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Word 2016 for Windows .docx export or save as .pdf fails

    Question

  • A richly formatted, 30-page document I've frequently saved as a PDF will not now export from Word 2016.

    Whether I choose File > Export > Create PDF/XPS or File > Save As, this error appears as soon as I click Save or Publish: "The export failed due to an unexpected error."

    If I print to CutePDF - or try to print the document to a physical printer - Word errors with "There is not enough memory or disk space to repaginate or print this document." There's 50+GB of free disk space on the C: drive and 4GB (49%) of free memory.

    Cycling the PC did not affect this. I opened the file from its network location with Word 2010 and saved it to PDF without a problem.
    Wednesday, October 7, 2015 9:14 PM

Answers

  • It's possible the document has acquired some for of corruption, or that there's a fault in the Office installation itself.

    Corrupt documents can often be 'repaired' by inserting a new, empty, paragraph at the very end, copying everything except that new paragraph to a new document based on the same template (headers & footers may need to be copied separately), closing the old document and saving the new one over it.

    You can repair a faulty Office installation via Start > Windows Control Panel > Programs > Programs & Features > Microsoft Office (version) > Change>Repair.

    Other errors can be cause by third-party Addins such as Digital Guardian Agent. Uninstalling or upgrading to the latest available version of the Addin may resolve the issue.

    See also: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Fixes-or-workarounds-for-recent-issues-in-Word-for-Windows-bf6bf17c-2807-4871-83ce-e337ae8f0b86


    Cheers
    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]




    Saturday, October 24, 2015 3:57 AM

All replies

  • Have exactly the same issue after upgrading to Office 2016. Small documents would convert with no issues but large and well featured documents would have problems. Have to save the same document in 2003 format but that will loose its formatting and other features. Need advise. Thanks
    Thursday, October 8, 2015 12:36 AM
  • Hi,

    According to your description, I have test with my local environment (Windows 10 & Office 2016 16.0.4229.1024 ).

    I can save as or Publish a big Word document (6M, 120pages) as normal.

    • If you did not install the update patches, please install them first.
    • Then, have you installed ADOBE reader or other PDF reader programs? If yes, please try to uninstall them to test. Because these might some compatibility issue between Office 2016 and them.
    • Please give full control permission of t2embed.dll to every user account. Location: %windir%\system32\

    I hope the above information helps. Reply with the result and I’ll be glad to further assist you.

    Regards,

    George Zhao
    TechNet Community Support


    Please mark the reply as an answer if you find it is helpful.

    If you have feedback for TechNet Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.
    Thursday, October 8, 2015 3:19 AM
    Moderator
  • NONE OF THIS WORKS.

    I NEED TO SEND PDF TO THE COURT TOMORROW.

    2016 / windows 10 / worked fine in 2013

    No adobe - Repaired Office / set permissions / nothing working

    MAKE THIS TOP PRIORITY IN OFFICE GROUP


    Dave Ladouceur

    Thursday, October 8, 2015 6:06 AM
  • I have the same issue.  Seems to be related to images embedded in the document.  Same document works perfectly well in 2015.
    Tuesday, October 13, 2015 4:30 PM
  • I have exactly the same issue and same time constraints to send a PDF.

    Notice I have latest Acrobat suite XI Pro installed, and Windows 7 Ultimate.

    Desperately, I tried to:

    1) save DOCX WORD2016

    2) open folder, click right button, click on the  docx file name with "Convert to Adobe PDF"

    3) it start working, then calls (aftee a few seconds) the WORD 2016, works and....

    4) exits for "insufficient memory" (I have 8GB on my system).

    5) resulting PDF is good but of course truncated

    Then, even more desperate:

    1) open docx

    2) save it as DOC (Word 2003) <-- crazy, yes

    3) do same as above

    4) now all works and the resulting PDF is perfect (except where the conversion from DOCX to DOC has created graphical issues, of course) and complete.

    My questions are:

    >>>>> that's due to installed Acrobat XI Pro?

    >>>>> that's due to Word 2016?

    I have recently changed to Office 2016 from Office 2010. And today it's first time I save a file in PDF from DOCX. By the way, file is not big: just 27 pages, rich of photos, 6MB total.

    If somebody advices me how to solve the issue keeping the docx original, I will be very happy.

    Thanks

    -----------

    Paolo Bozzola

    Wednesday, October 14, 2015 2:45 PM
  • I have same issues.

    Any solution??????

