How to save excel as PDF

6 minute read

In this article, we’ll show you a couple of methods you can use to save an Excel sheet as a PDF. 

The easiest way by far is to simply convert your Excel file to a PDF file using Soda PDF. 

Excel Files to PDF Files 

If you work with Excel files, you know that sometimes you need to convert them to PDF in order to share your sheet in a cleaner, more readable format. You might only want to send a piece of your spreadsheet, or just have it not be editable. 

PDF is also a more web-friendly format and is supported by many browsers and other programs. 

Saving an Excel spreadsheet as a PDF file can be a tricky and confusing process. In the end, your spreadsheet will likely not appear as a clearly defined document with margins and borders. 

So you need a way to transform your spreadsheet into a good-looking, easy to read PDF document. 

Our first method will involve converting that Excel file to a PDF file using Soda PDF’s free online Excel to PDF conversion tool. 

Converting your Excel file to PDF using Soda PDF 

If you want to save your Excel file into a readable, clean PDF without the hassle of preparing it in Microsoft Office, you can use Soda PDF’s free online converter tool

Here’s how to turn your Excel Spreadsheet to a PDF format file: 

  1. Go the Soda PDF site. 
  1. Select the Online Tools menu from the home page and go to the “View all tools” section. 
  1. Select Excel to PDF from the menu. 
  1. Drag and drop the file. You can also select and change the orientation of the pages within the file if you like. 
  1. Download your new PDF file when ready and view it in your browser. 
  1. You can then send the PDF attachment over email or share it however you like. 

What is Soda PDF? 

Soda PDF is a comprehensive PDF file management app. It’s designed to solve all your editing, converting needs and more. 

Soda PDF does way more than just convert Excel files to PDF! You can actually use it in 3 different ways, two of which are online: 

  1. Soda PDF free one-off web-based tools (online converters and more) – works on all platforms (Windows, Mac, etc.) 
  1. Soda PDF Online (full suite) – ideal for Mac users 
  1. Soda PDF Desktop (full suite) – Windows only 

Soda PDF website-based tools are just one-off solutions designed to help people searching for quick and free PDF file management. They are limited to processing one file at a time. 

The full suite of Soda PDF tools comes two forms: Soda PDF online and desktop versions. These are full-featured programs and can transform multiple files (to and from PDF or any other format) at the same time. 

If you’re looking for more power and functionality, check out Soda PDF’s full online version if you’re on a Mac or PC, or download and install the Soda PDF desktop app if you’re using Windows. 

These versions require an account registration, but also feature a 7-day free trial. The web-based one-off tools are always free and don’t require any sign-up. With the free solutions on the website, you can only work with a single Excel document (or PDF) at a time, but there’s also a limit to the size of file you can work with. 

These PDF editors just an easy way to do one-off tasks. There’s also a daily limit for using them. Of course you’ll need a browser and internet connection to use them. 

They are designed for people who just need a quick, free and easy way to manage their file formats, such as doing a quick document conversion task for sharing by email. 

If you want to work with multiple Excel spreadsheet documents to PDF for emailing, you’ll need to use either the Soda PDF Online or Desktop versions for that type of Excel conversion. 

Microsoft Office: Preparing your Excel file to Save as a PDF 

Step 1. Page Setup 

In Office 2008 or later, go to the Page Layout tab. You’ll see a few options grouped under the Page Setup section. Here are the ones you need to find: 

Margins: How large the whitespace is between the edge of a document and the first cell. 

Orientation: Landscape or portrait. Landscape usually works better for Excel files – portrait tends to cut off some columns from the margins. 

Size: The page size of your saved document. 

Step 2. Print Area and Fitting 

In this step you’ll define what area of your spreadsheet will be printed. You can do by clicking-and-dragging to select all the cells you want to include. Then, go to Page Setup > Print Area > Set Print Area. This will circle the area to be printed with a gray line. 

You can also manually add cells you want to include in your printed document by clicking the arrow on the lower-left corner and going to Sheets > Print Area. 

After you’ve defined your print area, go to the Scale to Fit option. To the right of Page Setup, there are three options: Width, Height, and Scale. The Width and Height options will allow you to set how many pages the rows or columns of your table will appear in. So if you have many rows but just a few columns, set the Width to one page. Scale will determine the overall resizing of your entire print area. 

Saving or Printing your Excel file as a PDF document 

Once your Excel document is properly formatted using the steps above, there are two ways you can create a PDF. Saving it as a PDF in Excel, or printing it as a PDF. 

To save the file as a PDF in Excel: 

Open the Save As dialog, and select PDF from the “Save as type” dropdown menu, OR go to Export > Export to XPS/PDF. 

Then, you can decide whether to optimize the file for Standard or Minimum, which will determine the final quality and file size of the document. You can then click “Options” to select the area to publish: 

  • Selection: The cells you have selected 
  • Active Sheets: The current sheet that you’ve selected 
  • Entire Workbooks: All the workbooks in the current file you’re working on 
  • Table: A defined table that you’ve created via Microsoft Excel 
  • You can also opt to ignore the print area you’ve set entirely. 

To print the file as a PDF: 

From the File tab (or File menu) in Excel, select Print. In Windows, when you’re selecting your printer from the printer dialog box dropdown menu that appears, you’ll see an option called Microsoft Print to PDF. That’s how you can print your file as a PDF. Before you click “Print”, remember look through your print preview to make sure everything looks good. You might want to Save File (from the File tab / menu) in Excel before you print. 

Is Soda PDF really free? 

Note that only the website-based functions like the online converter are – and they don’t require an email. 

Note that you’ll only be working with single documents when you use these online conversion tools, such as the Excel to PDF file converter. There’s also a daily limit for using them. They are designed for people who just need a quick, free and easy way to manage their document or image. 

Remember, the desktop and online apps have a free trial as well. You can download and install them quickly and easily and work offline with the desktop version if you need to. 

These will allow you to work with more than one file at a time, so you can batch convert multiple files. 

Is Soda PDF’s Excel to PDF Converter safe to use? 

Yes. Soda PDF’s website and free online converter tools are used by millions of people every month, and they are 100% secure. 

We use SSL encryption to ensure that your images and documents and data are not compromised, and remove the original and converted file after processing. 

After you select the Excel worksheet, upload it to the site and it’s done converting, you can always save the converted file to Google Drive if you’d like to have it easily available for sharing at a later time. 

If you want to work offline, you can always download the desktop version for Windows. 

It allows you to do all your work offline, from converting Excel to merging and compressing PDFs and more. This way your converted file won’t be on the internet unless you actively share it (such as sending it as an email attachment, for example). 

Use Soda PDF to Quickly Modify Documents from Anywhere! 

With both PDF files and editable Excel spreadsheets being so popular, it makes sense that you’ll need to go from one to the other at some point. 

Soda PDF is available on most operating systems and our online solution can be accessed from any mobile device. 

Transform Excel documents offline using our fully-featured desktop application. Start automatically with a FREE instant download of Soda PDF Desktop and enjoy a 7-day trial to our entire suite of tools whenever you create a new account (email registration required). 

Try Soda PDF Desktop

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