Saving a File in a Different Format

Saving a File in a Different Format

When you save a Word document, the default file save format is the Microsoft Office Word 2007 DOCX format. If you want to be able to use the file with an earlier version of Word or with a different program, you can save it in a different file format.

See Also

For information about the DOCX format, see the sidebar "The DOCX Format" later in this chapter.

To save a document in a different file format, display the Save As dialog box, and then change the Save As Type setting to the format you want to use. If you want to save a Word document in a format that can be opened by the widest variety of programs, use one of the following formats:

  • Rich Text Format (*.rtf). Save the document in this format if you want to preserve its formatting.

  • Text Only (*.txt). Save the document in this format if you want to preserve only its text.

If you want someone to be able to view a document but not change it, you can save the document as a Portable Document Format (PDF) file. In recent years, PDF has become a common standard for distributing information. The text and graphics in a PDF file are essentially static, and because a PDF file breaks a document into discrete pages, it mimics the way information appears on a printed page. Unlike a printed document, however, a PDF file can be sent by e-mail to many recipients, or it can be made available on a Web page for download to anyone who wants it. Using a PDF file can also help guarantee the quality of your document when you print it because it sets exact page breaks, which ensures that the pages are printed as you intended them to be.

You can open and read PDF files by using a PDF reader such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is available as a free download from the Adobe Web site as well as from many Web sites that distribute PDF files. You can create PDF files from Word documents by purchasing the full version of Adobe Acrobat.


The PDF file is no longer a Word document, and it cannot be opened, viewed, and edited in Word. To view the document, you must have a PDF reader installed on your computer.

Saving a PDF File

You might want to check the Microsoft Downloads Web site for a free add-in that converts Word documents to PDF files. After you successfully install the add-in, you can save a document in PDF format by following these steps:

Click the Microsoft Office Button, point to Save As, and then click PDF or XPS.

The Publish As PDF Or XPS dialog box opens.

If you want to change the file name, in the File name box, type a new name for the converted document.

If you will be distributing the PDF file online, select the Minimum size (publishing online) option.


Whether you will distribute the PDF file in print or online, you can click Options to fine-tune the PDF output by selecting only certain pages of the document, including or excluding any existing comments and tracked changes, creating bookmarks in the PDF to the document headings or Word bookmarks, and so on.

In the Publish as PDF or XPS dialog box, click Publish.


With the same add-in, you can save documents in the XML Paper Specification (XPS) format, which is the new Microsoft XML-based format for delivering documents as electronic representations of the way they look when printed. You can also download separate SaveAsPDF and SaveAsXPS add-ins.

Using Add-Ins

Add-ins are utilities that add specialized functionality to a program (but aren't full-fledged programs themselves). There are several sources of add-ins:

  • You can purchase add-ins from third-party vendorsfor example, you can purchase an add-in that tracks the entire print history of a document.

  • You can download free add-ins from the Microsoft Web site or other Web sites.

  • When installing a third-party program, you might install an add-in to allow it to interface with a 2007 Microsoft Office system program. For example, you can install an add-in to capture screens from within an Office document.


Be careful when downloading add-ins from Web sites other than those you trust. Add-ins are executable files that can easily be used to spread viruses and otherwise wreak havoc on your computer. For this reason, default settings in the Trust Center intervene when you attempt to download or run add-ins.

To use some add-ins, you must first install them on your computer and then load them into your computer's memory, as follows:

Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then in the lower-right corner, click Word Options.

In the page list in the left pane of the Word Options window, click Add-Ins.

At the bottom of the page, click the Manage arrow, and in the list, click the type of add-in you want to install. Then click Go.

A dialog box corresponding to the type of add-in you selected opens. For example, if you select COM Add-Ins, the COM Add-Ins dialog box opens; if you select Templates, the Templates And Add-Ins dialog box opens.

In the dialog box, click Add.

In the Add dialog box, navigate to the folder where the add-in you want to install is stored, and double-click its name.

The new add-in appears in the list of those that are available for use.

In the Checked items are currently loaded list, select the check box of the new add-in, and then click OK.

The add-in is now available for use in Word.

To unload an add-in, display the Add-Ins dialog box and clear the add-in's check box to remove the add-in from memory but keep its name in the list. To remove the add-in from the list entirely, click the add-in name, and then click Remove.

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