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How to print to PDF in Windows 7 & 8

You’ve no doubt heard of PDFs, or Portable Document Format files, and have most likely used or viewed a PDF at some point. A document saved as a PDF is an exact visual reproduction of another file across any of the aforementioned devices.

Though printing a document to a PDF as opposed to outright printing it to paper can be convenient, Windows users haven’t had the benefit of a native print-to-PDF function built into the OS. Microsoft has instead stood firm behind its PDF-competing XPS format, despite the PDF’s popularity.

Some of you may already have Adobe Acrobat on your computer, while others may not have an Adobe application at all or are averse to Adobe products. We’ll cover how to print-to-PDF in Windows 7 & 8 for each of these groups.

For other PDF specific content, take a look at our write ups of how to edit a PDF and how to merge multiple PDF files.

How to Print to PDF with Adobe Acrobat

Printing a file to PDF with Adobe Acrobat already installed requires just a few simple steps.

First, open the file you wish to convert. Now, click on File, then Print, and the printing options window will open.

You’re given the option of choosing what printer to use, and your physical printer is most likely the default. Click the print dialog, print destination, or print options box and select Adobe PDF or Save as PDF as the destination.

Printing to Adobe PDF

Now click Print or Save, then name your document and choose a location to save the file to, and you’re done.

How to Print to PDF without Adobe Acrobat

Now, for those of you without Adobe Acrobat, you can either pay for Acrobat or go through a slightly trickier process of using a PDF converter. We’ll walk you through the steps of downloading a free PDF converter and how to use it to print-to-PDF.

We recommend the free converter doPDF, which you can download from its official website. We prefer this application because, unlike similar software, it doesn’t force you to download any random add-ons and works with both Windows 7 & 8.

Once you reach the homepage, click Download Now, and the installer will download to your computer. Access your downloads folder and run the doPDF installer. While running the installer, it will ask you if you want doPDF to be your default printer. Select this if you plan on converting to PDF often.

Set doPDF 7 printer as default printer

Open the application and you’ll immediately see an option to Convert a file to PDF. Click on the “…” icon and choose which file you want to convert to PDF.

Choose a file to convert to PDF

Once you choose a file, click Create, choose a destination for your new PDF, and click OK and you’re all set.

Save as PDF

Until Microsoft perfects its XPS format, converting your files to PDF is among the best options available for cross platform document compatibility. We hope this rundown has assisted you in printing files to PDF in either Windows 7 or 8.

Have an easier way of printing to PDF or having trouble with this walk-through? Sound off in the comments below.