Convert Excel to PDF (Microsoft Excel spreadsheets to PDF)

This tutorial shows how to convert a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to PDF. novaPDF is a PDF converter that allows creating PDF files from any Windows application that supports printing. If you don’t have novaPDF installed, use the Download page to download and install it.

On this page: Convert spreadsheets from Excel to PDF (xls/xlsx to pdf) Video Tutorial Excel 2007 to PDF Video Tutorial Excel 2010 to PDF Printing an entire Excel workbook to a single PDF file Convert Excel to PDF using the novaPDF Add-In

Microsoft Excel is a program used to create electronic spreadsheets, to organize data into rows and columns and to perform mathematical calculations. By installing novaPDF you can convert your spreadsheets and workbooks into PDF files – simply choose novaPDF as a printer and once you click the Print button your spreadsheet will be converted to a PDF. Having your Excel spreadsheet in PDF format is an advantage if you want to send it to other users (the persons receiving it do not need in this case Excel installed) or to print it.

Convert spreadsheets from Excel to PDF (xls/xlsx to pdf)

novaPDF is installed as a virtual printer so you can create PDF files simply by printing to it instead of your normal printer.

To convert your Microsoft Excel 2007 spreadsheet to a PDF:

  1. Download and install novaPDF using our Download page
  2. Open Microsoft Office Excel and go to Office Button->Open, browse for the spreadsheet you want converted to PDF and open it
  3. Go to Office Button->Print and in the Printer section select novaPDF
  4. Before creating the PDF file you can adjust novaPDF’s settings by using the Properties button (for instance adding document information, using auto-save options, embedding fonts, adjusting page size and resolution)
  5. In the Print what section, you can choose to print the active worksheet (Active sheet), certain areas of the worksheet (Selection) or the Entire workbook.
  6. Click on OK and choose a location where you want the PDF file saved. After the PDF is created it will be automatically opened in the default PDF viewer (this action is set by default but It can be configured too using novaPDF’s Properties window )
  • excel2007topdf flat

Video tutorial on how to convert Excel 2007 to PDF:

To convert your Microsoft Excel 2010 spreadsheet to a PDF:

  1. Download and install novaPDF on your computer if you haven't done this already by accessing our Download page
  2. Open Microsoft Office Excel and go to File->Open, browse for the spreadsheet you want converted to PDF and open it
  3. Go to File->Print and in the Printer section select novaPDF
  4. Before creating the PDF file you can adjust novaPDF’s settings by using the Printer Properties button (for instance adding document information, using auto-save options, embedding fonts, adjusting page size and resolution)
  5. In the Settings section, you can choose to print the active worksheets (Print Active sheets), certain areas of the worksheet (Print Selection) or the Entire workbook.
  6. Click on Print and choose a location where you want the PDF file saved. After the PDF is created it will be automatically opened in the default PDF viewer (this action is set by default but it can be configured too using novaPDF’s Properties window)
  • excel2010topdf flat

Watch this video tutorial on how to convert an Excel 2010 sheet to a PDF:

Printing an entire Excel workbook to a single PDF file


By default, Excel will print only the active sheet(s), so if you want to print the entire workbook to a single PDF file you have to follow these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Office Excel and go to Office Button->Open, browse for the workbook you want converted to PDF and open it
  2. Right-click the tab for any of the sheets you have in the workspace and choose the Select all Sheets option
  3. Go to Office Button->Print and select Entire workbook in the Print what section
  4. Make sure novaPDF is selected in the Printer name section and click OK to create the PDF file
  5. novaPDF will ask you where to save the PDF and it will open the PDF when it's created

Note: In Excel 2010, printing an entire workbook to a PDF can be done by just selecting the "Print Entire Workbook" option in the Settings area.

Convert Excel to PDF using the novaPDF Add-In

During installation novaPDF gives the option to install an add-in for Microsoft Office. By default is checked and it will add in the supported Microsoft Office applications (for now is available in Word and Excel) another tab called novaPDF that will let users create PDF files directly from the Office interface by simply clicking a button.

To create PDF files from Microsoft Excel using the novaPDF Add-in:

  • Open the Microsoft Excel workbook you want to convert
  • Click on the novaPDF menu item
  • Optionally you can change the settings of the novaPDF printer, or those of the novaPDF add-in for Microsoft Office
  • Click on Save As PDF and you'll be asked for a location where to save the resulting PDF file

The add-in has installs itself with default settings, but those can be modified if you need advanced customization of the resulting PDF. These are the settings to configure in the novaPDF Office Add-in:

  1. Advanced - This lets you select which printer to use and if you want to save the document before converting it.
  • excel advanced addin

In the Advanced tab we have the following options:

  • Save document before printing - When checked, it will save any changes done to the currently opened document before doing the conversion to PDF.
  • Convert document information - If you have any information added via document properties in Excel, you can have that recognized and transmitted in the PDF as Document Information (i.e. the Author, Title/Subject, Keywords, ...). By default this option is checked.
  • Use novaPDF printer - This will detect if you have other editions/versions of novaPDF installed and you'll be able to select which version/edition to use for the current conversion process.
  • Convert sheet names to PDF bookmarks - If this is checked, sheet names from the Excel workbook will become bookmarks in the resulting PDF file.
  • Print entire workbook - If you have an workbook with several sheets you can convert it entirely to a single PDF document by checking this box.

2. Links - This section lets you customize how links will be detected and converted in the resulting PDF file.

  • excel links addin

In the Links tab we have the following options:

  • Generate PDF Links - If this is checked, all links in the current document will be detected and converted as active links in the resulting PDF file.
  • Convert cross document links - If checked it will convert links pointing to other documents.
    • Use relative paths - check this to use non-absolute links for file paths (i.e. /Documents/file.pdf instead of C://Documents/file.pdf)
    • Change file extension to PDF - when creating cross document links, all those pointing to other files can point to PDF files having the same name/path (in case those will be converted afterwise)
  • Convert cross reference links - If checked this will convert the cross-reference links from Excel (links that point the reader to various places within the same document).
  • Convert Internet links - If checked this will convert all hyperlinks pointing to Internet addresses in the resulting PDF document.

If you are asked to save each individual workbook as a separate PDF, see this detailed tutorial on how to fix this: Printing an entire Excel workbook to a single PDF file

novaPDF includes a PDF merging (combining) option, so if you want to add new Excel worksheets in an existing PDF you can use novaPDF's own merge option. This will let you print an Excel worksheet to PDF and after that print other worksheets to the same pdf (before, after or as background/foreground for the existing PDF). Even better, you can merge content with an existing PDF from other programs too (so for instance if you want to print to the same PDF an Excel worksheet, a PowerPoint presentation and a Publisher file, you can use novaPDF's merge/combine/overlay option to do so). You can read more about the PDF merging option here: Merge PDF files with novaPDF

This tutorial shows how to convert Excel to PDF files (xls/xlsx to pdf), if you have suggestions on how to improve this article add a comment or rate it.

Applies to:

  • novaPDF Printer 1.x - 7.x
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2000, XP, 2003, 2007, 2010

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