Convert Word to PDF and preserve image quality.

A person using a laptop to convert Word to PDF.

Discover how to preserve stunning image quality when you convert a Word document to PDF.

You’ve proofread every line, you’ve formatted every page, and now you’re ready to download your Word document as a PDF — but you don’t want your images to suffer in the process. Take a moment to learn how to preserve image quality when converting Word to PDF and get a finished document you can save and share.

Preserve image quality when converting Word to PDF

The easiest way to convert your document and preserve image quality is to use a PDF tool like Adobe Acrobat online services and follow these steps:

Inserting image...

  1. Click Select A File and choose your Word document, or drag and drop the file.
  2. Sit back as Acrobat online services automatically convert your document.
  3. Download the PDF.

All the images and fonts in your original Word document should appear as intended in your new PDF. You can also use Acrobat to convert PDFs to Word documents and preserve the quality of every image. Since the PDF file format was designed by Adobe, you’ll get the highest quality PDFs when you make changes using Adobe tools.

Adjust DPI before you export from Word to PDF.

If you don’t have a PDF tool, you can manually adjust the image DPI settings in Word before you save it as a PDF. You’ll need to follow a few extra steps:

  1. Find the advanced settings in Word.
  2. Change your default DPI selection. To preserve image quality, you’ll need a higher DPI.
  3. Save your changes.
  4. Download the document as a PDF.

Alternatively, save your Word document as a PDF and change DPI in the advanced settings before you download it.

What causes image quality loss in converting Word to PDF?

When you start the conversion process using Word, the images will compress automatically, which lowers their quality unless you change the default settings. To change the settings:

  1. Go to File > Options > Advanced > Image Size and Quality.
  2. Apply the image size and quality settings to the current document or to all new documents.
  3. Click “Do not compress images in file.”
  4. For default resolution, select “High fidelity.”

If you’re on Windows, you’ll have a choice for how to optimize. Choose Standard (publishing online and printing). In the Options menu, select “Optimize for image quality” and deselect “PDF/A compliant.”

If you’re on a Mac, you won’t have any of these options for exporting a Word document as a PDF. However, you can select the option titled “Best for printing.”

To prevent the hassle of image quality loss, your best bet is to use Adobe tools, which are easy to use and ensure that you’ll get the highest quality conversions. You can find all the tools you need for converting a variety of file types. These tools help you share, collaborate, and edit your PDFs.

Explore what else you can do with Adobe Acrobat and Acrobat online services to improve your PDF workflow.