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How to Make a PDF Family History from Your Microsoft Word Document

July 19, 2013

I keep my family history stories and histories in Microsoft Word documents. I use Word to update or edit my histories, but when I want a nice finished copy to print or share, I want my family histories in PDF because:

  • PDF family histories preserve formatting
  • PDF family histories are easy to share electronically
  • PDF family histories are easy to open, view or print
  • PDF are an excellent electronic format for archiving

From Microsoft Word it is easy to save a family history as a PDF. After formatting my text and adding images into my Word document the way I like, I am ready to save my family history as a PDF.

The following instructions follow MS Word 2007:

  1. Format your family history with headings and photos in Word and save your family history as a Word document (.docx).
  2. Go to the File menu and select Save As.
  3. Select PDF
  4. Name your PDF or use the default name in the File Name box which is the name of the Word document you are saving as a PDF.
  5. Select Publish. If you leave the Open file after publishing button checked, your new PDF family history will automatically open for viewing.

If your version of Word does not have this option, likely you are using an older version. There are free software options to convert documents to PDF available online. I have used doPDF and found it easy to install and use. Follow this link to read a review about doPDF and how it works:

I can’t recall how many times I have emailed PDF family histories to relatives. I have found that PDF family histories are a very usable format for most people use and enjoy.

Click here to download this post as a PDF.


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