Convert Excel spreadsheet to PDF
Adobe, Microsoft Excel


Learn how to convert Excel spreadsheet to PDF. There are several methods you can do, depending on your preference:

  • Convert an entire workbook to PDF
  • Convert a specific worksheet only
  • Convert a specific section within a worksheet
  • Save each worksheet within a workbook as separate PDF files.

What’s the Difference Between a Workbook and Worksheet?

Each separate Excel file is a workbook. A workbook consists of a single worksheet (spreadsheet) or a collection of them. You can easily control how many worksheets you want within your workbook.

How to Convert Excel Spreadsheet to PDF

It’s easy to export your entire workbook to PDF, but you don’t have to limit yourself to just this option. Here are four different ways of converting your documents.

1. Save Entire Workbook as PDF

Method 1

File → Save As → select PDF from the drop-down list (need to scroll).

save as PDF option

Note: it should be set on ‘Entire Workbook’ by default. This is how you can check:

1. File → Save As → select PDF from the drop-down list

2. Select ‘More options’

Save as PDF - more options

3. Press the ‘Options’ button

Save as PDF - options button

4. In the ‘Publish What’ section, check that ‘Entire Workbook’ is selected → OK.

Save as PDF - entire workbook

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Method 2

File → Export → Create a PDF/XPS Document.

Save as PDF-XPS Document

Method 3

File → Print → select ‘Adobe PDF’ from the printer menu → Print → name your document and save.

Print as Adobe PDF

2. Save a Specific Worksheet as PDF

If you have several worksheets within your workbook, but you only want one specific worksheet converted, apply these steps:

  1. Make sure you’ve clicked on the tab of the worksheet you want converted
  2. File → Save As → select PDF from the drop-down list
  3. More Options → press the ‘Options’ button
  4. In the ‘Publish What’ section, tick ‘Active Sheets’→ OK
  5. Name your PDF file and save.

Save active sheets as PDF

Note: you can do this for more than one tab at a time. E.g. if you want to convert tabs ‘TEST 1’ and ‘TEST 3’, hold down the Ctrl key and select both tabs. Then do the steps above.

Selecting multiple tabs at a time to save as PDF

3. Save a Selection as PDF

If you only want a certain section within a single worksheet converted to PDF, apply these steps:

  1. Hold down your left mouse button and drag to highlight the section you want converted
  2. File → Save As → select PDF from the drop-down list
  3. More Options → press the ‘Options’ button
  4. In the ‘Publish What’ section, tick ‘Selection’ → OK
  5. Name your PDF file and save.

Save a selection of excel spreadsheet as PDF

4. Save Multiple Worksheets within a Workbook as Separate PDF Files

1. Save your entire workbook as a PDF

Worksheet example
Example: a workbook with 3 sheets (TEST 1, TEST 2, TEST 3) saved as PDF

2. Open your PDF file in Adobe Acrobat

3. On page 1, right click → Add Bookmark (or Ctrl+B)

Add bookmark in the PDF file

4. Double click on the icon in the left column to give it a name (e.g. TEST 1)

5. Scroll to page 2, repeat the same steps and so on

Naming PDF Bookmarks

6. In the top ribbon, go to Document → Split Document

7. In the pop-up box select ‘Top Level Bookmarks’ → OK

Split PDF document - top level bookmarks

8. You’ll get a message confirming the document has successfully split into various documents

9. By default, it would’ve saved where your original file is located. You will now see the new documents, labelled ‘Part1’, ‘Part2’ etc.

Worksheets split into separate PDF files

Looking for More Options?

You can purchase software like Kutools Plus that have more tools for these types of tasks. And there are free online tools available to convert your Excel spreadsheet to PDF.

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