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Create a Save As PDF Keyboard Shortcut in MS Word

Saving documents in Word to PDF involves too many steps. The typical route involves first going to the File tab, then selecting the Export menu, then finally clicking the Create PDF/XPS.

The other less long-winded methods either involve going to the Save As dialog using F12 then choosing PDF from the drop-down or simply using Ctrl+P to print the document to PDF (assuming your default printer is set to a PDF printer).

To avoid all these unnecessary steps, we can create a keyboard shortcut that directly brings up the Publish as PDF or XPS dialog. Alternatively, you could also add a save to PDF button to the quick access toolbar.


The instructions below will work on all versions of Word that support saving to PDF natively, i.e. Word 2010 and later. If you’re using Word 2007 you’ll need to install the Save as PDF or XPS add-in to enable publishing to PDF.

  1. Go to Word Options.
  2. Select the Customize Ribbon option. In Word 2007 it’s just Customize.
  3. Below the list of commands, click the Keyboard shortcuts customize button.
  4. In the list of categories select File Tab. In Word 2007 this option is called Office Menu.
  5. Next, in the list of commands select the DocExport option.
  6. Just below the commands, put the cursor inside the Press new shortcut key box.
  7. Next, press the Keyboard shortcut you want to assign the command.
  8. If the shortcut is already assigned to another command, a message will be shown just below the Current key box indicating the active command. You can override the existing command or try another combination that’s not already in use e.g. Alt+Ctrl+0
  9. Once you’re done, press the Assign button to save the shortcut.

Now all you need to do to save your document as a PDF is just press the key combination and click the Save button. You’ll now save yourself at least three clicks every time you need to export a document to PDF.


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Kelvin Kathia

Kelvin Kathia is a writer that's passionate about sharing solutions to everyday tech problems. He's the founder and editor of Journey Bytes, a tech blog and web design agency. Feel free to leave him comments or questions regarding this post, or by leaving him a message on the contact page. If you found his content helpful, a donation is much appreciated.