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Convert Microsoft Word Files to Adobe Acrobat PDF Files Free

written by: Meryl K Evans•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 12/10/2009

Want to convert Microsoft Word documents to pdf files to share with others regardless of platform or device? Convert your Microsoft Word document .doc files to Adobe Acrobat .pdf files with these free tools.

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    With many free applications that can open and read Microsoft Word .doc and .docx files, why would anyone need to convert them to Adobe Acrobat .pdf? Acrobat Reader comes for all devices and systems. Not all handheld devices can open and view .doc files, but they have Adobe Acrobat Readers that can handle .pdf files. Also, .pdf files tend to take up less space and load faster than .doc files.

    Acrobat .pdf files sometimes load slowly, especially for larger files containing lots of graphics. However, it can take just as long to open a .doc file. You also can't guarantee the document will look exactly as you want if the person opening the file doesn't have the fonts used in the document. Besides, you have many free options for converting .doc files to .pdf.

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    Free Applications to Convert Microsoft Word Documents to PDF

    You don't have to buy the full-fledged Adobe Acrobat Professional to convert files to .pdf. The following lists free applications that will convert Microsoft Word documents to pdf files:

    • 2007 Microsoft Office Add-in: Saves your Microsoft Office 2007 documents as PDF files as well as XML Paper Specification (XPS) format.
    • doc2pdf, a web-based application that converts Microsoft Word files to pdf.
    • Media Convert, a web-based application that handles files up to 200 MB, but site contains a lot of ads so watch your step.
    • PDF Online, a web-based application that handles files up to 2 MB size. Anything higher won't be free.
    • PrimoPDF, a software application you download and install on your PC. Handles over 300 file types.

    The advantage of web-based applications is that you don't have to download and install anything. However, you're submitting a file over the Internet, which won't be as secure as converting the file on your computer. If you need to convert files on a regular basis, a downloaded software solution may be ideal. If you only convert files once in a while, then a web-based solution may work best.

    How do shareware applications do any business if freeware applications exist? Freeware applications don't come with some of the features found in shareware. For example, they may not convert links into clickable links. Freeware applications may not be able to convert a file type you need, but most can handle Microsoft Word documents.