Coming in SP2: Save as PDF or XPS

In this week’s blog post, we’d like to talk about a cool feature that’s coming in Office 2007 Service Pack 2: the ability to save a document as a PDF or XPS file right from your favorite Office applications.

First, a little background. Saving as PDF is one of the most common feature requests we hear from our customers. What many people don’t realize is that we actually created a PDF/XPS download for Office 2007 that anyone can download for free! So, in order to make this handy feature accessible to more of our customers, we’ve decided to include the download with Service Pack 2 (SP2) once it is released.

What does this mean for me?

What this means for you depends on which of the following four categories you fall into:

·        You didn’t have our free PDF/XPS download installed before you installed SP2. After installing SP2, you’ll be able to save documents as PDF and XPS files natively in most Office apps. To learn how to use this feature, see the section below.

·        You already had our free PDF/XPS download installed before you installed SP2. In this case, installing Service Pack 2 will simply upgrade you to the latest version of our PDF/XPS download, which includes some bug fixes but otherwise works exactly the same as the previous version.

·        You or your company have taken explicit steps to block the PDF/XPS feature from being used (for instance, via Group Policy settings). Don’t worry! Your settings will still be honored after upgrading to SP2—the ability to save as PDF or XPS from Microsoft Office apps will continue to be blocked.

·        You are a system administrator who hasn’t blocked the PDF/XPS feature from being used yet, but you would like to do so before deploying SP2 at your company. You can use Group Policy to block the ability to save as PDF or XPS on the computers at your company, so don’t hold off on installing SP2 just because it includes this feature. Follow the instructions at this link to download and install Group Policy administrative templates. To block the PDF/XPS export capabilities in Office 2007, you’ll want to install the office12.adm template. Then, in the Group Policy Editor, look for “Microsoft Save As PDF and XPS add-ins” and enable the “Disable Microsoft Save As PDF and XPS add-ins” policy. If you have installed PDF or XPS add-ins made by companies other than Microsoft, these will continue to work.

How do I save my documents as a PDF or XPS file?

Some of you may be wondering how to save a document as a PDF or XPS file once you’ve installed either the download or Service Pack 2. Well, it’s quite simple, but it depends on which Office application you’re using. In Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Access—which use what we here at Microsoft call the “Ribbon”—you can save as PDF or XPS by opening the Office Menu, clicking on Save As, and selecting PDF or XPS as shown in the screenshot below.

Save as PDF/XPS in ribbon apps

Meanwhile, in other Office applications, such as Publisher and OneNote, you can save as PDF or XPS by clicking the File menu and choosing Publish as PDF or XPS, as illustrated in the screenshot below.

Save as PDF/XPS in non-ribbon apps

It’s as easy as that! So, now that you know how to use this nifty feature, enjoy the ability to save your documents as PDF or XPS files in Office 2007.

Omeed Chandra
Software Engineer in Test


About the contributor:  Omeed Chandra is a Software Development Engineer in Test on the Microsoft Publisher team. He has been working at Microsoft for a year and a half, and is convinced that the music scene has been all downhill ever since The Beatles broke up.

Comments (26)

  1. LL45 says:

    I believe I have found a potential bug in the Publisher 2007 pdf application.

    I was using Publisher 2007 to create PDF’s using the "Publish as PDF or XPS" tool without any problems. I decided to change the file name of an existing .pub file by clicking on the file and renaming it (as opposed to the "save as" feature). (Note: I had created the file using Pub 2007 and had been previously successful in creating pdf’s with it).

    After I changed the name of the file, when I tried to publish as pdf I received the message: "Publisher cannot save the file" I tried creating a brand new .pub file and rebooting the pc and still get the message.  I also received the message when trying to publish to a .xps file as well.

  2. LL45 says:

    We found out the problem was related to a printer driver. We reinstalled the printer and it worked so please disregard above post.


  3. pubteam says:

    Even though you found the culpit wasn’t Publisher, thank you for letting us know.  We sometimes get random reports of issues like yours, and all the information we get about the issues helps us help other users.

  4. devvee says:

    Perhaps its due to a wrong setting in my word, but when I add a background image (through the page background color function) it is displayed properly in word. It fills the whole page and it looks as I intended it to look.

    When I save as PDF or XPS it changes this background into a repeating background instead, making the document unreadable.

    My current fix for this is to use the background image in the header of the document but this makes word quite a bit slower.

  5. pubteam says:

    Yes, devvee, this is a bug in Office 2007 PDF.  Your workaround is the current best bet here.  We’re working on fixing this for Office 2010.

  6. Larry says:

    I have tried to convert files in Publisher 2007 to PDF only to have the program tell me Publisher has stopped working and the program will closet. I have gone to the solutions only to find there are none.

    The PDFandXPS addin is not located in the addins in Publisher.  I can however convert files in Word 2007.

    The file shows up in the ADD/Remove programs.

    Any idea wh Publisher won’t load the download.

  7. pubteam says:

    Hi Larry,

    You don’t say which flavor of Pub2007 you are running – is this SP2?  Or earlier?

    Are the files you are trying to convert fairly simple files, with some text and a few pictures?  Or are they more complex?  Or is everything failing?

    If you are running pre-SP2 Pub2007, try either upgrading to SP2 or uninstalling the Add-in and reinstalling it.


  8. satbn says:

    Hello pubteam,

    I have a major issue with the SaveAsPDF feature used through Excel. If the Excel worksheet has images/shapes, then they (the images/shapes) get over-bloated in the PDF hence mutilating the entire layout of the worksheet. I see that there is some issue with image handling in Word.

