How to create PDF

Who I am
Aina Prat
@ainaprat
Author and references

PDF printers

There is no doubt: the simplest and most immediate way to create documents in PDF format is to install one on your computer virtual printer, then feeding it all the files you want to export in this format.


In case you've never heard of them, virtual printers work just like real printers. This means that they can be called up in any application, such as Word, Excel or Chrome and can "print", ie export, in PDF format all printable contents, whether they are text documents, photos, web pages or other. Many recent operating systems include “standard” PDF virtual printers, but they can also be installed separately if desired. Read on to learn more.


Windows 10 PDF printer

Windows 10 it includes “standard” a PDF printer that can be called up by any application, even those not produced directly by Microsoft. His name is Microsoft Print to PDF and its functioning is of a disarming simplicity.

create PDF with the Windows 10 virtual printer, open any type of printable document, such as a web page in Chrome, a text document in Notepad or a photo in the Windows photo viewer and invoke the command. print from the menu Fillet (which in some programs is hidden under buttons such as…, ⋮ or ☰).


In the window that opens, select Microsoft Print to PDF o Save as PDF as a printer and starts the process print by clicking on the appropriate button. Then select the destination folder of your PDF and that's it.

DoPDF (Windows)

If you are using a version of Windows earlier than 10, you can rely on DoPDF which is one of the best free PDF printers available. To download it on your PC, connect to its official website and click on the button DoPDF Free Download.


When the download is complete, open the DoPDF installation package (eg. dopdf-full.exe), remove the check mark from the item Install add-in for Microsoft Office (it's an extra feature you don't need) and click on first Install now and then Yes e Launch and visit the site to conclude the setup.

At this point, all you have to do is open the file to be transformed into PDF (e.g. a Word document or a Web page) and invoke the command print from the menu Fillet of the program you are using. In the window that opens, select DoPDF from the list of available printers and presses the button Print.

Then click on the button Shop by Department, select the path to save the PDF and press OK to start creating the document. If you want, you can also adjust the quality of the output file by selecting one of the options available under the heading PDF options.

MacOS PDF printer

If you use a Mac, you can get excellent quality PDFs using the virtual printer included “standard” in macOS. Therefore, you won't need any additional software and you can create a PDF document in seconds!


All you have to do is open the document to be transformed into PDF, invoke the command of print from the menu Fillet I will select the voice Save as PDF give menu to tendin PDF located at the bottom left of the window that opens. Easier than that?


Android PDF printer

As I already mentioned, it is also possible to create PDFs from smartphones and tablets. For example, if you have a terminal Android, you can transform any printable content into PDF by calling the print command from the sharing menu.

Going into more detail, what you need to do is display a printable document on the smartphone screen (e.g. a Chrome web page, a photo or other), press the share button or select the item Share from the menu of the app you are using and invoke the command print give the riquadro che si apre.

Next, choose Save to PDF o Save as PDF from the menu for choosing printers, presses the button PDF and select the folder on your smartphone or tablet where you want to save the PDF.

IOS / iPadOS PDF printer

Also iPhone e iPad offer a virtual printer to turn any printable content into PDF. To use it, view the content you want to convert to PDF on the smartphone or tablet screen (e.g. a web page in Safari or a message in Mail) and presses onshare icon.

In the pane that opens, select the icon Print and make one zoom with two fingers on the thumbnail of the content to be printed. Then he presses again on theshare icon and choose which app you want to save your document in PDF format (eg iCloud Drive, Google Drive or Dropbox).



Programs to create PDF

want create a PDF starting from scratch? Then you need word processing software, a printable document creation program and / or a spreadsheet program that has PDF support. Now I'll point out some that should be right for you.

LibreOffice (Windows / macOS / Linux)

If you want to create documents, spreadsheets, brochures or presentations to be transformed into PDF, you can only rely on LibreOffice. In case you have never heard of it, LibreOffice is a free and open source alternative to Microsoft Office suite, which includes everything you need to work with Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc. files. without excessive compatibility problems. It also includes many advanced features, such as exporting and editing PDF documents. It is also compatible with all major operating systems: Windows, macOS and Linux.

To download LibreOffice on your computer, connect to its official website and click on the button Download. A Mac, also click on the button Translated user interface which is used to download the your language translation package for the software (included instead "standard" in the installation of the Windows version).

When the download finishes, if you use Windows, open the installation package . MSI LibreOffice and complete the setup by clicking in sequence on NEXT (twice in a row), Install, Yes e end.

If you use a Macapri invece il package .dmg you downloaded earlier and copy the LibreOffice icon into the folder Applications of macOS. Then start LibreOffice by right clicking on its icon and selecting the item apri from the menu that appears (in order to bypass the macOS restrictions regarding applications from developers not certified by Apple) and close the program again by pressing cmd + q.

After this step too, open the dmg package with the your language translation of LibreOffice, right click on the file LibreOffice Language Pack, select the voice apri from the context menu and click on the button first Install twice in a row, then on Yes, identify me and type your user account password on macOS to install the language pack.

