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Anybody aware of a piece of software which could do MS Office .doc to .pdf conversion for me?

I already tried OpenOffice but it appeared to be rather slow and resource-hungry for large documents.

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migrated from Feb 26 '10 at 15:57

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possible duplicate of How do I convert this filetype to pdf? – Bobby Jun 11 '10 at 14:25

24 Answers 24

If you have MS Office 2007, you can use the Save as PDF plugin.

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With the latest service it is no longer a plugin- it is now provided out of the box – RichardOD Dec 3 '09 at 16:04

PDFCreator is a free print-to-pdf tool based on ghostscript. It's fairly good, although the output of Acrobat Distiller tends to be a bit nicer.

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If you want to do it programmatically and you're a .NET or Java programmer, you could use Aspose.Words in combination with Aspose.PDF.

It worked well for me.

EDIT: It seems that using a recent version, you only have to license Aspose Words.

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These days Aspose.Words can do Microsoft Word document to PDF conversion alone, without using Aspose.Pdf. You only need one product and it works more precise. – romeok Jan 20 '10 at 9:30
As a developer who has worked with Aspose's suite, I found it to be poorly designed and a true pain to code against. I would never recommend that product to anyone, ever. – BBlake Jan 20 '10 at 13:09
@BBlake: Also use it (for Excel) and not impressed with it either. – user12925 Feb 26 '10 at 10:01

I regularly use - and recommend - PrimoPDF, which is available in both free and paid-for incarnations.

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Office 2007 has a free PDF export Add-In available here

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Adobe Acrobat for money


CutePDF for free, and it's great!

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I personally use PDF 995, a free pdf-printer :) works great

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And no one mentioned openoffice with built in PDF saving support?

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Built-in, and excellent (like yielding clickable cross references, such as table of contents). – Arjan Mar 3 '10 at 7:26
Amen to that brother! – alpha1 Mar 3 '10 at 18:40

If you want to do it programatically take a look at my response here:

Convert DOC to PDF --

This is code I currently use and it works very well. It will handle anything that Word will open such as .doc, .docx, .rtf etc.

Also, if you have many files to convert you can write you code such that Word is opened once in the background and files are subsequently opened, converted and closed, works very fast and I've had no issues with crashing etc. even when converting thousands of files at a go.

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Hey, look what I found.

PHPLiveDocx is a document creation program in php. It can be used to convert Doc to PDF. I've not tried it yet myself, but I certainly shall be experimenting with it soonish.

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In the past I've tried different approaches. But now I'm fine with Microsoft Office Word 2007 and the SaveAsPDF-Addin. I've recorded the "save as pdf" process as macro and refined it a bit. Here is my current version:

Sub UpdateAndPDF()
' Update page header

    If ActiveWindow.View.SplitSpecial <> wdPaneNone Then
    End If
    If ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.Type = wdNormalView Or ActiveWindow. _
        ActivePane.View.Type = wdOutlineView Then
        ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.Type = wdPrintView
    End If
    ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.SeekView = wdSeekCurrentPageHeader
    ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.SeekView = wdSeekMainDocument

' Update document (like F9)


' create PDF

    PDFFilename = (Replace(ActiveDocument.FullName, ".doc", ".pdf"))
    ActiveDocument.ExportAsFixedFormat OutputFileName:= _
        PDFFilename _
        , ExportFormat:=wdExportFormatPDF, OpenAfterExport:=False, OptimizeFor:= _
        wdExportOptimizeForPrint, Range:=wdExportAllDocument, From:=1, To:=1, _
        Item:=wdExportDocumentContent, IncludeDocProps:=True, KeepIRM:=True, _
        CreateBookmarks:=wdExportCreateHeadingBookmarks, DocStructureTags:=True, _
        BitmapMissingFonts:=True, UseISO19005_1:=False

' Close Word

End Sub

With the macro option of word I can use this macro in the command line for automation purposes. e. g.

"c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\WINWORD.EXE" wordfile.doc /mUpdateAndPDF 

If you want to use it for several documents in a batch file, you can try this:

@echo off
SET WORD="c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\WINWORD.EXE"
FOR %%f in (*.doc) do %WORD% %%f /mUpdateAndPDF

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You could use online service like one at No need to install any software.

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Same as Stu Mackellar, I use primo pdf and am very happy with it. Some don't like that the free version converts hypertext links to text, but I am OK with that.

-- mike

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If you're just doing it occasionally, you can use to do all sorts of conversions.


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I have researched this market extensively and Aspose.Words is worth considering. It does a good job and is 100% .net, but if you are after perfect fidelity (Aspose doesn't render footnotes, limited text flow and floating objects) then the only option you have is to automate Office directly, which is a pain on the server, or use a product that has done all the hard work for you such as the Muhimbi PDF Conversion Service that runs on a server and can be called using a web service.

Full disclosure, I work for Muhimbi (which is why I have researched the market so extensively).

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Aspose.Words has been mentioned above. I just want to add the most recent info.

Aspose.Words now converts to PDF by itself (you previously needed Aspose.Words + Aspose.Pdf). One component to use is better than two.

One of the benefits you get with Aspose.Words is that you can get the same great looking documents not only in PDF, but in XPS, render pages as images and even print documents.

I'm on the Aspose.Words team.

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Can you please show me where the documentation says this or how to do it with the trial dlls? I can't seem to find it. The current doco says you need words and pdf. I am very much considering using ASPOSE.Words if this is the case. – pwee167 Dec 23 '09 at 5:01
This is the basic topic in the "programmers guide"… There is also Document.SaveToPdf method with a couple of overloads… – romeok Jan 20 '10 at 9:08

I havent looked at the built in PDF features in the last couple of years, but you can use office automation to print to a PostScript Printer driver, which can be be setup as a printer. This creates a PostScript(PS) File which can be converted to PDF using GhostScript.

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I am using doPDF, really great and it doesn't popup any adds like PDF 995

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Office 2010 and above can save the file as pdf without any plug-in. Office 2013 can even open and edit the pdf file (of course if the file has not been protected from editting)

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See this question for the C# code to a free Word to PDF converter.

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