    Can you please confirm if this is a known bug and what is the resolution for this? My customers also have started escalating this issue since my product uses this feature!

    Note – I had used it earlier (say about a month back) without any issues and SP2 has been installed later. But I am not sure whether that is the culprit. And, to check out, I am not able to uninstall SP2. Microsoft support confirmed that I wouldn’t be able to uninstall in some cases!

    Please help.

    Office version being used: Office 2007; SP2

  9. pubteam says:


    Do you have a spreadsheet that you wouldn’t mind giving to us to test on?  I’m not reproing your issue, but it’s possibly a difference in the way we are set up.  If you can give me a spreadsheet that repros the issue, send it to and I’ll take a look.  

    One thing that you might try is to double check your printer settings.  Save as PDF from Office 2007 uses these settings to determine how several things render in the final .pdf file.  If anything there is different than you expect, that might be the culprit.

    A note on files sent to us for testing:  all files are kept on secure servers internal to Microsoft and used only for testing and development work.  They are not sent to external vendors without the express written consent of the originating person or company.


    Cherie Ekholm

    Senior Test Lead

  10. Matt K says:

    I am having challenges with images on my excel spreadsheet bloating when saving as pdf in office 2007.  We use our spreadsheets in our product as well.  Did you ever figure out the workaround to the question above with similar issue?  I have tried to find a workaround, but no luck yet.  Thanks.

  11. pubteam says:

    Matt K – I’m still looking for a document or two that will reproduce this issue.  Is there any possibility that you could send me a file where you are having this problem?

    Files can be sent to

    Thank you.

    Cherie Ekholm

    Senior Test Lead

  12. Caron says:

    I am trying to "Publish to PDF" a 6 x 4 postcard I designed. After I publish it to PDF, the PDF version has all the text/graphics too far to the right. It looks the left margin is way off. HOw do I correct this? The print preview in Publisher shows the correct alignment.

    Please help.

  13. Thomas Førde says:

    I have a problem with the save as pdf and excel aswell. i tried to send a mail to, but all i get back is User unknown.

  14. Atsuya says:

    I have satbn’s problem, too.

    I sent a sample file to

  15. ram says:

    Running Word 2007 Professional and Windows XP Operating system. System set with auto updates.

    Save as PDF worked like a charm until yesterday.  It began saying file in use by another user or application.  Clicking on help sent me to Microsoft site where every possible troubleshooting offer was done, all to no avail (Microsoft knowledge base article 918593)

    System has been restarted numerous times, AVG 8.5 firewalls, virus, disabled,Pareto Logic disabled. PDF/XPS add on uninstalled reinstalled. Tried a number of help sites without success.  

    Document is single page with one jpeg photo, one gif and some text in a text box, a new document with the word "test" bought up same error.

    Have spent over six hours on this between last evening and tonight.  I’m out of ideas, and find Microsoft very frustrating, auto updates recommended but seem to wreak havoc rather then be fixed with the next update…

  16. Ram says:

    Hello again

    When trying to save PDF from and Excel file a different error message shows up "Document not saved.The document may be open or an error may have been encountered while saving"

  17. Robert says:

    Since downloading the most recent Vista Service Pack, the PUBLIDH TO PDF/XPS function has been affected.

    I use this finction a great deal and until the most recently update have had no problems at all saving a wide range of PDFs from WORD and PUBLISHER.

    However… i am trying to save a 34 page publisher document (1.62mb) to PDF, something i have done countless times in the past, and the error message “Publisher cannot save the file” with no explanation whatsoever. Very frustrating.

    I went back into old publishers files containing several pages (and larger mb) and they seemed to still publish to PDF just fine. It only affects files created since my last service update.

    Otherwise, i have no problems with my computer or windows system, so i’m putting this down to a new bug.

    Anyone else experiencing similar problem?

  18. Nick says:

    @ Robert

    I have exactly the same problem. It’s very frustrating.

    With my last publisher document it worked after an half day of work and retrying. Publisher is a fine program, but the export-function isn’t working fine right now.

  19. Eirik says:

    I have an issue with the Save as PDF plugin for Word. When I read the PDF’s at my computer they all work fine, but when I print them some characters are missing. I have tried to print them from different computers to different printers with the same result.

    Is there a solution to this issue?

  20. Ryan B says:

    I’m also having the same issue as satbn (images oversized when saving as pdf in excel).  I’ve tried to send you an email with my file to, but also got kicked back as user unknown.

    Office 2007, SP2



  21. Karl Graves says:

    I am having a similar prombelm saving excel to PDF. When charts or images are included they become stretched, misplaced etc making the document un-readable. I have been using for a while with no problems but the issues started after insalling SP2.

    I have  KPI sheets that save to PDF and email out of excel daily and the management is getting incresaingly frustrated that I cannot solve the issue.

    help please ?

  22. Dirk says:

    I have the same problem "file in use by another user or application" saving a document with a JPG image

  23. david says:

    I publish to pdf in CMYK to send off to a printer, but the fonts come out as black instead of the red I’ve chosen. It looks fine in print preview.

    Any suggestions?

  24. wijnand says:

    I have a problem with the save as pdf function. The logo of my company is modified when saved to pdf. On the right and top side a line is displayed. In Word or Excel the lines are not displayed, also not when it’s printed on paper.

    Any idea what this can be

  25. Tara says:

    Ive been having the same problem for a while now. On random occasions it simply wont let me save to pdf using the "Save As PDF" feature. However if I print to PDF (Using Cute PDf) it works fine.

    Which is fine except when I need to save to commercial printing standards and now it simply says "Cannot Save as PDF" without providing any other messages.

    Other times it says the file is in use by another user. Restarting system has no effect.