    Monday, October 19, 2015 8:38 AM
  • A customer of mine had this issue. I fond a temporary workaround which is to save the document as a 97-2003 doc then re-open it and it should work. The only issue we found is that some of the formatting gets thrown off. Hope this helps!!

    Friday, October 23, 2015 5:50 PM
  • It's possible the document has acquired some for of corruption, or that there's a fault in the Office installation itself.

    Corrupt documents can often be 'repaired' by inserting a new, empty, paragraph at the very end, copying everything except that new paragraph to a new document based on the same template (headers & footers may need to be copied separately), closing the old document and saving the new one over it.

    You can repair a faulty Office installation via Start > Windows Control Panel > Programs > Programs & Features > Microsoft Office (version) > Change>Repair.

    Other errors can be cause by third-party Addins such as Digital Guardian Agent. Uninstalling or upgrading to the latest available version of the Addin may resolve the issue.

    See also: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Fixes-or-workarounds-for-recent-issues-in-Word-for-Windows-bf6bf17c-2807-4871-83ce-e337ae8f0b86


    Cheers
    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]




    Saturday, October 24, 2015 3:57 AM
  • I am having the same issue!  I have tried all the solutions mentioned... quick repair, online repair, re-saving the doc etc... I have the latest PDF reader Adobe installed and according to office, I'm up to date with all the updates and patches.  So I am at a loss?  Why will Office 365 2016 not allow me to save a doc. as a pdf????
    • Proposed as answer by Peter JSD Friday, November 20, 2015 10:50 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by Peter JSD Friday, November 20, 2015 10:50 AM
    Monday, October 26, 2015 7:14 PM
  • I do not know why it does not work, but I noticed on my MAC version it did the same thing. But it told me to change the file name, which then worked. I tried the same on my PC (Office 365 and W7 Pro) and it worked yesterday. I tried again to day and it failed. The same document coverts fine in Word 2013.
    Friday, November 20, 2015 11:00 AM
  • I got to the bottom of the failure of the capability to generate pdf files from certain Word files today.  In my case, the Save As [pdf] gave an 'Export Failed for unknown reason', the Create PDF from Nitro 9 or 10 gave a  'No creation process' error and the Print to Nitro approach gave an 'insufficient memory or disk space error'   All of that was smoke and mirrors.

    The real issue is the use of the native DOCX file format on certain files (in my case all files) in Word 2016.   As soon as I saved the file in the old 2003 word format, all of the problems went away.   I re-tested with other files and got the same result.

    Message to MS:  Please figure out what is wrong with the way that Word 2016 running under W10 (all latest versions)  handles DOCX file formats differently than older formats and you'll have a more reasonable answer for your customers than my workaround above.  I submitted a problem file to an email in one of these threads a week ago but no one bothered to respond.   For what is supposed to be a rock solid, mature platform and word processor application, I've had nothing but trouble since W10 and Office 2016 and you really don't seem to care.  I'll be happy to send you another file that fails on my system if you ask for it.

    Frank Kleinschrodt

    Tuesday, December 8, 2015 6:28 PM
  • This problem is somehow related to images in documents - I bet all of us that are encountering the problem are incorporating pictures in our problem documents.

    I run a report-writing business that has been completely banjaxed with this latest upgrade.

    However, I can get it back and working again by adjusting the Display options under Word Options.

    Uncheck "Print drawings created in Word" and you'll get the Export to pdf back again - but you'll lose pictures.

    Hopefully someone at the creators of this upgrade will take notice of this and point them on the right line to repairing it. 

    Shaun

    Monday, December 14, 2015 9:47 PM
  • I've further highlighted the issue in my own documents - it appears to be the inclusion of Textboxes which I have been using to denote chapter headings.  Once I delete the textboxes, the export to pdf works again and all images come across perfectly again.

    My document is a very complex 60+ page automated mail merge which is content heavy in bookmarks, vba, images, tables etc. and I've tested it now extensively.  Removing these 3 textboxes is all that was needed to get it back and working.

    • Proposed as answer by Shaun McK Tuesday, December 15, 2015 12:03 PM
    Tuesday, December 15, 2015 12:03 PM
  • And as a final note, it seems that the issue is something to do with positioning of items outside of the document's print margins.  The text box I've been using is the Austin Sidebar - which sticks itself on the far right of the page.  That prompts the export to pdf error.  However, when it's pulled back in within the document's print margins, the export to pdf works again.

    Hope that helps.

    Tuesday, December 15, 2015 1:06 PM
  • Same issue on Office 2016 in W10. I'm about to print my thesis, please TOP PRIORITY TO THIS ISSUE!

