Unlocking the Power of Microsoft Print to PDF: A Comprehensive Review


The PDF format is a popular file organization choice for most people, whether you want to cut down on printer costs, send documents with intact layouts, or simply print product manuals. Generally, PDFs are printer-friendly, and you can print them through any device to virtually any linked printer. Not surprisingly, it always displays the same impeccable output.

As such, saving your file as a PDF is almost non-negotiable if you're looking to retain document layout and quality. A PDF printer tool, such as Microsoft Print to PDF, can save your file as a PDF without distorting its quality. Check out this in-depth review of this popular Microsoft PDF printer and its various alternatives.


Part 1. An Overview of Microsoft Print to PDF

This part provides a brief understanding of Microsoft Print to PDF.

1. What is Microsoft Print to PDF?

Microsoft Print to PDF is a built-in tool or facility that converts files, such as Excel spreadsheets, Word documents, web pages, etc., to PDF files. It appears as a printer whenever you want to print documents, especially on Windows 10. As such, Microsoft Print to PDF is the native "print to PDF" functionality built for Windows 10 (and newer) users.

2. How does Microsoft Print to PDF work?

If you're a Microsoft user on Windows 10 and newer, you may have noticed a vaguely strange entry appearing in the list of devices and printers when prompting the Print function – PDF Printer. Commonly known as Microsoft Print to PDF – what does this Microsoft PDF printer actually do?

Microsoft Print to PDF isn't an actual device. It is a virtual print driver that you can leverage to create and save PDFs. Did you know that print drivers take and translate input data into images as output? Therefore, while this Microsoft PDF to Print driver doesn't literally print hard copies, it takes any input file and restructures it into a PDF format file.

3. Why is Microsoft Print to PDF not working on Windows 10/11?

There are many reasons for the Microsoft PDF printer not working challenge, including:

  • Microsoft Print to PDF is missing or disabled feature.
  • Outdated Microsoft Print to PDF driver.
  • Faulty app.

4. How do I fix Microsoft Print to PDF not working?

If you have issues with your Microsoft Print to PDF driver, try one or more of the following possible solutions:

  • Ensure you're trying to run the driver on Windows 10 and above.
  • Make sure the driver is enabled. Navigate to "Settings" > "Devices" > "Printers & Scanners" > select "Microsoft Print to PDF".
  • Update your printer driver.

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Part 2. Top 3 Print to PDF Tools

Besides the Microsoft to PDF printer, you can try out multiple other print-to-PDF tools. This part reviews the Microsoft Print-to-PDF driver and alternative print-to-PDF tools.

Option 1. Microsoft Print to PDF

As previously mentioned, the Microsoft Print to PDF driver converts and saves files into the popular PDF format. Microsoft discovered the importance of PDF file formats and included this facility for its users. It comes pre-installed for Microsoft 10 and later devices. You can manipulate its function to create and save PDFs.

Features of Microsoft Print to PDF

  • Create and save PDF files without using PDF creators.
  • Extract one or several pages from a PDF without downloading third-party utilities.
  • Encrypt your PDF with a password to prevent unrestricted access.

Pros of Microsoft Print to PDF

* Create PDFs without using external software.

* Free to use.

* Extract pages from PDFs and encrypt the file.

* Rapid conversion.

Cons of Microsoft Print to PDF

* Produce distorted PDFs.

* Lead to format loss.

* Limited to Windows 10 and above devices.



How to Use Microsoft Print to PDF

Microsoft Office applications like PowerPoint, Excel, and Word allow printing to PDF. Here's a step-by-step breakdown of how to Microsoft Word Print to PDF:

Step 1. Open the Word document or file you want to Microsoft Print to PDF.

Step 2. Click "File", then select "Print". Alternatively, you can press "Ctrl" + "P" on your keyboard. It will open the print window.

Step 3. Click on the drop-down menu below the Printer. From the options, select "Microsoft Print to PDF". Additionally, you can select other printing settings, like page orientation, pages to print, the number of pages to print, and more.

microsoft print to pdf

Step 4. Click the "Print" button. It will create a PDF document. Remember to save the PDF file to your PC.

The same operating steps apply to PowerPoint and Excel as well.

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Option 2. clawPDF

This is a free and open-source printer supporting Windows 7 to 10, as well as Windows Server 2008 to 2019. The print-to-PDF function allows you to create PDF files and manipulate other PDF functions and elements. You can set up and customize printing profiles once you've installed the app. These profiles are configurations you can use while creating your PDF files. With each profile, you can access profile presets and manage specific settings.

