A few years ago, Microsoft Word documents were the defacto format for sharing documents. Unfortunately, the format had several limitations including:
- Required Microsoft Word software to view the documents: In order to view or edit Word documents, all users needed to have a licensed version of Microsoft Word.
- Inconsistent Formatting: When a Word document was shared, there was no guarantee that the document layout would be rendered the same on all platforms regardless of operating system or hardware
- Large File Size: A multi-page Word document with images and charts would grow in size tremendously making it less then ideal to share to store
- Lack of Security: As all Word documents are editable by default, it is impossible to control who can make changes to them.
With all the limitations, it is easy to see why the PDF format took over from Microsoft Word as the most popular format for sharing documents.
There is however still one area where Microsoft Word reigns supreme and that is, document creation and editing.
How does one then go from creating a Word document and then converting to a PDF? There are many ways to convert PDF to Word.
1. On Mac OS, Print to PDF is Available System Wide: Let's get this out of the way, if you are using a Mac, you can simply use the macOS's print dialogue to convert any file to PDF.
2. Save As PDF in Microsoft Word: if you are using the latest version of Microsoft Word, you can easily save your Word document to PDF from the Save menu.
3. Use a PDF Print Driver: There are several PDF print drivers for Windows that range from free to paid and they all allow you to print any document, including Word documents to PDF. A few example include :
CutePDF Writer from http://www.cutepdf.com
Print to PDF from Adobe
BullZip from http://www.bullzip.com
4. Use an Online Service: this option should only be considered if the other options here do not work for you and only if your document does not contain sensitive/private data. You can use one of the many free online services to upload your document and have them converted to PDF. Just be aware that whatever your uploading is being sent to third party servers that you have no jurisdiction over.
If you would like to convert your PDF files to other formats such as Microsoft Word , Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Excel, HTML or JPG, or you would like to merge PDF files, split PDF documents and password-protect PDF files, check out All-About-PDF for Windows and online.