    Matías Deambrosi

    Thursday, December 17, 2015 1:50 PM
  • Dear all,

    I find a way to solve this problem temporarily.

    1. Open your browser
    2. Login to Microsoft Onedrive by browser.
    3. Upload your word 2016 file to Onedrive.
    4. Open your uploaded file by "Word online" instead of "Word 2016".
    5. Click the dots on the right side of Word online (dots below "logout")
    6. Select "Download as PDF format".

    Hope this help, May God bless you all!


    • Proposed as answer by RatuMikaele Friday, January 8, 2016 5:57 AM
    Tuesday, January 5, 2016 4:42 AM
  • Brilliant workaround. Saved me a lot of tears :-)

    Mr Paul Edstein [MS MVP - Word] should hire you!

    Maybe now he will stop wasting his time and ours suggesting that we repair the faulty installation and focus on repairing the faulty product.....

    Wednesday, January 6, 2016 5:24 AM
  • Perhaps you should take a reality check. I do not and never have worked for Microsoft. I am retired and have no intention of hiring someone to fix something that isn't 'my' problem. There is a reason the reply I posted in October 2015 was marked as the answer - because it addresses significant contributions to the problem. Furthermore, in other discussions, faulty third-party addins have been identified as another culprit, so pointing the finger at Microsoft is hardly fair... even a faulty Office installation may be the result of things a user has done to their system, beyond Microsoft's control.

    Cheers
    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

    Thursday, January 7, 2016 7:02 AM
  • A richly formatted, 30-page document I've frequently saved as a PDF will not now export from Word 2016.

    Whether I choose File > Export > Create PDF/XPS or File > Save As, this error appears as soon as I click Save or Publish: "The export failed due to an unexpected error."

    If I print to CutePDF - or try to print the document to a physical printer - Word errors with "There is not enough memory or disk space to repaginate or print this document." There's 50+GB of free disk space on the C: drive and 4GB (49%) of free memory.

    Cycling the PC did not affect this. I opened the file from its network location with Word 2010 and saved it to PDF without a problem.
    I have the same problem with word 2016 and windows 7 professional (Acrobat XI). Word 2013 works perfectly before the update yesterday. I may downgrade  to word 2013 soon.
    Thursday, January 7, 2016 6:41 PM
  • Dear Paul,

    Apologies for my mistake and any personal offence. I wrongly assumed that [MS MVP - Word] indicated a senior job title in Microsoft (MS).

    As to the actual problem, it is clear from weight of evidence that this is an issue with Office 2016 as nobody had this issue prior to upgrade. The occurrence of similar symptoms using printing to pdf with multiple pdf applications would further indicate that this is not related to a third party add-in.

    CHH has provided an excellent workaround which resolves the problem by using Word Online instead of 2016.

    Let's all agree that the problem is 2016 and look for a responsible and speedy response from Microsoft.

    Friday, January 8, 2016 5:56 AM
  • Proposing this as answer as it is a very easy workaround until MS fixes root cause in Office 2016.
    Friday, January 8, 2016 5:58 AM
  • nobody had this issue prior to upgrade.

    I beg to differ...

    Besides which, there is no reason to suppose the remedies that generally work with earlier versions wouldn't generally apply to Word 2016.


    Cheers
    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

    • Proposed as answer by PopcornJim Sunday, January 10, 2016 8:16 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by PopcornJim Sunday, January 10, 2016 8:16 PM
    Friday, January 8, 2016 6:56 AM
  • I've been following this thread for a little while. During that time, I was not having this problem. Today, I started with the same problem as the rest of you. I've seen several different errors on this thread. Mine was 'Export Failed for unknown reason'. My file is not large, nor did it have images. It did however, have textboxes associated with a large table. I removed the textboxes with no effect. It didn't seem that patches and repairs were working for people, so I didn't try that. I decided to wait to try CHH's fix because, while I like it and I believe it works, I wanted to get to the root on my machine.

    So, what I did was went to the Office 2016 Upload Center. There I found two of my attempts with the message that the path of those files could not be found. I frankly don't know how that could be, but what I ended up doing was clicking on settings and found a button to delete the upload cache. That fixed my problem. Maybe I got lucky and that really wasn't the fix. Hopefully it works for some of you as well though.

    Take care,

    Jim


    • Edited by PopcornJim Sunday, January 10, 2016 9:11 PM Clarification
    Sunday, January 10, 2016 8:32 PM
  • Hi Jim,

    Thank you for your info. I have the same problem and I found my problem is caused by an "Object" item in my docx. Some guy from MS asked me to provide the docx for detection so let's wait for the feedback.

