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The 8 Best Ways to Convert Excel to PDF in 2023

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August 8, 2023
Last Updated
August 8, 2023
7 min read

Excel files aren't the best at conveying key insights and figures to stakeholders.

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If you need to share or present a report, convert it to PDF, first!

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Microsoft Excel is one of the most popular and powerful spreadsheet programs around. It's used in almost every industry to organize and analyze data, to calculate figures and uncover insights.

But Excel files aren't always the best at conveying key insights and figures to others in a way that's easy to understand.

Especially to those that aren't the most data savvy.

There's also the problem of the other person needing their own copy of Excel to view the spreadsheets they receive.

Which isn't something we can always count on.

That's why, when presenting reports with data and key figures, it's a good idea to convert Excel files to PDF.

PDFs can be opened and viewed on almost any device, without needing additional software.

But, how do you convert Excel to PDF?

It's probably easier than you think.

In this guide, we cover exactly what you need to know to easily convert your spreadsheets, workbooks, and Excel reports to PDF format.

What to Know Before You Start

Before you convert Excel to PDF, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • You can save an Excel file as a PDF by going to the File tab > Save As > Browse > selecting PDF as the file type > Save.
  • To export an Excel file as a PDF in Microsoft Excel: File tab > Export > Create PDF/XPS > Publish
  • If you don't have Excel but still need to convert a file, use an online Excel to PDF converter.

Why Convert Excel to PDF?

There are many benefits to converting Excel spreadsheets to PDF.

The most common reasons to include:

  1. Preserve the formatting and data.
  2. Choose what data to share — single worksheets, or entire files.
  3. Easier to open and view the data, on any device.
  4. Easier to share and email to others.
  5. More accessible — no Excel needed to view the data.
  6. Prevent unwanted editing or changes.
  7. Present data in a more professional way.
  8. Secure data with passwords, encryption, and digital certificates.
  9. Organize and consolidate reports by combining them into one PDF.

How to Convert Excel to PDF Online (Free)

It's pretty easy to convert Excel to PDF online, with free tools that are widely available.

Online Excel to PDF Converter

The best way to convert Excel to PDF for online is with an Excel to PDF Converter, like ours. It's 100% free, fast, and safe. No sign-up required!

  1. Visit PDF Pro's Excel to PDF Converter.
  2. Upload the Excel file. (It will automatically convert once uploaded).
  3. Download your new PDF.

That's it!

You now have a PDF that's ready to be secured, stored, or shared.

Google Drive

If you don't have access to Microsoft Excel or a PDF editor, you can use Google Drive to convert Excel to PDF for free.

  1. Upload your Excel file to Google Drive.
  2. Click + New.
  3. Click File upload.
  4. Find and Open your Excel file.
  5. Once open: press File > Download > PDF Document (.pdf).

How to Convert Excel to PDF on Microsoft Excel

If you have your spreadsheet open in Microsoft Excel, you can export or save your spreadsheet directly to PDF format from within Excel.

There's more than one way to do this. We'll cover the easiest and best methods for you, depending on your needs.

Export to PDF

This is probably the most straightforward method on this list.

  1. With your spreadsheet open in Microsoft Excel, press the File menu.
  2. Press Export > Create PDF/XPS.
  3. Name and choose a location to save your new PDF.
  4. Press Publish.

Save as PDF

This method is almost identical to the Export to PDF method.

But it offers you more flexibility in case you wanted to save your Excel file as something other than PDF.

  1. With your spreadsheet open in Microsoft Excel, press the File menu.
  2. Press Save As > Browse.
  3. From the Save as type dropdown menu, select PDF (*.pdf).
  4. Name and select a location to save your new PDF.
  5. Press Save.

Publish as PDF (from the Quick Access Toolbar)

If PDF is often the final format for your Excel files, add the Publish as PDF command to your Quick Access Toolbar.

This saves you the extra steps of clicking the File tab and Export buttons.

  1. Open your spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.
  2. Right-click the Quick Access Toolbar > More Commands... (this opens the Excel Options dialog box).
  3. From the Choose commands from dropdown menu, select All Commands.
  4. Scroll down and select the Publish as PDF or XPS command.
  5. Press Add.
  6. Press OK.

You'll now have a Publish as PDF or XPS button in your Quick Access Toolbar!

To publish your Excel file as a PDF with it, simply: click the button > name and select a location to save your PDF > Publish.

