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Print or Save Anything To PDF In Mac OS X

written by: Chet Alzona•edited by: Rebecca Scudder•updated: 7/7/2011

Saving files to PDF in Mac OS X is more prevalent than you think. While some programs lets you easily save items as a Portable Document Format (PDF), some may not be as obvious. This article will show you that anything you can print from your Mac can be saved as a PDF document.

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    Print And Save As PDF

    Print Dialogue 

    Not all applications allow you to straightforwardly save items as PDF. Most word processing, worksheet, and presentation apps let you save items to PDF from the save dialogue; but many other apps don’t often provide this option - like iTunes, iCal, Address Book, Dictionary, and internet browsers. There are times when we need to be able to save what we see on our screens so we can share the information with our co-workers, loved ones, family and friends.

    PDF files are lightweight documents that you can use between computers to share information. Whether it is to be used for work or for personal matters, for emails, uploads, file sharing, or to save to USBs, it is a great format to share data between machines. The best part of it is, the format may be read in multiple platforms - either in Linux, Windows, or Mac - and the output should always look the same.

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    In Places You Wouldn’t Expect Them To Be

    Many users don’t know right away that anything you can print in Mac OS X can be saved as PDF. We’ve touched this lightly with a previous article where you can print off your iTunes playlist and save them as PDF. But the ability to print and save to PDF goes beyond this, and is available in places or apps you wouldn't expect it to be.

    Practically anything that can be printed off from your Mac can be saved as a PDF file.

    This is a great OS capability that can facilitate the constant need to share data between people. To show you how you can take advantage of this feature, the article will show four Mac OS X apps that every Mac user has: iCal, Calculator, Font Book, and Dictionary. The data within these apps may be sent to the printer if you like, but you can also save the data in PDF form if you'd prefer sending it digitally.

    There are many other apps that you can send to the printer or save as a PDF file to make it easier for you to share information with your friends, family, or co-workers. And we'll leave it to you to discover what other apps you may use this nifty trick with.

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    Print From The App, Then Save As PDF

    The method is pretty simple, print what you can print by hitting Command+P, or selecting the File menu, then clicking on “Print”. You can do this to more than the mentioned apps in this article - like internet browsers, office applications, photos, and so on.

    The rule of thumb is - anything you can print in Mac OS X: you can save as a PDF file.

    To see an illustration on how the output looks like from the mentioned apps above, you can peruse the image gallery below.

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    Command+P, Save As PDF Gallery