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How to Convert Word to PDF [For Students]

May 13, 2024
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To ensure the sharing and security of your documents, instructors or teachers often require essays to be submitted in PDF format. However, finding a reliable conversion tool can be challenging. Many recommended tools either require payment or fail to preserve the formatting adequately. I too faced these issues until I discovered the life-saving tool I'll introduce to you in this article.

How to Convert Word to PDF

When to Convert Word to PDF?

In the academic world, ensuring your work is presented flawlessly is crucial. Converting your Word documents to PDFs offers several advantages:

  • Professorial Preferences: Many professors prefer submissions in PDF format for your essays, research papers, or thesis/dissertation. The major reason for this is to ensure that the academic style, such as APA or MLA, is maintained without formatting issues. Submitting in a Word document can cause problems because different writing software may interpret the formatting differently. Take Microsoft's recent update, for example, where the official font has been set to Aptos. If your document is in Aptos style and your professor uses a different office suite, there may be an error in the font.

Formatting errors in academic documents


  • Resume Readiness: For job applications or academic program admissions, a PDF resume maintains a professional appearance. It eliminates formatting inconsistencies that might occur when using different word processing software.

Formatting errors in Resumes


  • Application Advantage: The same principle applies to any application materials. Converting them to PDFs ensures consistent formatting, regardless of the receiving system. This allows your application to showcase your qualifications flawlessly.

How to Convert Word to PDF [Basic]

To answer the question of "How to Convert Word to PDF," we will be using the free and powerful WPS Office, an office suite that I use daily for several reasons. One of them is converting PDFs without losing any formatting, providing an easy and complete solution. This is beneficial for students working on their thesis during their studies or preparing their resumes for future job applications. Converting to PDFs in a few easy steps, alongside the common issue faced by Microsoft Word users where bookmarks are not exported, can easily be addressed in WPS Office.

The Easiest Method: Save Word Documents as PDF Using 'Save As

My preferred method for everyday conversion is using the simple 'Save as' feature, where I can ask WPS Writer to save my Word documents in other file formats, be it PDF or another format for some other use. WPS Writer is always my go-to choice. So let's learn how to save a Word document as a PDF by following these simple steps:

Step 1: Open your resume, job application, or essay document in WPS Writer that you want to convert to PDF.

Step 2: Click on the "Menu" button at the top left corner of the WPS Writer interface.

Step 3: In the Menu, select the "Save as" option, then choose the "Other Formats" option from the flyout menu.

WPS Writer Save as feature


Step 4: The Save as window will appear. Set the file type to "PDF Format (*.pdf)" in the "File Type" field.

WPS Writer Save Word document as PDF


Step 5: Users can also change the file name for their PDF document and adjust the location where they wish to save it. After making all the necessary settings, click on "Save" to convert Word to PDF.

WPS Writer Save as options


This feature is very similar to the one offered by Microsoft Office, but Microsoft Office doesn't provide a PDF solution in its office suite, whereas WPS Office stays with me throughout the journey after the document has been completed, offering a PDF conversion for free. This makes WPS Office an office suite for students looking to convert Word to PDF with easy solutions.

Convert Your Writing to PDF Containing the Structure

The second method involves advanced conversion of your Word document to PDF to retain the structure of your document, especially for lengthy documents. The problem I found with normally converting Word documents to PDF using Microsoft Word was that there were no bookmarks in the PDF version of my document. To recall what these bookmarks are, you may have used textbooks in PDF form during your academic cycle, so jumping from one section to another with a single click is possible if the bookmarks have been retained in the structure.

PDF Conversion with and without bookmarks


Now, let's say your professor is going through your dissertation or thesis, and they want to jump to a section like an exhibit, so with bookmarks, it becomes easier to navigate. Upon learning how to convert Word to PDF using Microsoft Word, I found out that the method was really complex as it involved several steps. But with my free Word to PDF converter, WPS Office, this only involves one single click to get bookmarks. Here is how students can make their PDF navigation easier using the following conversion tool:

Step 1: Let's open our lengthy Word document in WPS Writer to convert it to PDF.

