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Jan 11, 2013

How to save any file as a PDF – OS X Mountain Lion Tutorial

by Stephen Ashby

How to use any app’s Print options to save PDFs to your Mac for printing later

How to save any file as a PDF - OS X Mountain Lion TutorialHow to save any file as a PDF - OS X Mountain Lion TutorialThe breadth of things that you can do on a Mac grows literally every day, with software updates, new apps and new websites being created. Subsequently, you could, at any time, wish to save a file you are working on, looking at or about to complete a transaction with. Luckily OS X, and every app that has been written for it, has been done so using a set of simple ground rules.

These ground rules are set by Apple and mean that each piece of software will do a certain amount of the same things, using the same file systems and resulting in the same thing. In this case we’re talking about the ability to save a PDF file from a Print window. You can print from practically any app, and with this great ground rule, each and every one of those apps with a Print menu has a PDF saving option. Once you know how the process works, you’ll keep coming back for more.How to save any file as a PDF - OS X Mountain Lion Tutorial

How to save any file as a PDF - OS X Mountain Lion Tutorial1: Reach for the files

In this example we are using Pages but you can use almost any app. Head to the File menu and select Print. You can also use the Ctrl+P shortcut.

How to save any file as a PDF - OS X Mountain Lion Tutorial2: Hidden away

Tucked away in the bottom-corner of the Print dialog window is a PDF menu. Here you can select to Save the PDF in a location. Click Save as PDF.

How to save any file as a PDF - OS X Mountain Lion Tutorial3: Place it

You can now select a name and a home for the PDF you want to save before hitting the Save button in the bottom-right corner.

How to save any file as a PDF - OS X Mountain Lion Tutorial4: That’s not all…

You can even save yourself some time using this option and send the PDF directly to Mail so you can email to a friend, colleague or family member.

Click Image to Enlarge:

How to save any file as a PDF - OS X Mountain Lion Tutorial

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    • mpbris

      What happened to Save pdf in Iphoto? I used this pdf menu option frequently with lion (word 2011). Still using word 2011 but mountain lion has the option save to itunes which is no use to me to upload to website and facebook page. Aargh! Do you have a way to put this option there in the print pdf menu?

    • Stephen Ashby

      Hi mpbris,

      I’m afraid I’m not sure what you’re asking! If you’re wondering how to export a photo as a PDF in iPhoto, you can do so relatively easily. Select the photo you want and, just like in the tutorial above, select Print. You’ll need to go through an extra menu, where you can set up how you want your page to look, but hit Print and you’ll see the PDF option in the bottom-left again, as in the tutorial above.

      As for Word 2011, the PDF menu should still be available in the bottom-left of the Print menu, as it is standard across OS X. Let us know how you get on!

      Thanks,

      Steve

    • Walt Jay

      I have the same problem as mpbris. In Snow Leopard, I could select print, save as PDF, and then save as jpg in iPhoto. The print PDF file no longer has that option. I often saved PDF files directly to iPhoto but now I cannot do it.

    • Kate M

      I NEED to know how to save a document as PDF in iPhoto. I use it absolutely ALL the time when making graphics with Pages, or trying to put a document on iWeb. As soon as I upgraded to Mountain Lion I can no longer do this. Really frustrating.