Easily Save Access Reports as PDF Files

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated April 9, 2021

Applies to: Microsoft® Access® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)

You can easily convert your Access reports to PDF (Portable Document Format) without using Adobe Acrobat Pro. To convert to PDF, you use the File tab or the External Data tab in the Ribbon or you can customize the Quick Access Toolbar.

Recommended article: 10 Timesaving Shortcuts in Microsoft Access

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1. Saving a PDF using the File tab in the Ribbon

The first option is to use the File tab (Backstage View) in the Ribbon:

Save report as PDF using File tab in Microsoft Access.

To convert a report (or form) to PDF using the File tab:

  1. In the Navigation Pane, click the report (or form) you wish to export to PDF.
  2. Click the File tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Select Save and Publish.
  4. Under File Types, choose Save Object As.
  5. Under Database File Types, choose PDF or XPS.
  6. Click the Save As button. A dialog box appears. Save as type should appear as PDF.
  7. In the dialog box, choose the destination location in which you wish to save the PDF. Enter a name if necessary. Select Standard (for higher resolution printing) or Minimum size (for publishing online) beside Optimize for.
  8. Click Options and ensure Document structure tags for accessibility is checked (this helps screen readers or other assistive technology read the file) and then click OK.
  9. Check Open file after publishing if you want to view the finished PDF.
  10. Click Publish.
  11. In Access, choose Save export steps if you wish to repeat the export on a regular basis (you will need to enter a name and description).
  12. Click Close.

2. Exporting to PDF using the External Data tab in the Ribbon

Another option is to use the External Data tab in the Ribbon:

Microsoft Access External Data tab to convert report to PDF.

To convert a report (or form) to PDF using the External Data tab:

  1. In the Navigation Pane, click the report (or form) you wish to export to PDF.
  2. Click the External Data tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Click the PDF or XPS button in the Export group (XPS is an alternative to PDF created by Microsoft). A dialog box appears. Save as type should appear as PDF.
  4. In the dialog box, choose the destination location in which you wish to save the PDF. Enter a name if necessary. Select Standard (for higher resolution printing) or Minimum size (for publishing online) beside Optimize for.
  5. Click Options and ensure Document structure tags for accessibility is checked (this helps screen readers or other assistive technology read the file) and then click OK.
  6. Check Open file after publishing if you want to view the finished PDF.
  7. Click Publish.
  8. In Access, choose Save export steps if you wish to repeat the export on a regular basis (you will need to enter a name and description).
  9. Click Close.

3. Adding a PDF export button to the Quick Access Toolbar

You can customize the Quick Access Toolbar and add the PDF or XPS button so that it is easier to access. You may also want to display the Quick Access Toolbar below the Ribbon.

To add the PDF or XPS button to the Quick Access Toolbar:

  1. Click the File tab in the Ribbon and then click Options.
  2. Click the Quick Access Toolbar category on the left.
  3. From the drop-down menu under Choose commands from, select All Commands.
  4. Click the PDF or XPS button.
  5. Click Add.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Click Close. The PDF or XPS button will appear on the Quick Access Toolbar.

Microsoft Access customizing the Quick Access Toolbar to add PDF button to export a report.

Once you have added the PDF or XPS button to the Quick Access Toolbar, to create a PDF:

  1. In the Navigation Pane, click the report (or form) you wish to export to PDF.
  2. Click the PDF or XPS button you added to the Quick Access Toolbar. A dialog box appears. Save as type should appear as PDF.
  3. In the dialog box, choose the destination location in which you wish to save the PDF. Enter a name if necessary. Select Standard (for higher resolution printing) or Minimum size (for publishing online) beside Optimize for.
  4. Click Options and ensure Document structure tags for accessibility is checked (this helps screen readers or other assistive technology read the file correctly) and then click OK.
  5. Check Open file after publishing if you want to view the finished PDF.
  6. Click Publish.
  7. In Access, choose Save export steps if you wish to repeat the export on a regular basis (you will need to enter a name and description).
  8. Click Close.

It’s easy to generate PDF files for reports and forms in Access without using Adobe Acrobat Pro. All you need is the free Acrobat Reader to view them.

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More resources

How to Highlight Records in a Microsoft Access Report Using Conditional Formatting

How to Create a Calculated Field in a Microsoft Access Query

Key Features and Benefits of Microsoft Access

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Summary
How to Convert a Microsoft Access Report to PDF (3 Ways)
Article Name
How to Convert a Microsoft Access Report to PDF (3 Ways)
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You can easily convert your Access reports to PDF (Portable Document Format) without using Adobe Acrobat Pro. To convert to PDF, you use the File tab or the External Data tab in the Ribbon or you can customize the Quick Access Toolbar.
Author
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Avantix Learning

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