Step 2: Now, click on the Menu button located at the top right corner.

Step 3: In the Menu, click on the "Export to PDF" option for a more enhanced PDF conversion.

WPS Writer Export to PDF option


Step 4: In the Export to PDF window, visit the "Advanced Settings" options to change the default settings.

Export to PDF Advanced settings


Step 5: Now, in the Content section of the Advanced Settings window, make sure to check the "Bookmark" checkbox to convert the Word document to PDF, then click on "Confirm".

Select Bookmarks in Advanced Settings


Step 6: Upon returning to the Export to PDF window, look for any additional settings such as the file location or change the name of the output PDF, then hit "Export to PDF".

Export Word Document to PDF with bookmark using WPS Writer


Your academic work has now been converted to PDF with all bookmarks, making it easier for navigation. As soon as you convert your Word document, you get yet another benefit of WPS Office: a dedicated PDF viewer and editor, so no need to download a separate PDF software. WPS Office, a single office suite, is all you need for all your academic endeavors.

Use WPS AI to Polish Your Writing

WPS Office has become a cornerstone for many, offering plenty of effortless solutions that have undoubtedly saved countless hours and improved productivity. Its suite of tools simplifies the writing and document creation process, making it accessible and user-friendly for students and professionals alike. However, where WPS Office truly shines is in its comprehensive PDF tools, which offer an unparalleled level of functionality and versatility.

Here's how students can utilize WPS AI Spell Check to ensure there are no inconsistencies in their academic work before submission:

Step 1: Go to the Review tab in WPS Writer and click on the "AI Spell Check" button.

WPS AI Spell Check


Step 2: This will open WPS AI Spell Check on the right side of the interface.

Step 3: To ensure you're following the correct formatting of your current academic style, click on "Set Goals".

Set Goals in WPS AI Spell Check


Step 4: Now, set your goal by selecting the Domain as "Academic".

Step 5: Next, simply choose the format of your document. This will ensure that you're correctly following all the guidelines laid out by the academic style you're following.

Set Academic Goals to ensure a more tailored Spell Check


For students, the scope of WPS AI becomes even more apparent. Not only does it provide invaluable assistance in writing and formatting academic papers, but it also serves as a comprehensive tool for document management and organization. With WPS Office and its AI capabilities at their disposal, students can tackle assignments and projects with confidence, knowing that they have a powerful ally to support them every step of the way.

Here's how students can enhance the quality of their work using WPS AI Writer:

Step 1: Select the text or section you want to improve using your cursor.

Step 2: Once the text is selected, right-click to open the context menu.

Step 3: From the context menu, click on the "WPS AI" icon to enable WPS AI Assistant.

Enable WPS AI


Step 4: Once WPS AI is activated, a set of options will be displayed in a context menu. Click on "Improve Writing".

Improve writing with WPS AI’s help


Step 5: WPS AI will process your request and display an improved version of the section. Students can choose to either discard the result or use it in their work.

Accept or discard results


Students have found a significant source of relief in WPS AI, particularly with its spell check and AI writer functionalities. These tools offer more than just basic corrections; they provide a comprehensive solution for refining content in terms of tone, style, and vocabulary. With WPS AI, students can effortlessly enhance the quality of their writing, ensuring clarity and professionalism in their work.

One of the standout features of WPS AI is its ability to provide summaries and direct answers extracted from PDF documents. This functionality streamlines the research process, allowing students to quickly grasp the main points of complex texts without having to read through them entirely. Also, WPS AI offers the option to shorten or expand content as needed, providing flexibility in tailoring the length and depth of academic papers or other written assignments.

