How to Print to PDF on Mac

MacOS hero image

Sometimes you need to print a document, but you don’t have a printer available or you want to save it for your recordings in a stable format that will never change. In this case, you can “print” in a PDF file. Fortunately, macOS makes this easy from almost any application.

Apple’s Macintosh operating system (macOS) has included system level support for PDF files for 20 years now since the original public beta of Mac OS X. The PDF printer function is available from almost all printing applications, such as Safari, Chrome, Pages or Microsoft Word. Here’s how.

Open the document you want to print in a PDF file. From the menu bar at the top of the screen, select File> Print.

Click on File, Print in macOS

A print dialog opens. Ignore the Print button. At the bottom of the print window, you will see a small drop-down menu titled “PDF”. Click on it.

Click the PDF drop-down menu in macOS

From the PDF drop-down menu, select “Save as PDF”.

Click Save as PDF in macOS

The Save dialog opens. Type the file name you want and choose the location (like Documents or Desktop), then click “Save”.

MacOS registration dialog

The printed document will then be saved as a PDF file in the location you have chosen. If you double-click the PDF file you just created, you should see the document as it would appear if you printed it on paper.

PDF print results in macOS

From there you can copy it where you want, save it or maybe save it for future reference. It’s yours.

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