Troubleshooting: Microsoft Publisher Won’t Save Files as PDF on Windows 10

After you finish editing a file or journal in Microsoft Publisher and try to convert it to PDF for printing, you may get a “Publisher cannot save file” error message. Although this problem occurs in different versions of Publisher, it seems to occur more frequently in Publisher on Windows 10.

The solutions presented in this article have been provided and confirmed by other Microsoft Publisher users.

What causes Microsoft Publisher to fail to save PDF files?

  • This happens when the user tries to save the file in PDF format or use the export feature. Another similar reason for this problem is that Publisher does not recognize the printer.
  • Saving a file or document as a PDF is treated the same as printing a file. This is because the communication language of printers and PDFs is the same. In addition, Windows always selects the default printer. However, if the settings are changed by mistake or after a Windows update, the Publisher is bound to cause problems when you try to save a document as a PDF.

How to repair the Microsoft Publisher’s inability to save PDF files?

Updating Microsoft Office

  1. Open the Office application, in this case, Publisher, and create a new document.
  2. Navigate to the folder.
  3. Go to Account (Office account if you have Outlook open).
  4. Select Update Options.
  5. Click the Refresh Now button.
  6. For this to work, you will need to click the Enable Updates button.

Save the PDF files in newer Microsoft Publisher versions

  1. Close Publisher.
  2. Click the Start button.
  3. Go to Settings.
  4. Go to Devices.
  5. Select Printers and scanners.
  6. Uncheck Allow Windows to control the default printer, if one is installed.
  7. Under Printers and scanners, select a device other than the default printer. For example, select Fax or Microsoft Print to PDF.
  8. Click Manage.
  9. On the next page, click Set Default.
  10. Select your printer under Printers and Scanners.
  11. Click Manage.
  12. Click Set Default.
  13. Start Publisher and try saving the file as a PDF or XPS.

Repairing Microsoft Office

  1. Open Control Panel > Go to Programs.
  2. Select Programs and Features.
  3. Find Microsoft Office and click Edit.
  4. Select Quick Fix > and click Fix.

Reinstalling Microsoft Office

  1. Press the Windows + R key.
  2. Type Control and press Enter to open the Control Panel.
  3. Go to Programs.
  4. Select Programs and Features.
  5. Find Microsoft Office and click Uninstall.
  6. Get a new copy of Microsoft Office from the official site and reinstall it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Go to Devices -> Printers and Scanners. Disable the option Allow Windows to control your printer by default if it is enabled. Now select your printer under Printers and Scanners, click Manage, and then Set Default. Start Publisher and try saving the file again in PDF or XPS format.

The file might be read-only, or another user might have opened it. Please save the document under a different name or in a different folder. The reasons why you cannot save the PDF file may be due to missing updates or Microsoft Publisher settings.

  1. Click File -> Export -> Create PDF/XPS -> Create PDF/XPS.
  2. Under File name, enter a name for the publication.
  3. Under Save as type, select Document PDF or Document XPS.