Send Email as PDF (from the Quick Access Toolbar)

Add a button to your Quick Access Toolbar to convert and attach your Excel files as PDFs in a new email.

This is great if you regularly email Excel files as PDFs once you've finished working on them.

  1. Open your spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.
  2. Right-click the Quick Access Toolbar > More Commands... (this opens the Excel Options dialog box).
  3. From the Choose commands from dropdown menu, select All Commands.
  4. Scroll down and select the Email as PDF Attachment command.
  5. Press Add.
  6. Press OK.

You'll now have an Email as PDF Attachment button in your Quick Access Toolbar!

To use it: Simply click on the button to compose a new email (with your newly converted PDF file attached).

How to Convert Excel to PDF with a PDF Editor

The most reliable way to convert Excel to PDF is by using a dedicated PDF editor.

A good PDF editor works without Wi-Fi or Microsoft Excel. And can instantly convert Excel files to (and from) PDF format.

PDF Pro (Recommended)

PDF Pro is our all-in-one PDF editor, converter, security tool, and more. It can instantly convert Excel to PDF, or vice versa, in just a few clicks. ##CTA: Convert Now for Free.

  1. In PDF Pro, press the Create tab > Create from file.
  2. Press Add files or (+).
  3. Find and Open the Excel file that you want to convert.
  4. Press Create.

Adobe Acrobat PDF Maker

If you pay for the premium version of Adobe Acrobat, you can use it to convert Excel to PDF. You'll get a custom tab in Microsoft Excel to directly convert your workbook to PDF.

Please note that this method won't work on Adobe Reader.

  1. Open your workbook in Microsoft Excel.
  2. Click the Adobe tab.
  3. Click Create PDF.
  4. Select a name and folder to save your new PDF.
  5. Press Save.

Easily Convert Excel to PDF

Converting Excel files to PDF is a great way to share data, insights, and reports with clients and important stakeholders.

By converting Excel reports to PDF, you ensure that the other person can open and view the report on their device.

Even if they don't have Microsoft Excel installed on their device.

If you created the report in Excel, you can easily export (or save) it as a PDF.

If you don't have access to Excel, you can also use a free, online Excel to PDF converter.

But, if you regularly work with Excel and PDF files, then you'll want to invest in a dedicated PDF editor.

For all things PDF, we recommend PDF Pro: our all-in-one PDF editor, converter, security tool, and more.

PDF Pro can instantly convert Excel to PDF, and add passwords and digital certificates to ensure that the report is only seen by the correct eyes.

Other things PDF Pro is awesome at:

Buy Now Try PDF Pro Free

FAQ

We've compiled the most asked questions about how to convert Excel to PDF, and answered them for your benefit.

How can I convert Excel to PDF without downloading software?

Use an online Excel to PDF converter to convert Excel files to PDF without downloading additional software.

Steps: Visit PDF Pro's Excel to PDF Converter > Upload your Excel file > It will automatically convert > Download your new PDF.

What is the shortcut to convert Excel to PDF?

If you regularly export Excel files as PDFs, you can add an Export button to Microsoft Excel's Quick Access Toolbar.

In Microsoft Excel: Right-click the Quick Access Toolbar > More Commands... > All Commands > Publish as PDF or XPS > Add > OK.

How do I convert Excel to PDF without losing formatting?

The safest way is to open the file in Microsoft Excel, then Export (or Save) it as a PDF file.

In Microsoft Excel: File Export > Create PDF/XPS > Publish.

How to export Excel as PDF as one page?

You'll need to adjust the page settings from within Microsoft Excel: File > Page setup… > Fit to > Set page width and height to 1 > Ok > File > Save As > PDF > Save.

How to convert Excel to PDF with Adobe Acrobat?

Subscribing to Adobe Acrobat adds a new tab to your version of Microsoft Excel, which can make it easier to save Excel files as PDFs.

In Microsoft Excel: Click the Adobe tab > Create PDF > Save.

Is there a way to save Excel files as PDF files without my pages getting cut off?

Adjust the page settings from within Microsoft Excel to prevent your pages from getting cut off.

Steps: File > Page setup… > Fit to > Set page width and height to 1 > Ok > File > Save As > PDF > Save.

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Digital Marketing SpecialistArron Staradub
Arron is a Digital Marketer at PDF Pro, where he writes helpful and engaging articles for those that that use PDFs in their daily life. He has a knack for explaining concepts in an easily understandable way. He also loves reading and drinking too much coffee.

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