PDFs are an incredibly useful file format because they work on all devices and can be read with free or built-in software that you probably already have. In short, if you want to be sure that someone can read your content, send them a PDF. Easy, right? Well, it’s easy if you know how to create a PDF. Luckily, this is very simple to do on iPads and iPhones, but not everyone knows how to do it. So, here’s a little known trick that shows you how to create a PDF of a web page (and other content) on an iOS device.
The secret is, if you can print it, you can create a PDF of it. Don’t worry. You don’t need a printer, but if you can access the print menu from the app you are working in, the chances are good that you can create a PDF of the content you are viewing. In the example below I will show you how to create a PDF from a webpage in Safari for iPad, but I will include some other examples at the end of this post.
Step 1: Navigate to the website that you want to save as a PDF.
Step 2: Activate Safari’s Reader Mode by tapping the icon in the address bar. (This is an optional step, but it eliminates a lot of the clutter you find on most web pages and will also likely reduce the number of pages in your final PDF).
Step 3: Tap the Share menu and select Print.
Step 4: In the Print Options window, pinch outwards with two fingers on one of the thumbnail preview images to create your PDF, (see image below).
Step 5: Tap the Share menu again to save your PDF to a cloud account, email it to a friend, or AirDrop it to your Mac.
Of course, this method isn’t just limited to websites. For instance, you can select multiple photos from your Camera Roll and save those as a PDF. You can take a note from the Notes app and save that as a PDF. You can even use the steps above to convert a Word or PowerPoint document to a PDF when previewing them inside of Dropbox. So remember, if you can print it, you can PDF it!
Bonus Tip: A special thanks to Mark Thomas (@SuprTekTalk) who left a comment below after discovering that you can select which pages you want to include in your PDF by scrolling through the thumbnail previews and tapping on one to Stop after page 5 or Skip Page 7. If you select which pages you want before you pinch, then your PDF will only be as long as you need it to be. You can also tap Options and select Range to choose the pages you need. This is especially useful when working with longform web articles that you may not need in their entirety. Thanks Mark! 🙂