of steps. Below, we have the steps you will need to follow:

Step 1: After installing iSkySoft PDF creator on your Mac, launch it. 

Step 2: On the main interface, hit the Add Files button. Select the Excel file you would like to convert to PDF. 

Step 3: Select the Create button on the bottom-right corner. Select the location where you would like to save your document. The conversion will be initiated and completed within a couple of seconds. 

Adobe Reader

This method is quite complicated. If you are in a hurry and do not have some extra time to spare, you may want to use the methods we have already described above. 

This method will require you to download and install Adobe Reader on your computer. After installing the application on the computer, you will then need to set it as the default printer. You will use Adobe Reader to print the Excel file into PDF. Below, we have the steps you will need to follow:

Step 1: Download and install Adobe Reader on your computer. 

Step 2: Click the Start button on your computer screen, navigate to the Settings and then select Printers. Right-click on Adobe PDF printer icon. On the menu that appears, choose Set As Default Printer. 

Step 3: Below the Adobe PDF printer settings, tap on the General tab. Expand the PostScript options menu. Go to TrueType Font Download Option and then select Native TrueType option. 

Step 4: Open the Excel file in your Microsoft Excel application. Select Tools and Options. In the print section, make sure that you have selected the reverse print order. Next, go to File and then move on to the Page Setup. In the page section, choose 1200 DPI and then save the parameters. 

Step 5: Navigate to the File menu and then choose the Print option. The Excel file will be converted into the PDF format and saved in the same location as the original file. 

3.     Use an Add-In as an Excel to PDF Converter

If you are using Microsoft Office 2007 suite, you can use an Add-in to convert the Excel file into PDF. The steps you will need to follow to use this solution are outlined below:

Step 1: Download the 2007 Microsoft Office Add-in. You should get the SaveAsPDFandXPS.exe program file. 

Step 2: Double-click the program file and then proceed to set it up on your computer.

Step 3: Open the Excel file you would like to change into PDF. Launch the file in the 2007 Microsoft Excel.

Step 4: Select Add-Ins on the top bar menu. 

Step 5: On the sub-menu that opens below the main menu, choose Save/Publish to PDF. 

4.     Online Excel-to-PDF Converters

If none of the methods outlined above have worked for you, you can consider using online programs. The majority of online programs will be free. This means that they can help you avoid paying for tools like PDFelement Pro. 

One thing to keep in mind is that you should only use online programs with less sensitive documents. If the Excel file features confidential data, you should take all necessary measures to ensure that it does not leave your computer. 

The moment you upload the file to a third-party server (you will have to do this if you will be converting the document online), you will lose control over who can or can’t see the document. Even if an online program promises that they respect their users’ privacy, very few online program owners respect this promise. 

Below, we take smallpdf.com as an example:

Step 1: On a computer web browser, visit https://smallpdf.com/excel-to-pdf

small-pdf-converter

Step 2: Drag and drop the file you would like to convert into PDF. You can also select the file from Dropbox or Google Drive. 

Step 3: Give the tool a couple of minutes as it converts your file. On the output page, you can go ahead and modify the resulting PDF document. 

Step 4: Download the converted file. Alternatively, you can share or save the document in either Dropbox or Google Drive. 

Summary 

If you need to convert excel to PDF, you can use the tools we have outlined above. While we have mentioned some tools that you may need to pay for, we have also listed free solutions.  As noted earlier on, only use the online tools with documents featuring non-confidential information. If your document has confidential information, stick to methods which ensure that your document does not leave the computer.

Author: Treyton Collins

A tech editor for Starzsoft.com offering professional how-to articles for Windows, Android and Apple users.