The Benefits of Converting Documents to PDF and How to Do it Without Microsoft Office

The Benefits of Converting Documents to PDF and How to Do it Without Microsoft Office

by Hussain Ali Abid — 3 months ago in Development 4 min. read
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The Benefits of Converting Documents to PDF and How to Do it Without Microsoft Office

Portable Document Format or simply PDF is an open file format designed for digital documents, including text documents and images.


Developed by Adobe Systems, now the format is officially recognized by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and is commonly used for keeping and exchanging files in a reliable way. In this article, we will bring to light the benefits of converting documents to PDF and how how to do this if you don’t have Microsoft Office.
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Why convert documents to PDF?

PDF documents are quite common for both personal and corporate use, as this type of format has many advantages for specific purposes.

Some of the advantages that PDF documents can have are as follows:

  • Graphic integrity. PDF makes it possible to maintain the exact appearance of the document which remains so even if the document is sent by email or shared via the Internet.
  • Access restriction. PDF allows you to make use of various security tools to protect the content of the document. For example, passwords, watermarks or digital signatures.
  • Cross-platform compatibility. It doesn’t matter which software or operating system (Windows, macOS or Linux) is used to open and view a PDF file, as its visual representation is always the same. In other words, it’s not necessary to have a certain PDF editing application installed on your PC in order to be able to view the file correctly. All you need is a PDF reader so that the document can be viewed just as it was created.
  • High compression rate. A Word or PowerPoint file can take up a lot of space on your hard drive. However, when converted to PDF, it is significantly reduced in size, usually at a rate of 1:5 with respect to the original size.

For these reasons, the PDF format is ideal for keeping and sending various types of documents,  such as worksheets, guides, contracts, presentations, etc. But which software do we create, view and convert PDF files with?
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How to choose software for PDF conversion

It’s no secret that the most common software to convert documents to PDF is Microsoft Office. This office suite allows you to easily convert files without using third-party programs. The only drawback is its cost. Not everyone can afford to buy a lifetime licence or yearly subscription.

Of course, there are plenty of online services and tools that also offer the PDF conversion feature without having to install anything. They usually make it possible to convert files for free but with certain limitations, such as file size. You can buy a professional version and get access to all the features without limitations but the price might be too high.

Another disadvantage of all online PDF conversion tools is that you have to share your information and data with the service providers when uploading your documents. This is not acceptable if you work with confidential documents or care about data privacy.

Taking everything into consideration, the best option for the average user can be opting for an alternative office suite. If the compatibility with the Microsoft Office formats means a lot to you, we recommend you to try ONLYOFFICE Docs.
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How to convert documents to PDF with ONLYOFFICE Docs

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ONLYOFFICE Docs is an online open-source office suite that comprises collaborative editors for text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Built on top of the OOXML format (DOCX, XLSX and PPTX), the suite is totally compatible with Word, Excel and PowerPoint files, and supports other popular formats, too. Not only ONLYOFFICE allows you to edit and create documents of various types but it also makes it possible to convert them to PDF.

To save a document to PDF, open the application and go to the File tab on the top toolbar. Then click Download as… and choose PDF. Of course, you can also choose PDF/A. This format is very similar to the well-known PDF but is designed for the long-term archiving of files. If you plan to use the document many years later, you’d better select PDF/A.


Select a folder on your hard drive and don’t forget to click Save. After that, you will find the PDF file in the Downloads folder on your hard drive.

ONLYOFFICE Docs also comes with a free desktop app for Windows, Linux and macOS. If you don’t like editing documents in your browser, just download ONLYOFFICE Desktop Editors for your operating system.

Follow these steps:

  • Open the desktop app;
  • Go to the File tab on the top toolbar;
  • Click Save as…;
  • Choose the required format from the drop-down list;
  • Select a folder on your hard drive;
  • Click Save.

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If done correctly, the PDF file will appear in the chosen folder.

Congratulations, this is it! Now you know how to easily save documents to PDF using ONLYOFFICE Docs. Are you familiar with other simple ways of converting files to PDF? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Hussain Ali Abid

Hussain Ali Abid is an SEO professional from Mumbai and currently working as a freelance SEO executive and content writer. He is the founder of a digital marketing blog called The Digital Skipper that covers topics like SEO, digital marketing, blogging, make money online, and more.

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