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 to PDF Convert Excel to PDF using the novaPDF Add-In for Microsoft Office

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.

To convert your Microsoft Excel spreadsheets 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 2013 (or previous) 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 link
  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.
  • excel pdf

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

Convert Excel to PDF using the novaPDF Add-In

During installation novaPDF gives the option to install add-ins for Microsoft Office. By default is checked and it will add in the supported Microsoft Office applications (i.e. Word, Excel, PowerPoint) 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 novaPDF settings, or those of the novaPDF add-in for Microsoft Office by pressing on Settings
  • Click on Save As PDF and you'll be asked for a location where to save the resulting PDF file when you press OK.
    • excel addin pdf

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 Add-in for Office:

  1. Advanced - This lets you select which printer to use and if you want to save the document before converting it, as well as including the document information, converting sheet names to bookmarks and printing the entire workbook.
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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.
  • Add 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.

  • addin links

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

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 1.x - 8.x
  • Microsoft Office Excel 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013

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