Creating PDF copies of Text Messages

The history of text messages

The ability to send text messages was part of the design of mobile (cellular) phones from the beginning. The modern phone, or smartphone as it is sometimes called, is essentially a small computer capable of doing the kind of functions which computers are typically used for such as word processing, handling PDFs, and sending emails, with the phone function itself being just one of a number of apps on the smartphone. Although text messaging facilities have developed from the original SMS (short message system) so that it is now possible to text photos and other media (MMS) text messaging remains essentially part of the "phone" on a smartphone rather than part of the "computer". One consequence of this is that whilst it is easy to upload copies of ordinary "computer" files such as PDFs and Word files, there is no easy way of doing the same for text messages. If a photo is sent by MMS message you can save the photo itself as a JPG file and upload it in the usual way but there is no easy way to create a copy of an MMS or SMS message itself apart from doing a screenshot.

Taking a screenshot

You will need to display the text messages on your phone and take a screenshot. How to take a screenshot on a phone depends on what phone model it is but on iPhones it is usually pressing the home button and power button at the same time. On Android phones it is often pressing the volume down button and power button at the same time. The screenshot takes a JPG image of what the phone's screen is displaying at the time.   

Creating a PDF copy from a screenshot

Usually when you display a text message on a phone it will display the messages conversationally - i.e. it will show you all messages to and from that phone to a particular phone number, in chronological order - and if there are more than three or four short messages to/from that number, you have to scroll to see them all. An ordinary screenshot will save as a JPG just the text messages you are displaying at the time you take the screenshot. Or you can tap the scroll button to scroll through and save the entirety of the text messages as a single JPG.

If you have taken a screenshot of a single screen then you can load the JPG direct to Bundledocs, but if you have pressed the scroll button when taking the screenshot the JPG will be a long image and will not be displayed properly if loaded direct to Bundledocs so, instead, you need to create a PDF copy (containing as many pages as is necessary for the long image to be properly shown without the text being too small) and load the PDF to Bundledocs. 

To create a PDF from the long image JPG, open the JPG using PDF X-Change Editor and go to the Organise - Split - Split Pages panel. Tick remove source pages after splitting them. Tap Add horizontal split to split the page into two pages and drag the dividing line so that it is between messages (rather than running through the middle of a message). Depending how long the file is you may need to split more than once before tapping OK.  Select the pages and use More for Pages - Resize Pages to change all pages to A4 before saving the PDF.

If there are several distinct conversations at different times in the screenshot - e.g. a number of texts over several days, followed by a gap of several weeks, then a number of texts over a few days, then you can split the texts for each distinct conversation onto different PDF pages and then save each as a separate PDF.


The information on this page about specific computer techniques is provided for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date at the time it was written but no responsibility for its accuracy, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by me. You should satisfy yourself, before using any of the techniques, software or services described, that the techniques are appropriate for your purposes and that the software or service is reliable.

This page was lasted updated in May 2020. Disclaimer