How to Fix Microsoft Publisher won’t Save Files as PDF

Microsoft Publisher is an application that is a part of the Office 365 suite. The application is more focused on page layouts rather than the composition and proofing of text. The error faced by most of the users is Publisher displaying the message “Publisher cannot save the file.” This happens when the user tries to either save the file as PDF or use the export functionality. Another similar reason for this issue is because Publisher does not detect a printer.

The solutions provided in this article have been provided and validated by other Publisher users.

Select Default Printer

Saving any file or document as a PDF is treated the same as printing a file. This is due to the fact that the communication language for printers and PDFs are the same. Moreover, a printer is always selected by default by Windows. However, if by any chance, the settings are changed by a bug or after a Windows Update, then Publisher will definitely cause problems when trying to save a document as PDF. To solve this problem

  1. First, press the Windows key and type Settings.
    Windows Settings
  2. Next, go to Devices.
    Device Settings
  3. Then, go to Printers and Scanners.
    Printers and Scanners Settings
  4. Next, deselect Let Windows manage my default printer.
  5. Click on any of the given choices and select Manage.
    Manage Printer
  6. Then, click on Set as default.
    Set as Default
  7. Next, go to Publisher and click on File. Then click on Print.
    Print option
  8. Afterward, Make sure the printer is set to Microsoft Print to PDF. Finally, click on Print.
    Set Printer and Save
  9. Give a name to your file and set save location.
  10. The PDF will be saved to your saved location.

Enable Microsoft ‘Print to PDF’

This solution is for users who are facing the printer not detected issue. These steps can also be performed before the solution suggested above. The issue with printers arises due to the fact that PDFs are written in PostScript language. This is the language which computers use to communicate with printers as mentioned in the previous solution. To enable Microsoft Print to PDF

  1. First, press the Windows key and type Control Panel. Next, click on Programs.
    Control Panel Programs
  2. Then under Programs and Features, click on Turn Windows features on or off.
    Turn Windows Features on or off
  3. Then, scroll down to find Microsoft Print to PDF.
    Enable Microsoft Print to PDF
  4. Finally, enable the option and then reboot your device.

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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How to Fix Microsoft Publisher won’t Save Files as PDF

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