Effortless PDF Workflows with WPS Office

WPS PDF is not like other PDF tools and has made a distinguished name for itself from other free Word to PDF converters in several ways, offering enhanced functionality and reliability, especially when handling multiple documents and preserving formatting:

  • No Daily Limits: Many free converters impose daily limits on conversions, which can be restrictive when dealing with numerous documents. WPS Office, however, does not have such limitations. This means that users can convert as many documents as needed without worrying about hitting a cap.

  • Batch PDF Export: The premium version of WPS Office includes a batch PDF export function, which enables users to convert multiple documents simultaneously. This feature is invaluable for streamlining workflow and saving time, particularly in professional settings where efficiency is paramount. For instance, imagine you're compiling a series of reports for a business presentation. With WPS Office's batch PDF export function, you can quickly convert all the reports into PDF format with just a few clicks, ensuring a smooth and polished presentation.

  • Preservation of Formatting: One of the most common concerns when converting documents to PDF is the risk of format distortion. WPS Office excels in preserving the formatting of documents, ensuring that the converted PDFs retain the same appearance and layout as the original files. For example, when converting a Word document with headings and subheadings to PDF, the bookmarks in the exported PDF file accurately reflect the structure of the document, making it easy for readers to navigate. In contrast, issues with bookmarks and formatting discrepancies have been reported when using other converters, such as Microsoft Word's built-in conversion feature.

  • Resume Templates: WPS Office offers a wide selection of professionally designed resume templates, making it easy for users to create polished and visually appealing resumes with minimal effort. These templates cover a range of industries and job roles, allowing users to find the perfect design to suit their needs.

WPS Resume Templates


Resumes can be effortlessly converted to PDFs using WPS Office's PDF tool, offering the simplest method I've encountered for maintaining formatting consistency and facilitating easy sharing.

Step 1: Open your resume document in WPS Writer.

Step 2: Go to the "Student Tools" tab and click on the "Annotate in PDF Format" option in the ribbon.

Student tools in WPS Writer


Step 3: This will instantly create a PDF of your resume and open it in a new tab within WPS Office.

Resume converted to PDF using WPS Writer

FAQs about Converting Word to PDF

Q1. Why can’t  I convert Word to PDF?

If you're unable to convert a Word document to PDF, consider the following solutions:

  • Check if the document is checked out: Ensure that no other user is currently editing or has the document checked out. You need exclusive access to convert it to PDF.

  • Remove password protection: Make sure the document isn't protected by a password. Password-protected documents can't be opened for conversion, causing conversion failures.

  • Verify the document size: Check if the file size is within the permissible limits for conversion. Large files may fail to convert properly. For example, Word documents should be smaller than 10 MB (10,485,760 bytes) for successful conversion to PDF. If the file size exceeds this limit, the conversion may fail with an error message indicating that the file size exceeds the maximum allowed size for Word conversions.

Q2. Why was I unable to save Word as a PDF?

You may be unable to save your Word document as a PDF if the app cannot locate your file's contents. To address this issue, follow these steps:

Step 1: Open the Word document you wish to save as a PDF.

Step 2: Go to the "File" menu and select "Share".

Step 3: Choose "Send PDF" to create a PDF version of your document that you can share via email.

Q3. Why should students convert a document to PDF?

For students, converting a document to PDF resolves compatibility issues that may arise when opening files on different computers. Documents containing tables and graphs can sometimes have messy layouts on various devices, but PDFs maintain consistent presentation and readability across desktop computers and mobile devices. It ensures accessibility and allows students to access their documents smoothly, regardless of the device they're using. Whether switching devices or sharing files with others, PDFs provide a reliable format for consistent document viewing.

A Students Solution for PDF Conversions

As a former student, I understand the struggle of finding a reliable PDF tool. However, when I discovered WPS PDF, I knew my search was over. From that moment until now, WPS PDF has catered to all my needs seamlessly. Students will find themselves relying on it time and again. Whether creating PDFs for resumes or submitting essays, converting to PDFs has never been easier with WPS Office. With just one simple step of exporting to PDF, all the problems are solved—and for free. Download WPS Office today to experience its PDF capabilities firsthand.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.