There’s PDF Power in the Print menu
Mac Tip #358, 01 October 2008
Way back in Mac OS X’s infancy I wrote How to make PDFs in OS X, Mac Tip #97/16-April-2003. The Tip remains useful, but we can add some sophistication to it.
That old Tip simply suggested ‘printing’ the PDF as a saved file on your computer, but there may be other interesting options too.
Note that I’m writing this Tip about Mac OS X 10.5.5. If you use a different version of Mac OS X things may not be quite the same.
To make a PDF from anything on screen (not just a web page) go to the File Menu and choose Print….
Once the Print Dialog box appears click on the PDF button at the bottom. A whole new menu opens up, with various possibilities depending on what software you have installed on your Mac.
The screenshot shows I can do many PDF-related activities, including mail the PDF, Save it as a JPEG or TIFF, save it directly to iPhoto, Aperture, Evernote or DEVONthink Pro.
For example, I chose to save to iPhoto a web page I was viewing. After a few moments of processing iPhoto opened up and displayed the web page as 3 separate JPEG images.
Then I tried saving the PDF to Evernote. After a few moments a new Note popped open in Evernote containing the page as a PDF.
Finally I chose to Mail a PDF copy of this Tip as I was writing it. Mail.app opened up, with a new message ready for me to enter the email address and Subject line.
Warning: a PDF isn’t always the best way to mail information around, but if you need it, then this is a very handy way to do it.
Note: Wondering, as I was, what the PDF-X option in the PDF menu is all about? It’s a specialised form of PDF. There’s more information at Wikipedia.
PDF can be a great way to save and store information for future reference or for printing. Combine Print to PDF with an excellent information storing application such as Evernote and you have a smooth and efficient workflow.