Anyone who’s ever used a computer has undoubtedly used or viewed a PDF — aka Portable Document Format — at some point in their computing history. They’re incredibly convenient, essentially serving as an exact visual reproduction of the original file you can view regardless of what kind of device you’re using. Obviously, there are plenty of advantages to printing a document to a PDF instead of printing on paper, but Windows users haven’t had the native benefit to do so until now.
When Microsoft unveiled the highly anticipated Windows 10 operating system, one of the biggest announcements was the inclusion of a native print-to-PDF option. Because of this, Windows 10 users need not bother downloading an Adobe application to successfully print to PDF, it’s now as simple as just choosing PDF as a printer.
However, we understand not everyone made the jump to Windows 10 and remain loyal users of Windows 7 and 8. Because of this, we’ve taken to the task of helping all Windows OS users utilize a print-to-PDF function, whether natively or via a downloadable application. What follows is our comprehensive rundown for printing to PDF in Windows.
How to print to PDF using Windows 10
Thanks to a much-requested update, users of Windows 10 have the unprecedented ability — among Microsoft users, at least — to make use of a native print-to-PDF feature. To activate the feature, simply navigate to the Windows 10 Settings page and click on Devices.
The ensuing window automatically opens the Printers & scanners menu, which shows each printer available for use by the Windows 10 user. If the Microsoft Print to PDF printer doesn’t show up in this window, search for Advanced printer setup to find the function manually.
After opening the Advanced printer setup, select The printer that I want isn’t listed and then choose Add a local printer or network printer with manual settings. In the next window, open the drop-down menu beside Use an existing port, select FILE: (Print to File), then click Next.
In the following window, choose Microsoft as the manufacturer then scroll down to highlight Microsoft Print To PDF before hitting Next yet again. When given the choice to replace the current driver or use the driver already installed, we recommend simply using the current driver and selecting Next. After Windows 10 prompts you to name the print-to-PDF feature — we recommend just assigning it the default name so it’s easier to find — click Next one last time to install the desired printer.
With the function now available for use, simply open the document or web page you wish to convert to PDF and navigate to the Print function. After the print prompt screen opens, select Microsoft Print to PDF in the list of printer destinations and then click Print to convert the file to PDF. If done correctly, the page immediately asks you where you’d like to save the PDF document and to give the file a name. Simply choose the location on your hard drive where you’d like to store it, give it a unique name, and hit Save to successfully create your PDF.