Why is Word splitting my document into multiple files when saving as PDF?

Crispin Boxhall November 30, 2011

I have been editing a Word document of 4 sections. Some set at A4, some pages at A3. When I went to save it as a PDF, it saved all the four sections as separate PDF files. Not good for sending to clients. Can you advise why this is suddenly happening and how I can avoid this?

  1. Sol
    May 22, 2012 at 9:45 am

    Found a fix ! , instead of A3 or A4 in the printing options, use US Letter when printing PDFs, It will give you a single PDF file regardless of the number of page breaks or section breaks you have.

    • Tina
      May 22, 2012 at 8:39 pm

      Thanks for sharing, Sol!

    • Eric
      July 31, 2012 at 3:24 am

      Are you sure about that US Letter bit? I've tried everything, including that. Every time I save from Word to a PDF, it's breaking my 8-page document into 3 files (one that's 6 pages, and two 1-pagers.)

      Very frustrating. Thanks if anyone's got another way.

    • Eric
      July 31, 2012 at 4:47 am

      I GOT IT!

      Open 1 of the PDF's in Preview, then drag/drop the others into the sidebar (expose your sidebar in Preview) and fix the order of the PDF's there. Then save it as 1 new file.

      I'm awesome. Sometimes.

      • Luke Simmons
        July 31, 2012 at 9:12 pm

        Eric, I did that and it produced a massive file and also highlighted a bunch of text that shouldn't be highlighted. Any other ideas?

  2. Chloe
    May 16, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    I had the exact same problem!
    It was because i had inserted a page break - therefore the PDF was broken where I had inserted them. Use this link to delete breaks: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/insert-a-page-break-HA010368779.aspx?CTT=5&origin=HA101831056#BM3

  3. Alson Aleyas
    May 1, 2012 at 10:20 am

    i want to know that is there any software is used to split a single word document to multiple documents(i know copy pasting ,but i think the header and footer may change.thats why i asked this).some one help please

  4. Tomtenfarm
    April 14, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    I am having the same problem and they are splitting along different page orientations.  

  5. Jostafari
    February 28, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    The same thing happens when you click on the PDF button. It probably has to do with the multiple sections in the document. The file appears to be broken by section. I have some sections rotated landscape for diagrams in the midldle of the document. I get three PDF files when saving to PDF regardless of the method used.

    • Chris
      March 25, 2012 at 4:24 am

      Did you manage to find a solution to your problem as I'm facing the same? When saving a document to PDF, if there are sections in the docx (because I change from portrait to landscape and then back to portrait, I end up with 3 pdf files.

      • Tony
        May 10, 2012 at 2:55 am

        Any luck at resolving this issue?

        • Chris
          May 11, 2012 at 10:10 am

          Sadly not,

  6. Tina
    December 5, 2011 at 10:01 pm

    Thanks for the update, Crispin!

  7. Crispin
    December 5, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    Since posting this question I happened to be talking to someone in the next office.  Apparently Macs do this when you take a word document and "save as" a PDF.  The Mac looks at the document and breaks it in to sections as PDFs.  To keep it all in one document, you have to go via Print and then click on the PDF button (bottom left) which will allow the whole document to be saved in its entirety as a PDF.

    To answer FIDELIS's question, the document had several sections; mostly the pages were A4.  However, one section had a large table which I set the page to A3 landscape to hold it.  It works well on screen, but posed a few problems saving to PDF before sending to a client.

    Thanks for your responses.  We have all learned a little today.

    • Chris
      May 11, 2012 at 10:13 am


      Tried your solution but using the pdf option in the print menu still results in numerous pdf files being created. Any other suggestions?


    December 1, 2011 at 6:55 am

    Hello, when you say A4 and A3 you are referring to paper sizes right?  Just making sure....Is this a new issue?  Have you setup your documents this way before and they save to .pdf ok? 

    I would say your problem is happening because of the different paper sizes.  Word sees different paper sizes as different documents.  Make sure to select the same size paper for all sections.  Either choose A4 or A3 for all. 

    Also, were all the sections in one word document?  or were the sections in different word documents?  If the sections were in several word documents, try to combine all sections into one in word and try to print them to .pdf. 

    Also, have you checked the settings in your pdf software?  I would double check to see if some option is set to print different documents.  I would also check your WORD options.  For example, in WORD if you use print to file option and then select pdf, it would print a different document for every section.  By the way, what pdf software are you using?

  9. Jay
    November 30, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    1.do you use http://www.nitropdf.com for pdf conversion ?
    if not, try it. it is free.

    2. use a combination of

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