How to Save an Excel File as a PDF

Published on: February 8, 2022
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Microsoft Excel workbooks (spreadsheets) and PDFs are two of the most popular, and commonly used types of files in the business and academic world. 

At one point or another, you’ve probably had an Excel file that you’ve needed as a PDF; either a single sheet or the entire workbook.

But did you know that you can save an Excel file as a PDF directly from Microsoft Excel? 

We’ll show you different ways to do this, quickly and easily below! 

Excel Spreadsheets as PDFs

It’s important to keep in mind how you want your excel files to look as a PDF, and how you want them to be viewed. 

Especially when dealing with lots of information or data, and sending to others, it’s important to make sure that the information in the Excel file remains clear and readable as a PDF. 

Excel files can have multiple pages or sheets, so it’s important to consider how our file will look as a PDF. 

Before saving your Excel file as a PDF, consider:

  • Page orientation of your PDF (portrait or landscape).
  • What information do you want in your PDF (certain cells, specific sheets, or the entire workbook).
  • Gridlines or no gridlines .

Once you’re ready, we can do some minor setting up. 

Set up Your Excel File for PDF Format:

There are different options that are available when setting up your Excel file before saving it as a PDF.  

We’ll show you a simple way to set up your Excel file in Landscape mode, while keeping the gridlines:

1. Open your Excel workbook in Microsoft Excel.

2. Click the Page Layout tab.

Page Layout tab in Excel with a red box around it.

3. Press the Orientation button.

Orientation button with a red box around it in Excel.

4. Press Landscape.

Landscape orientation button highlighted in Excel.

5. Press Print Tiles.

Print tiles button in Microsoft Excel with red box around it.

6. Select the Gridlines checkbox. 

Gridlines checkbox in Page Setup dialog box.

7. Press OK.

Ok button in Page Setup dialog box with Gridlines checkbox selected.

How to Save an Excel Workbook as a PDF

This is the easiest, most common way to save your Excel file as a PDF. 

1. Click the File tab.

File tab in Excel with a red box around it.

2. Click Save As.

Save As in Microsoft Excel with red box around button.

3. Click Browse.

Browse button in Excel highlighted.

4. Click the dropdown menu, and select PDF.

PDF selected from dropdown menu in Excel Save As dialog box.

5. Press Options…

Highlighted options button in Save As dialog box.

6. Select the Entire workbook radio button.

Entire workbook radio button highlighted in Options dialog box.

7. Press Ok.

Ok button highlighted in Options dialog box .

8. Click Save.

Save button highlighted in Save As dialog box.

How to Export an Excel Workbook as a PDF

This is another convenient way to save your Excel workbook as a PDF. 

1. Click the File tab.

File tab in Excel with a red box around it.

2. Click Export.

Export button in Microsoft Excel with red box around it.

3. Click Create PDF/XPS.

Create PDF XPS button in Microsoft Excel highlighted.

4. Press Options…

Highlighted options button in Save As dialog box.

5. Select the Entire workbook radio button.

Entire workbook radio button highlighted in Options dialog box.

6. Press Ok.

Ok button highlighted in Options dialog box .

7. Press Publish.

Publish button highlight in Publish as PDF or XPS button dialog box.

What’s the difference between Exporting as a PDF and Saving As a PDF?

Save As allows you to save and turn your Excel file into a variety of file formats, other than just PDF. 

Whereas Export only exports in PDF/XPS format. 

For our needs, there’s no difference between the two. Both methods will produce the same result. 

How to Save an Excel Sheet as PDF

Sometimes, instead of saving an entire Excel workbook, you only want to save a specific sheet (page) as a PDF.  

1. Click the File tab.

File tab in Excel with a red box around it.

2. Click Save As.

Save As in Microsoft Excel with red box around button.

3. Click Browse.

Browse button in Excel highlighted.

4. Click the dropdown menu, and find PDF.

PDF selected from dropdown menu in Excel Save As dialog box.

5. Click Save.

Save button highlighted in Save As dialog box.

How to Save Multiple Excel Sheets as one PDF

Sometimes you may want to save multiple Excel sheets on one PDF, rather than one, or the entire workbook. 

1. Click the File tab.

File tab in Excel with a red box around it.

2. Click Save As.

Save As in Microsoft Excel with red box around button.

3. Click Browse.

Browse button in Excel highlighted.

4. Click the dropdown menu, and find PDF.

PDF selected from dropdown menu in Excel Save As dialog box.

5. Press Options… 

Highlighted options button in Save As dialog box.

6. Click the Page(s) radio button and specify the Page Range you wish to save. 

Page range radio button and options in Excel highlighted in Options dialog box.

7. Press OK.

Ok button highlighted in Options dialog box .

8. Press Save.

Save button highlighted in Save As dialog box.

How to Save Specific Areas or Cells as a PDF

In some cases, you may want to save a specific cell, an area of cells, or multiple areas. 

1. Click the Page Layout tab.

Page Layout tab in Excel with a red box around it.

2. With your mouse, select the cells that you wish to save as a PDF. 

Mouse selecting cells in Microsoft Excel.

3. Press the Print Area button.

Print Area button in Excel with red box around it.

4. Press Set Print Area.

Set Print Area button highlighted.

5. Click the File tab.

File tab in Excel with a red box around it.

6. Click Save As.

Save As in Microsoft Excel with red box around button.

7. Click Browse.

Browse button in Excel highlighted.

8. Click the dropdown menu, and find PDF.

PDF selected from dropdown menu in Excel Save As dialog box.

9. Click Save.

Save button highlighted in Save As dialog box.

If you wish to select multiple areas, simply repeat steps 3-5 until you’ve selected everything you need. 

What is PDF Pro? 

We’ve shown you multiple ways to save an entire Excel workbook as a PDF, or just a single sheet or specific area of cells. Microsoft Excel makes it easy, but it’s not without a few limitations. 

For example, you can’t merge multiple Excel workbooks into one PDF, and you can’t highlight or leave helpful comments, or make any edits at all once your workbook is a PDF. 

PDF Pro is our All-in-One PDF creator, editor, converter, merger, and annotation tool. 

PDF Pro allows you to merge multiple Excel files into a single PDF, edit your PDF afterwards, highlight important information or leave helpful annotations or comments on your file after saving it as a PDF. 

Do you need more control over the Excel files that you save as a PDF? Do you need to merge multiple Excel workbooks into a single PDF?

Download PDF Pro for free today or Buy Now!

PDF Pro can help you:

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Arron StaradubDigital Marketing Specialist
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.