PandaDoc

How to convert a word document to PDF and sign it online

How to convert a word document to PDF and sign it online

Sending a PDF document to customers has a number of advantages. In addition to maintaining the format of the original file, PDFs work on all operating systems and are generally easy to view and share. They can even be locked or password protected.

These features are general positives for sales teams and marketers because they ensure that the document shows up correctly for the customer and that the customer can easily access critical information.

Fortunately, it’s easy to save your Word file in a PDF format using the “Save As” feature and selecting “PDF” from the Export Formats submenu.

But this might not always be the best option, especially if you need to do more with your documents, like create contracts or capture digital signatures.

Today, let’s take a look at how to convert Word documents to PDFs using PandaDoc.

How to convert Word to PDF (.docx to .pdf) using PandaDoc

Below, you’ll learn how to use PandaDoc for PDF conversion. We’ll talk you through the steps to convert Microsoft Word documents into a PDF file format.

Keep in mind that the PandaDoc Editor can accept files from your desktop as well as from other sources and integrations like Google Drive, Box, and Dropbox.

To use PandaDoc, you’ll need an account. Sign up for a 14-day free trial or our Free eSign Plan to get started!

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1. Upload your Word file (.doc/.docx) to the PandaDoc editor

After signing up for your PandaDoc account, navigate to your PandaDoc dashboard. You can access this screen by clicking on the topmost icon of the left sidebar (four small squares).

In the top right hand corner for the interface, find the “New Document” button. Select “Upload”  and take a look at the upload window that pops up.

On your computer, choose the .doc or .docx file that you would like to convert to a PDF and drag-and-drop it into the upload window in order to begin uploading the document to PandaDoc.

Once the upload is complete, you’ll be asked whether you’d like to convert your document into an edible PandaDoc.  

Select “Convert Document” and wait for the document to process.

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2. Use PandaDoc tools to add tables, images, text, and more

Once the document processes, you’ll find yourself within the PandaDoc editor. From here, you can edit and alter your document as though you were still inside Microsoft Word or Google Docs.

At this stage, PandaDoc acts like a word processor.

Use this opportunity to format your document. Add images (.jpg and .png), pricing tables, custom page breaks, and even a table of contents to your document. Using the drag-and-drop interface, simply drag content blocks and fields onto the document to add them to the layout.

It’s important to make any final alterations before you create PDFs. Once the PDF conversion is complete, you won’t be able to make formatting changes.

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3. Optional: Add a signature field

If you’re uploading a document that requires a digital signature, drag a signature field into your document.

Like all “Fields” within PandaDoc, the signature box can be dragged onto both locked and unlocked file types inside the PandaDoc editor.

This means that if you were to upload a PDF to PandaDoc, you would be unable to edit original text of the document. However, it’s still possible to add signatures, text fields, checkboxes, and initial fields without a problem.

These PDF tools allow you to capture digital signatures through PandaDoc even if they were not created or formatted by the PandaDoc editor. It’s a fast and easy way to add signature requirements to contracts and agreements before you send them out.

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4. Optional: Add a payment gateway

Lastly, if you’re sending a contract or a proposal agreement with the intent to collect payment, save yourself the trouble of preparing an invoice.

Connect to one of our payment gateways so that your customers can pay you from within your PandaDoc document.

This is a great tool for sales teams, freelancers, and business owners who need to collect an upfront payment before starting work.  

It’s easy to send milestone invoices through PandaDoc, as well. You can even use one of the invoice templates from our template library to get started.

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5. Convert your document to PDF or send electronically for digital signature

At this stage, you’ve completed all edits to your document and it’s time to download your new PDF.

With PandaDoc, you have two options. You could download your PDF to your hard drive or use PandaDoc to send your documents.

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A. Download to hard drive

By selecting the three vertical dots in the upper right hand corner of the PandaDoc editor, you can select download.

Downloading the file will save it to your hard drive as a PDF. From there, you can attach the file to your email and send it to customers.

B. Send documents using PandaDoc

This is our recommended option. Rather than downloading your document as a PDF, use PandaDoc to send it to signers and stakeholders.

By clicking on the “Send Document” button in the upper right, you can choose to send your document by email or share it via link directly to your customers.

This keeps your document within the PandaDoc platform so that you can continue to receive insights and updates on your document performance. Our document analytics notify you when someone has viewed your document, how long they spent on each page, and how many times they returned.

Use these insights to accelerate your sales process, get critical documents signed, and close deals even faster.

Why you should avoid digital signing with Microsoft Word

Just like converting docs to PDFs, it’s important to note that advanced features like digital signing can be done from within Microsoft Word.

This is different from inserting a picture of a signature, which is also possible within Word.

The problem with digitally signing documents with Microsoft Word is that, unless you have a valid signing certificate from a certificate authority, there is no legal authority behind this digital signature because the software can’t ensure the authenticity of the sent document.

While the signature feature is built into Word, the certificate must be purchased separately for a small cost.

A better digital signing solution for sales teams

Even if you take all the necessary steps to authenticate digital signatures in Microsoft Office, we still don’t recommend this solution for one reason: Sharing a signed document is tedious.

Once you’ve signed your document, you’ll still need to share it with decision-makers, project stakeholders, and key contacts. Unfortunately, you can’t send multiple copies of this document at the same time. To ensure the integrity of the digital signature, you can only send the most updated version of the document to the next contact on your list — one by one.

If that sounds like a painful process, you’re absolutely right. It’s one of the main reasons that digital signing solutions like PandaDoc exist!

We use cloud-based technology to bring your customers to a single document rather than sending a single document to one customer at a time.

By converting your doc files to PDFs within the PandaDoc editor and creating a signing solution on our platform, you can dispatch important documents to customers at lightning speed, make changes on the fly, and keep your sales process moving forward.

Want to learn more? Sign up for a 14-day free trial and start building better documents today. Or, if you just want to upload existing documents for digital signature, sign up for our Free eSign plan!

Eugene Zaremba

Eugene Zaremba Director of Demand Generation at PandaDoc

Eugene works at PandaDoc as the Director of Demand Generation. He is an avid fisherman, taking nearly 20 fishing trips every year.

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