Converting files to PDF and Combining files

Many assignments are required to be submitted in PDF format. PDF format ensures the document will appear the same to the marker as it does to you on your computer.

Note: The Turnitin self-check can handle most text formats, so it is not usually necessary to convert your draft files to PDF to use the self-check.

Following are some ways to convert Word documents into PDF:

1. Office 2007+ Users (PC)

If you are using Office 2007, 2010 or 2013 software you may already have a PDF converter built into Word. Click "Save as" and check whether you have PDF as an option.

View of the "Save As" button in MS Word

2. Use the built-in PDF converter in Windows 10

Windows 10 has a PDF "printer" built into the operating system which can be used to convert any printable file (Office documents, webpages etc) to PDF. From the main menu of your application, go to the "Print" dialog and change the printer to the "Microsoft Print to PDF" option and select "Print". This will open a further dialog box to prompt you for a location for your converted file.

3. Install CutePDF Writer

This is a free tool to convert any document to PDF. When installed, this software will appear like a printer. Once installed, open your assignment (in your word processing program) and select FILE - PRINT. In the list of available printers, you will now see a "CuteWriter" option. Select this printer to print to. You will be prompted for a file location of the converted file - choose the desktop or any other location of your choice. A PDF will be "printed" to that location.

To install CutePDF Writer, go to this link. You will see two download files on the left - the 'CuteWriter.exe' download and a Ghostwriter 'converter.exe' download. Click on both links and, when prompted, SAVE each of the files on your desktop. Once downloaded, double click each file and follow the prompts in order to install the two programs.

4. Mac

Open the document you want to save as a PDF file, Choose File > Print. Choose 'Save as PDF'. This will prompt you for the location of the PDF file and convert your original document.

5. If you are using OpenOffice (PC, Mac, Linux)

OpenOffice has a PDF converter built in. To save your document as a PDF, Choose File > Export. Ensure file format is set to PDF - Portable Document Format and choose the location where you want the file saved. Click Save.

6. Use an online PDF converter (all users)

There are several websites that will convert files to PDF for free, such as this webpage. This converter supports .doc files only.

Combining Files

At times, you may be required to combine files in order to submit a single file for an assessment task. 

The following sites offer some suggestions for combining files. If you need to combine different file types into one document, the recommended approach is to convert each file to PDF and combine the PDFs into one document.

Combining or merging PDF files

Merging multiple files including word, excel, text, linux command line and PDF


Some converters struggle with unusual fonts - please use standard fonts wherever possible. 

Check your PDF before submitting it for marking to ensure that the file is correct. 

A PDF converter called PDF Complete has caused printing problems in the past and should be avoided.

Last modified: Monday, 15 May 2017, 11:55 AM