Excel to PDF

Excel to PDF

Excel to PDF (xls to pdf) is used to express the conversion from Microsoft® Excel® to a portable document format. Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet program part of the Microsoft Office package, and in order to view an .xls or .xlsx file the recipient would need to have the Microsoft Excel Viewer installed.

This is why sometimes is better to convert the Excel file to a more portable document format, such as the PDF (to view the PDF the recipient would need a PDF viewer like the free Adobe Reader, but that's so popular as it can be found on most computers now). Another advantage of converting the Excel file to PDF is that an excel document is more easy to edit (if not password protected) than a PDF, thus the probability of messing things is higher. Overall, these are the advantages of converting an Excel to a PDF:

  • Portability. PDF is much more suitable for documents that need to be sent for reviewing, printing
  • Popularity. Adobe Reader is used to open PDF files, and is a document viewer more popular than Microsoft's Excel viewer
  • Editing. PDFs are difficult to edit and require advanced tools, thus you can be sure the document you sent won't be altered by mistake
  • Size. PDFs are much smaller because they don't include formulas or anything that Excel includes
  • Printing quality. PDFs are also recommended for printing purposes, as they reproduce the original document layout perfectly

How to convert from Excel to PDF (Microsoft Excel 2007)

If you have Excel 2003, see the previous guide, as this applies to Excel 2007. To convert from Excel to PDF (xlsx to pdf) you need to install a PDF converter (also called PDF creator) and of course Microsoft Excel 2007. With the 2007 package Microsoft started delivering a free PDF creator add-in, and if you are part of the Windows Genuine Advantage program you can download it for free. The steps below need to be followed to convert spreadsheets from Microsoft Excel 2007 to a PDF, by using a third party program called PDF creator (not the default PDF add-in included with Office):

  • Download and install PDF Creator (just click on Free Download and it will start downloading automatically)
  • Once you have PDF Creator installed, open your Microsoft Excel spreadsheet document (xlsx file)
  • Now click on Office button (or hit Ctrl+P) and select from the list of printers the newly installed PDF Creator printer
  • It will ask you in the next step where you want to save the PDF file, and that's it. Once you click OK the PDF will be saved where you pointed it to save.
Pretty much is the same thing as creating the PDF from Microsoft Excel 2003, but a bit different due to the new look of 2007's Office. The resulting PDF file can be opened if you have installed a free PDF viewer/reader, such as Adober Reader or Foxit PDF Reader. Below you can see a video tutorial on how you can convert an entire Excel workbook to a single PDF file by using PDFCreator:

How to convert from Excel to PDF (Microsoft Excel 2003)

To convert from Excel to PDF (xls to pdf) you need two things installed: a PDF converter (also called PDF printer driver) and of course Microsoft Excel. The purpose of the PDF printer driver is to act as a virtual printer, so when you "send" the Excel document to the virtual printer, it will be converted to a PDF instead of actually printing it on paper. These steps need to be followed to convert spreadsheets from Microsoft Excel 2003 to a PDF:

  • Download and install a PDF converter, such as PDF Creator (just click on Free Download and it will start downloading automatically)
  • Once you have PDF Creator installed, open your Microsoft Excel spreadsheet document
  • Now click on File->Print and select from the list of printers the newly installed PDF Creator printer
  • It will ask you in the next step where you want to save the PDF file, and that's it. Once you click OK the PDF will be saved where you pointed it to save.
Again, PDF files can be opened if you have installed a free PDF viewer/reader, such as Adober Reader or Foxit PDF Reader.

PDF converters that support Excel to PDF

Pretty much every PDF converter out there should support converting Excel to PDF, but the difference comes in the quality of the resulting PDF and of course in the size of it. When I say quality I mean the fact that some PDF creators won't convert everything from the Excel document in the PDF exactly as the original, that's why is important to use a reliable PDF creator. These are some PDF creators that I've tested and work ok, if you have tested more you can send me a suggestion:

Leave your comments

If you have a question, suggestion or any news regarding excel to PDF conversion please post a comment via the form below:


If you have any questions regarding the conversion from Excel workbooks to single PDF files, email inf1@publish-articles.com