PDFs - Making PDF copies of Documents on any device - simple method

1. Open the file that you wish to make a PDF copy of, and select Print. A print panel will then appear. The exact layout of the print panel will depend on the type of file it is (and therefore on what app it opens with) but some examples of print panels are shown below.


2. Select the Print to PDF, Save to PDF or Save as PDF option. Then select Print (or OK or Go or whatever button it is in your app which starts the process). 

Note: If you are using an IPad or IPhone you may not see a PDF option on the print panel. In this case you need to expand the print preview image (move finger and thumb apart) so that it fills the screen and then press 
 to save the PDF.

3. You may be prompted to specify the destination folder and file name. Some systems have a prompt, as shown in the example below. If you are prompted, navigate to the appropriate folder and enter the name to be given to the PDF copy you are creating - e.g. 2014-03-15   Letter John Smith to Jane Jones  and select Save (or OK or Go or whatever button it is in your app that you have to press to proceed).

If your system does not prompt for a destination folder and file name then it will be one of those systems which creates a PDF, with the same name as the file you are copying, in a default folder without further prompting. In this case there will probably be a message displayed like this:

Content saved as pdf file in My Documents   

to tell you into what folder the PDF copy has been saved. 


Note 1: the method described above uses the app's "printing" function. In other words the app thinks it is printing when, in fact, what it thinks is a printer is actually another app creating a PDF. This means that, depending on the app, you need to select any print options necessary to ensure that all the data from the file appears in the "printed" PDF copy. So, for example, in the case of an email you might need to select an option in your email system to ensure that the date and time of each email is fully stated at the top of the message - e.g. 22/04/2016 rather than just 22nd April - together with the name of sender and recipient. If this is not possible with the app you are currently using you may need to use a different app on another device which does print these details.  

Note 2: If an email has attachments, "printing" the email only produces a PDF containing the email message - not the attachments. So you should then make PDF copies of each attachment as well, naming them like this:

2016-03-15   Email at 15.36  Andrew Smith to Paul Jones.pdf  
2016-03-15   Email at 15.36 Andrew Smith to Paul Jones - Contract.pdf 
2016-03-15   Email at 15.36 Andrew Smit to Paul Jones - Invoice.pdf

so that it is clear which email message each file was attached to. (Note that there should be two spaces after the time in the message PDF to ensure that it is listed immediately before the attachment files.)  


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 February 2017. Disclaimer