    Monday, January 11, 2016 8:25 PM
  • Hi Paul,

    I have repaired my installation and created a brand new word document with just text and still face this issue.

    what else could it be?

    Friday, January 15, 2016 7:13 PM
  • My Word 2016 back to normal.
    Saturday, January 16, 2016 8:19 AM
  • Hi JeffOutland,

    I've also had issues with Word 2016 that failed to save as PDF. I've then came across this following link that helped me in the right direction: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Convert-a-document-to-PDF-f7f18dda-5610-431b-9c76-e5df21eccccf

    The only other change I had to do for it to work on my laptop, was to enable the ISO 19005-1 compliant check box under PDF options.

    I hope this helps you with your issue as well.

    • Proposed as answer by MGrasdal Wednesday, January 20, 2016 12:29 AM
    Tuesday, January 19, 2016 11:19 AM
  • I had the same issue and independently discovered the solution is to select the check box to enable ISO 19005-1 compliant (PDF/A). PDF Options

    Wednesday, January 20, 2016 12:29 AM
  • unfortunately it is still not working...  any other suggestions?

    Friday, January 22, 2016 4:45 PM
  • This one worked for me on Word 2016. I had a document with an inserted sidebar. Not sure what it does for ISO-19005-1 PDF/A, but it worked well. I think it has something to do with the grouping of textbox objects, because when I ungrouped the objects, it worked without having to set it to PDF/A.

    Thoughts?

    -R

    Thursday, February 25, 2016 8:49 PM
  • Why is this garbage always an answer? THIS IS NOT THE ANSWER.
    Monday, July 25, 2016 12:10 PM
  • Finally figured out the issue.

    I couldn't change the security permissions on t2embed.dll (in system32), so clear temp files (I used CCleaner) then was able to change permissions to allow everyone full control.

    After changing the permissions I was able to export to PDF using ISO compliant (click options when the save prompt comes up). The reason you can't save PDF normally is because the document has a font that you either don't have or is corrupt. No issues with exporting normally on new documents.

    I think the issue started when I installed a new font (Quicksand bold).

    Thursday, August 11, 2016 7:27 AM
  • At my company we cannot modify permissions to this file.  We are investigating right now, and we do have a custom font (sigh) as well.  Will let you know if changing those permissions works. the "answer" from marcoprod doesn't work and should be removed from the thread
    Friday, August 19, 2016 12:47 PM
  • I was lucky enough to have a two page document to troubleshoot this error.

    <CTRL><A> (select all text)

    Off all the highlighted items, look for an empty object laying somewhere in the document (the empty object handles will show up when selected)

    Delete the empty object.

    Voilà!

    The object causing the issue was located in the header of my document.

    Friday, September 30, 2016 12:07 AM
  • Enabling "ISO 19005-1 compliant (PDF/A)" didn't solve the problem for me. My problem is exporting to PDF and it only says "The export failed due to an unexpected error." It says nothing about what that error is. Again Microsoft fails me. The "copy the file's contents to a new paragraph" didn't fix it either. 
    Saturday, January 21, 2017 2:07 AM
  • This solution worked very well for a very complex 255-page document we needed converted to a PDF.    We had a slight problem with the page numbers being reversed on a half dozen pages, which most likely was another problem in itself, but it was refreshing to have something that worked!    God Bless you!
    Wednesday, May 24, 2017 10:59 PM
  • This is a problem with 2016 for Mac, under Sierra.  The export hangs and never completes.  If there is no file with the same name and a .pdf extension, then it sometimes completes the export but the process window stays open.  UGH.  I can use a Mac extension to save as PDF from the print dialog, but the native export in Word always fails.
    Thursday, May 25, 2017 2:46 PM
  • Changing the permissions on t2embed.dll to full worked for me after I temporarily change my username to own that file:  Word 2016 save as pdf now works without the error. I did not need to use PDF/A option.



    Monday, July 17, 2017 7:44 PM
  • <g class="gr_ gr_27 gr-alert gr_gramm undefined Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" data-gr-id="27" id="27">Guys</g> I have the same problem but I have a MAC so could somebody please help me?

    Tuesday, August 8, 2017 7:13 PM
  • TL;DR: If you have a large document with a lot of images, you will need to make sure that all the images have been loaded before saving the document to PDF. Scroll to the bottom of the document.

    I was getting this issue on a large document (300+ pages with 700+ linked images). When attempting to save as a PDF the document would return the "The export failed due to an unexpected error." which of course could mean anything.

