This article applies only to novaPDF. If you don't have it yet, you must download it first.

Download now Buy licenses
Adrian (Softland)
May 25, 2020
  • NovaPDF 10.x
  • NovaPDF 9.x
  • NovaPDF 8.x

We strive to keep our articles as accurate as possible. If you notice any inconsistencies or outdated info please let us know.

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:

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.

How 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

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 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:

Printers

This lets you manage the available PDF printers. With novaPDF you can create as many printers as you want, all sharing the same driver but each could use a different profile. From the list of Printers you are able to choose which will be active and how to handle the PDF creation. Furthermore, if you have older versions installed, those will show up as printers too in this list.

addin printers

In the Printers tab you can set the following options:

  • Show one Save As PDF button - If this is checked, in the Save As PDF section of the addin ribbon tab you'll be able to choose (with a drop-down) what printer to use for creating the PDF.
  • Show each printer as a button - You can also choose to show a different Save As PDF button for each printer in the ribbon addin tab.

Links

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

addin links

In the Links section you can set the following options:

  • Convert Links - If this is checked, all links in the current document will be detected and converted as active links in the resulting PDF file.
  • Web links - If checked this will convert all hyperlinks pointing to Internet addresses in the resulting PDF document.
  • Convert 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)
  • Open file in new tab - when this option is checked, the file linked from the current PDF will open in a new tab of your PDF reader (if the PDF reader has support for tabbed reading).
  • Cross reference links - If checked this will convert the cross-reference links from Word (links that point the reader to various places within the same document).
  • Convert links located in the Header and Footer - You can choose if you want links in header/footer converted in the resulting PDF file. Default is checked so links will be converted.
  • Convert Footnote and Endnote links - Check this to make sure that hyperlinks from Footnotes/Endnotes get converted to active PDF links.

Bookmarks

You can set various options related to detecting and generating PDF bookmarks.

addin bookmarks

In the Bookmarks section you can set the following options:

  • Convert Bookmarks to PDF Bookmarks - This is checked by default and will convert any Bookmarks defined already in the current document to bookmarks in the resulting PDF files.
  • Convert Headings to PDF Bookmarks - If this is checked, the Styles list becomes active and you can select which headings from the Word document will be transformed into bookmarks in the resulting PDF files. By default all tags with Heading (1-9) will be converted, as well as Title and Subtitle.
  • Select level - PDF bookmarks have numeric levels that place them in a specific hierarchy in the bookmark list. For example, a bookmark at level 1 will contain nested bookmarks at level 2, 3 and so on. For each selected style name from the Styles window you'll be able to select which level to apply to it. By default the Headings (1-9) have an incremental level according to their importance, but you can change those. For instance if you want the Heading 1 to be of level 5 just select it and change its level and this means that it will be nested to level 4 bookmarks.

Document

This lets you choose if you want to save the document before converting it (with or without the document information attached).

addin links

In the Document section you can set the following options:

  • Add document information - If you have any information added via document properties in the original file, 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.
  • Save before printing - When checked, it will save any changes done to the currently opened document before doing the conversion to PDF.

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.