jbminn

2 minute read

If you are using a Mac running a recent version of OSX, the answer is No.  In fact this is super easy and is available from inside Microsoft Word.   If you run Windows, this feature isn’t available without an additional plugin from a third-party.

 

To convert a .DOC file to .PDF on your Mac, follow these steps:

 

 

  • Open the document in Word
  • Click ‘Print’
  • Notice the option at the bottom of the page ‘PDF >’
  • Click that “>” and then ‘Save as PDF’
  • Give the document a new name, like “document.pdf”
  • Click save
  • You’re done

 

 

This is handled in the print function because the operating system takes care of that. That is, this functionality is outside the control of the currently running application.  The currently running application is Word but the operating system is Mac OSX.  This isn’t a feature of Word and that’s why it isn’t found somewhere in the tools menu or in the ‘Save as’ menu.

 

Why is that?  A couple reasons, at least:  Apple licenses the PDF spec from Adobe and this has allowed them to write a mini-conversion utility right into the print sub-system.  The other reason is for purely competitive purposes: Microsoft wants to keep the document in .DOC format (or at least another Microsoft format), so saving to .PDF will neither show up in a top-level Word menu nor in the Windows operating system print sub-system anytime soon.  Apple has slipped this feature into an area they control and Microsoft can’t touch it.

 

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