Features of clawPDF

  • Merge multiple pages into one PDF.
  • Create a PDF file easily.
  • Support multiple output formats, including TIF, JPEG, PDF/X, PDF/A, text, and PDF formats.
  • Perform repetitive actions, like attaching other files, uploading with FTP, opening clients, adding covers or backgrounds, etc.

Pros of clawPDF

* Free and open source.

* Easy to use.

* Create a PDF file from any app that comes with printing options.

Cons of clawPDF

Sometimes experience distorted file quality.


Free to use.

How to Use clawPDF to Print PDF

clawPDF is easy to use and can create PDFs easily.

Step 1. Select clawPDF from the list of available installed printers, then click "Print" to print your file.

Step 2. Choose your profile from the dialog window, add the document data (author name, keywords, subject, etc.), then click "Save".

select clawpdf from the list of available installed printers

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Option 3. PDF24 Creator

With PDF24 Creator, you get a free and all-inclusive tool offering plenty of solutions for daily PDF tasks and concerns. PDF24 Creator allows you to create PDF files from any printable document. Additional functions you can access from this print-to-PDF tool include creating self-signed documents, merging and splitting documents, extracting pages, etc.

Features of PDF24 Creator

  • Customize various PDF parameters like quality, metadata, color, resolution, etc.
  • Watermark your document.
  • Encrypt your file to avoid unrestricted access.

Pros of PDF24 Creator

* User-friendly interface.

* Create PDF documents with minimal quality loss.

Cons of PDF24 Creator

Lack of more dedicated features.



How to Use PDF24 Creator to Print PDF

To use PDF24 Creator to print PDFs, you can follow these steps:

Step 1. Select PDF24 Creator from the list of available printers.

Step 2. Click "Print".

use pdf24 creator to print pdf

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Bonus Tool: Coolmuster PDF Creator Pro

Microsoft Print to PDF driver is helpful in creating PDFs from multiple Microsoft apps, including Word, Excel, etc. However, if you want a more comprehensive tool for creating PDF files, Coolmuster PDF Creator Pro comes highly recommended for its impeccable performance and potency.

Coolmuster PDF Creator Pro can convert multiple file formats to PDF files quickly without distorting file quality. Its selling points include batch processing features, free usage, and customization capabilities while converting files to PDF documents.

Features of Coolmuster PDF Creator Pro

  • Convert MS Word, MOBI, image, text, HTML, CHM, and ePub to PDF fast and easily.
  • Retain file quality after conversion.
  • Convert multiple files simultaneously using the batch processing feature.
  • Customize PDF options, including page size, margins, and merge PDFs.

Pros of Coolmuster PDF Creator Pro

* Available for both Windows and Mac.

* User-friendly interface and seamless user experience.

* Process multiple files simultaneously.

* Create PDFs from several file formats, including images (JPG/JPEG/PNG/BMP/TIFF), DOCX, HTML, TEXT, CHM, etc.

Cons of Coolmuster PDF Creator Pro

Need to download the app to use it on your computer.


* Free to use with an option to purchase a license for more advanced features.

* Mac users can purchase a lifetime license for $49.95.

* Windows users can purchase either of three licenses:

1. 1-month license at $19.95.

2. 1-year license at $29.95.

3. Business license at $39.95.

How to Use Coolmuster PDF Creator Pro

Here is how to use this tool to create PDFs from other file formats.

01Download, install, and run the app on your Windows or Mac.

02The program offers four conversion types: Text to PDF, Image to PDF, Word to PDF, and MOBI to PDF. Choose your desired type, like "Word to PDF", and click "Add File" or "Add Folder" to import the target Text files.

choose conversion type and add files

03You can customize page size, margins, and the output folder for PDF creation.

customize output settings

04Click "Start" to begin creating PDF files. Wait briefly, then click "Show in folder" to access the PDFs.

start to create pdf files

The Bottom Line

Microsoft Print to PDF is an advanced Microsoft feature that you can use to create and partially edit PDF files. It is only available for Windows 10 and newer users. In addition, since it's free, you can test its functionality – which may be limited in terms of quality – and create PDF files in a few minutes.

If you need a better and more enhanced PDF creator, Coolmuster PDF Creator Pro takes the win. It is more suited for professionals who want to create PDFs from different file formats without changing the file layout, formatting, and quality. Like the Microsoft Print to PDF driver, Coolmuster PDF Creator Pro allows you to use the tool for free and choose whether to access better features in a premium package.

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