Converting XLSX Files to PDF Format Methods and Considerations_FormatBlogs



PDF files are a common format for sharing and storing documents, and for good reason. They are secure, easy to share, and can be accessed on any device with a PDF viewer. However, not all files come in PDF format, and converting them is often necessary for various reasons. 

In this post, we will explore the importance of converting XLSX to PDF, the key considerations while converting, and the methods of conversion.

Understanding XLSX Files (Excel Format)

Developed in 2007 as part of the Office Open XML standard, XLSX is a file extension used for spreadsheets in Microsoft Excel.

Before the creation of the XLSX extension, all Excel files saved as XLS by default, which was only compatible with Microsoft Office software. The XLSX extension made it possible to open Excel spreadsheets using almost any software.

Today, XLSX is the default file extension for all Excel spreadsheets. Excel has been around for a long time and helps us manage financial data and complex math formulas. However, this app can get pretty challenging to use, especially if you haven’t had much practice. The crowded rows and columns of numbers could also make the recipient wonder what they are staring at. 

Why Excel files should be converted into PDF ?

Excel files are often used to store sensitive data, financial information, or reports. However, sharing these files as-is can pose security risks, as it may reveal confidential information or allow unauthorized access to sensitive data. Converting XLSX to PDF is a quick and easy solution to mitigate these risks, as PDF files can be password-protected, encrypted, and prevent unauthorized editing. Additionally, PDF files are universally accessible, as they can be opened on any device or operating system, making them ideal for sharing reports or presentations with a wider audience.

Key Considerations while Converting

While converting XLSX to PDF is a simple process, there are a few considerations to keep in mind to ensure the quality and accuracy of the final output. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Formatting: Excel files often contain complex formatting, such as charts, tables, and images. Converting them to PDF can result in loss of formatting, which can affect the readability and accessibility of the document. To avoid this, it is important to choose a conversion method that preserves the formatting and layout of the original file.

  2. File Size: Excel files can be large, especially if they contain multiple sheets or complex formulas. Converting them to PDF can result in a significant increase in file size, which can affect the file’s accessibility and load time. To optimize file size, consider using a compression tool or choose a conversion method that allows for file size reduction.

  3. Accessibility: PDF files should be accessible to all users, including those with visual impairments. When converting XLSX to PDF, ensure that the final output is accessible to screen readers and other assistive technologies.

Methods of Conversion

There are several methods for converting XLSX to PDF, each with its own advantages and limitations. Here are the most common methods of conversion:

Save As PDF

This is the simplest and most straightforward method of converting XLSX to PDF. It involves selecting “Save As” from the Excel menu and choosing PDF as the file format. While this method is easy to use, it may not preserve complex formatting and may result in larger file sizes.

Print to PDF

This method involves selecting the Excel file and choosing the “Print” option. From the print menu, select “Microsoft Print to PDF” as the printer, and then click “Print”. This method preserves formatting but may not be ideal for large files.

Online Converters

There are several online converters that allow for easy and quick conversion of XLSX to PDF. These converters are typically free, but may not provide the same level of security and quality as offline tools.

Dedicated Software

There are several dedicated software applications that specialize in converting XLSX to PDF. These tools offer advanced features such as compression, password protection, and OCR (Optical Character Recognition), but may require a subscription or one-time purchase.

Saving Excel File as PDF


Converting XLSX to PDF is an important step in ensuring the security, accessibility, and readability of your documents. By converting Excel files to PDF, you can prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data, and ensure that the document is accessible to all users, regardless of their device or operating system.

When converting XLSX to PDF, it’s important to consider factors such as formatting, file size, and accessibility. Choosing the right conversion method can help you preserve the formatting and reduce file size while ensuring that the final output is accessible to all users.

There are several methods of conversion, including Save As PDF, Print to PDF, online converters, and dedicated software applications. While each method has its own advantages and limitations, choosing the right one will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

In conclusion, converting XLSX to PDF is a simple and effective way to ensure the security, accessibility, and readability of your documents. By keeping these considerations and methods in mind, you can choose the best method for your needs and create high-quality, secure PDF files that can be easily shared and accessed by all users.