Google Drive - Simple method of creating PDF copies of Emails

1. Open the email 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 which email system you are using but some examples of print panels are shown below.


2. If there is a save to Google Drive option, select that and skip to step 4 below. 

If there is a Print to PDF, Save to PDF or Save as PDF option, press that then select OK or Go or whatever button it is in your app which starts the process and skip to step 3 below.

If you are using an IPad or IPhone expand the print preview image (move finger and thumb apart) so that it fills the screen and then press 
 to save the PDF to Google Drive, then skip to step 4 below.

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 - i.e. a work folder where you are storing PDFs temporarily before loading them to Google Drive -  and enter the name to be given to the PDF copy you are creating - give it a name such as 2016-03-15   Email at 15.36  Andrew Smith to Paul Jones  to save having to rename later within Google Drive, and select Save (or OK or Go or whatever button it is in your app that you have to press to proceed).

Note that there should be two spaces after the time in the file name - i.e. two spaces before the word Andrew in the example above. 

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 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: the method described above uses the email 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 you need to select any print options necessary to ensure that all the data from the file appears in the "printed" PDF copy. In particular 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 email app you are currently using you may need to use a different email app on another device which does "print" these details.  

4. If the email had attachments, you need to create a file for each attachment. If you are using Gmail, you can use the Save to Drive button on each attachment to save a copy direct to Google Drive. Otherwise you need to open each attachment and carry out steps 1 to 3 above, saving the attachments with names as shown in the examples below: 

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


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.

Any explanation about naming conventions or other matters in the context of tribunal or court procedure is only an overview and in order to be reasonably concise I have had to leave some details out - details which are likely to affect what the procedural law would say about your own situation. So please do not rely on the above but contact me for advice.

This page was lasted updated in February 2017. Disclaimer