Printing to PDF's

One of Apple's major changes with OS X is the integration of PDF technology into the basic operating system. One of the best areas where this can be seen is in printing documents.

Normally on most computers when you decide to print a document or a web page, you are intending to print it to a printer. With OS X, Apple has given us a valuable option of printing to a PDF file rather than directly to a printer. This means that you can easily create PDF documents with just a few simple setting changes in the print dialog box. There are several advantages to printing your document to a PDF file rather than a printer.

A PDF document is a file that can be read by just about anyone or any computer in the world today. If you have a family member that has a Windows based computer, you can print a document to a PDF file and then send it to them via e-mail. They can then open the file with Adobe Acrobat Reader. This is a free program that is available from Adobe and is available for just about every common computer platform currently in use such as Windows and Linux.

I find this extremely helpful to create PDF files from web pages and word documents.

In order to create a PDF file instead of printing, just choose Print from the File menu. Then click on the Save to PDF... button.

After clicking on the Save as PDF... button, you will then see a normal file save dialog box asking you to save the file. I would suggest that uncheck the box at the bottom of the window concerning hiding the extension. PC users will not recognize the file correctly if it does not have the correct file name extension. Go ahead and name the document ensuring that you keep the .pdf extension. That is all there is to it. You have just created a PDF file that anyone with Adobe Acrobat Reader can read.

The icon that you will normally see in OS X is shown below:

Normally be default, Mac OS X will open this with the Preview application if you double click the option. You can also open it with Acrobat Reader if you have it installed.


Return to Main Site