Batch conversion of MS Office files to PDF

I have several hundred MS Office documents (mostly PowerPoint, but some Excel and Word) that I need to convert to PDF. I recall that the old Adobe Acrobat (prior to going to insanely expensive rentware) supported batch conversion e.g., you could load it up with a list of documents to be converted to pdf, push a button, and go on to something else while it churned away.

I’ve found no non-Adobe pdf software that will do this (for example, pdfPen) and as a matter of fact, I’m unable to determine from Adobe’s web site whether the current version of Acrobat (DC or something Pro) can do it either–so even the option of renting Acrobat for $25/month for a month or two is unclear.

Rather than converting documents one at a time for the rest of my life, I respectfully request if anyone knows whether the current Acrobat or some other software exists that supports batch file conversion?


There’s some good info at the Adobe site, and you can probably do what you need to within the seven day time limit of the trial version:

And there are more resources on the Adobe site.

PDFPen Pro supports batch operations. Although I don’t specifically convert from Office.

Can you do this with AppleScript/Automator? I haven’t tried it before, but if I use the Script Editor to open the dictionary from PowerPoint, I find AppleScript verbs that may be able to do what you want, including:

  • open v : Open a document.
    open file or list of file : The file(s) to be opened.
    → document or list of document: The opened document(s).

  • print v : Print a document.
    print list of file or specifier : The file(s), document(s), or window(s) to be printed.
    [with properties print settings] : The print settings to use.
    [print dialog boolean] : Should the application show the print dialog?

Perhaps someone here more familiar with AppleScript/Automator can help out here. I expect it should be a relatively simple script to accept a group of files (maybe by dropping a directory on the script’s icon) and feed each one in turn to PowerPoint using these and other verbs to tell it to print each one to a PDF file.

Yes – I did it many years ago and see there is some updated information here:

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I could find no reference to batch conversion of any docs to pdf using PDFPen Pro on their website or using a demo of the latest version of the program, only a reference to batch OCR of docs. This is consistent with my experience when using my own copy of P.P.P. until I got tired of its never-ending begging for paid upgrades (v10 or 11) and general seediness, which has not improved on the web site of its new owner-even the online manual seems to be gone.

Thanks for the tips on AppleScript, particularly the link to the Apple discussion of same. I’ll take a look at that.

I downloaded “PDF Studio 2021” as a trial app and while it had menus/dialogs supporting batch conversion, I couldn’t get it to work other than output-ing converted PDFs into a single merged file. I don’t need thousand-page documents…

The link to Adobe (first item in posting) provided by MMtalker got me where I wanted to go at Adobe’s website (I guess I’m not proficient in coming up with right variants of “batch convert to PDF” to make their search engine work) and made me take the step of signing up for trial version of Acrobat Pro DC, giving them rights to my first-born, etc. The program appears to do exactly what I want, quickly and flawlessly, and doesn’t blink at converting mixed files (PPTX, DOCX, XSLX) in batch mode.

While I can’t possibly complete my task in 7 days for the trial, I’m thinking that it may well be worth it to pay $25 or even $50 bucks for 1 or 2 months’ rental. The program really does work well, so far, and even the interface and appearance are not as disgusting as when I actually owned the product (Acrobat 9).

Thanks to all for your contributions!!