    Following the recommendations below, I went through the whole document and adjusted the images to fit within the page margin before saving the document as PDF again, this worked, however when I closed and re-opened the document and tried saving the document as PDF again, it returned the unexpected error again.

    Turns out that the error was being caused by the images, but not because they were sitting outside of the page margins. When opening the document only the images on page 1-39 were loading initially, if you attempted to save as a PDF at that point the remaining images in the document were not loaded and the export would fail to save. I was able to overcome this by scrolling through the whole document before trying to export as pdf.

    *EDIT: Office 2016 64-bit (16.0.7329.1051)


    • Edited by DavidPilk_ Wednesday, November 15, 2017 1:23 AM
    Wednesday, November 15, 2017 1:21 AM
  • I've found a workaround that doesn't involve using a third party product or uploading to OneDrive and using Word Online.  I don't know if this will work for all scenarios, but it did for me.  Hopefully it will help others.

    • From Word 2016, go to File then Save As
    • In the right pane, close to the top, select More Options...
    • Change the Save as type: to PDF and select Options...
    • Untick the box under "Include non-printing information" that says "Document structure tags for accessibility" and click OK
    • Click Save

    This time it should work.

    Thanks

    Keith

    convert word docx to pdf workaround


    Keith Copeland

    Monday, January 29, 2018 3:15 AM
  • I was having no issues even though my company forces us to use Office 365 with Windows 7 OS. I have several picture and snapshot heavy documents, with tables, that I have to upload as PDF for clients. up until Monday evening, Feb 26, everything was fine. I have always been able to save my precious documents as PDF and upload them easily. Since Tuesday, the more important files, which happen to be in a sub-folder, can No longer be saved as PDF. MS Word files in the Parent folder still save as PDF just fine - and in other folders on the same level as that Parent folder - it is only my absolutely critical documents in the child folder that are not saving as PDF and they crash Word every time.                                         I have moved the files to a folder where the ones in the folder I move them to work, I have created a brand new folder and moved them to that, I created a brand new document, and copied the contents, except the last paragraph mark, to the new document in the  new "parent" level folder - all to no avail. I have checked folder permissions and they are the same on both the folder where the Word files work and on the folder where they don't.  The documents, in this ONE folder, including ones that I turned into pdfs a month ago, will no longer save as pdf. As a side note, when you open one of the non-working docx files, the screen "jumps" to the right - for a second after it is opened. Then I know that I am still in trouble.

     I have been a technical writer for over 25 years, and I used to do beta testing for Microsoft Word - because I use tables pretty heavily - but this has me stumped. None of the suggestions in this chain help and recreating 50 documents, of 50+ pages, in some instances, with screen snapshots and diagrams, is a huge problem for me because I can't even find a work around. I have not been able to make my client deliverables for two days now - and I could lose my job over this. Does anyone know what Microsoft auto updates might have installed Monday night that could ruin Word files in just one sub-folder? close to tears now -

    Thursday, March 1, 2018 8:21 PM
  • I'm not sure if this would specifically be an issue with Office or Windows, but I've seen odd errors when the path to a file goes over 255 characters.

    You try moving it to the desktop and specifying the .PDF save path to the desktop?

    Wednesday, March 7, 2018 11:53 PM
  • I also found that none of the results provided here worked for my formatting- and image-heavy, 177-page document. Printing as PDF, Exporting, Saving As, going through all the various options, none worked. 

    Couldn't save as old version or upload to Office Online, as this ruined the formatting.

    I found success in removing/<g class="gr_ gr_261 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" data-gr-id="261" id="261">reinstaling</g> the Acrobat PDFMaker Add-in. 

    https://support.office.com/en-us/article/missing-adobe-acrobat-tab-even-when-add-in-is-enabled-in-office-2016-apps-9a723b83-3ef5-4dd0-9701-269d888e7396 

    Thursday, March 22, 2018 6:23 PM
  • <g class="gr_ gr_54 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins doubleReplace replaceWithoutSep" data-gr-id="54" id="54">Follow-up</g> to add that "Save As PDF" "Print to PDF" and "Export to "PDF" still don't work, BUT

    I have Adobe Acrobat DC installed, and this adds a "Convert to PDF" option on the Context (Right-click) menu.

    Using the previous mentioned PDFMaker Add-in, I'm able to now convert the whole file to PDF from the File Browser, rather than from Word. Not ideal, but workable.

    Thursday, March 22, 2018 7:41 PM
  • It worked for me ,thanks
    Saturday, September 29, 2018 7:58 AM