tech tips for writers

Tech Tip for Writers #79: Save Your File so Everyone Can Read it

Tech Tips for Writers is an (almost) weekly post on overcoming Tech Dread. I’ll cover issues that friends, both real-time and virtual, have shared. Feel free to post a comment about a question you have. I’ll cover it in a future Tip.

Q: I need to make my Word document readable by colleagues that don’t have MS Word. What do I do?

A: MS Office makes that easy. Just ‘save’ to a PDF format. I know–us old schoolers are used to ‘printing to’ to create a PDF, but that’s not how you do it in MS Office. Here’s what you do:

  • Click ‘save as’ for your document
  • Drop down the ‘save as type’ until you can select ‘PDF’

  • Select and and save

No more purchasing a separate program or downloading a free pdf creator. Now, if you have MS Office, you do it directly from their program. It works in Google Docs also.

Another reason to save as a PDF: They are much more difficult to edit. Sure, it’s possible, but most people don’t know how to do this so you’re secure. If you are still worried about your ten-year’s worth of writing being stolen or edited, PDFs do have steps you can take to not allow copying. That will protect you from most PDF-to-Word tools out there.

Questions you want answered? Email me at and I’ll answer it within the next thirty days.

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thriller, To Hunt a Sub. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

32 thoughts on “Tech Tip for Writers #79: Save Your File so Everyone Can Read it

  1. Great advice and one I use to send documents as I work on a Mac. Until recently I thought these were ‘locked’ documents but since discovered with the right software others can edit them which was a bit of a shock!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for a good, straightforward tip! One good thing about formatting in Word for conversion, whether to PDF, Kindle or Smashwords or some other digital platform, is that you get lots of practice using Styles to format. Then, when you create the PDF for CreateSpace or Ingram, you have a document that’s well formatted. I’ve done a series on how being able to use Styles in Word makes using a more sophisticated program like InDesign easy. Here’s a link:

    Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, Kindle uses it’s on format, mobi8. It’s a special format just for E-ink devices (the Kindle display type). Strange thing is, if you want to get a physical book printed through Amazon’s Create Space, you have to submit that in PDF. Meaning that if you want both a printed book and an Kindle book, you’ll have to format twice. Sounds like fun!!!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely. It’s proven so you’ll have no problem with it. It’s great if you’re sending your documents anywhere. Once it’s a PDF, you can use a PDF reader to lock down copy functions so no one can steal anything.

      Well, they’ll always find a way if they really want to.

      I am so glad you dropped by. I didn’t realize my Follow for your blog had disappeared. Yikes! Fixed that.


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