Now you just have to start LibreOffice, click on the button to create a new document of the type you prefer (eg. Document Writer to write a text document) and go to the menu File> Export As> Export to PDF format to save the final result as a PDF file.

If you need information on how to edit existing PDF files with LibreOffice, check out my tutorial on how to write to a PDF where everything is explained in detail.

Wondershare PDFelement (Windows / macOS)

If you are looking for a complete, flexible yet easy to use PDF creator program, I recommend you take a look at Wondershare PDFelement which really includes everything you need to work on PDF files.

Create PDFs from images, HTML files, Office documents and other types of documents; turns PDFs into editable Word files or other Office files; unites them; allows you to process them in bulk to extract data / pages and other operations; allows you to edit text and images in PDFs, add elements such as highlights, shapes and arrows to them, and much more. The program is available for both Windows that for MacOS, is fully translated into your language and you can download it for free.

To get it, connect to its official website and click on download button that you find inside. Once the download is complete, if you use a PC Windows, start the .exe file obtained, click on the buttons Yes e Install, wait for all the files necessary for the software to work to be downloaded from the Internet and complete the setup by clicking on Sign up now.

If you use a MacInstead, open the .dmg file che hai ottenuto, click on the button Accept and drag theWondershare PDFelement icon in the folder Applications of macOS. That's all!

Now, to create your PDFs with Wondershare PDFelement, start the program and click on the box Create PDF: you will be able to choose aimage, an HTML file, an office document or another file and the program will automatically turn it into an editable PDF. In the case of images obtained from scanners, it is possible to take advantage of the technology OCR to transform scanned texts into editable texts.

Now you just have to select the Wondershare PDFelement tools to make the desired changes to your PDF: in the tab Instruments find the tools to select / edit text and images already contained in the document, create PDFs from various types of files, acquire documents from the scanner, capture snapshots of the open document etc .; in the card Show there are all the options related to the visualization of the PDF; in the card Converted find instead the tools to process texts with OCR technology, optimize the size of the PDF and transform it into a Word, Excel, PPT file, an image or a simple text file.

In the tab Modification then there are the tools to add images, texts, links, backgrounds and other contents to the document; in Annotation arrows, shapes, highlighters and other annotation tools; in Pages tools for extracting, inserting, dividing, replacing and rotating document pages; in Forms tools to create fillable forms (to export to PDF or Word); in Protection there are functions to add signatures and passwords to documents.

Once you have made all the changes you want in the document (just select a tool from the top bar, customize its properties using the commands that appear on the right and operate directly on the content of the file), you can export it by going to the menu Filletat the top left and selecting the item Save with name (to save it as PDF) or the voice Export to (to save it in Word format) from the next screen.

Please note that the free version of Wondershare PDFelement imprints a watermark on the generated documents. It also allows you to convert up to two pages of each PDF and to batch extract data from up to two documents at a time. To remove these limitations it is necessary to purchase the full version of the software, with prices starting from 69 euros / year or 79 euros a month. More info here.

Finally, I remind you that there is also a mobile version of Wondershare PDFelement, compatible with both Android and iOS / iPadOS, ideal for creating and editing PDFs even on the move: take a look and you won't regret it.

Microsoft Office (Windows / macOS)

If you want to know how to create pdf from word, you need to know that starting from the 2007 Microsoft Office allows you to export any type of document as a PDF file. To take advantage of this feature, all you have to do is open the document you want to turn into PDF in Word, Excel, Power point or in another program of the suite, press the button Fillet located at the top left and select the items Export> Create PDF / XPS Document> Create PDF / XPS.

If you are using a Mac, you need to select the item Save with name from the menu Fillet which is at the top and you have to select the option PDF give menu to tendin File format located in the window that opens. That's all! If you then want to know how to create editable pdf with word, I recommend reading this tutorial of mine.

PDFill FREE PDF Tools (Windows)

Do you have a series of images in JPG, PNG or BMP format and would like to turn it into a PDF document? You can use the free program PDFill FREE PDF Tools to Windows which, as the name suggests, includes a range view of tools for creating, editing and converting PDFs.

To download PDFill FREE PDF Tools on your computer, connected to the official website of the program and click on the button Download now twice in a row. When the download is complete, open the program installation package (PDFill_PDF_Tools_FREE.exe) and click on first Yes and then Next.

Now, put the check mark next to the item I accept the terms in the License Agreement and click in sequence on Next (three consecutive times), install e Finish to complete the setup. Uncheck the items related to other PDFill software to avoid installing them on your computer (they are not dangerous software, but they are not needed for what you have to do).

You may be prompted to install as well Ghost script e . Net Framework: accept, these are two free software necessary for the operation of PDFill FREE PDF Tools and not promotional content.

At the end of the installation, launch PDFill FREE PDF Tools and choose the function Convert images to PDF from the main menu of the application. Then drag the images you want to transform into PDF in the window that opens, move them in the order you prefer using the buttons Move up (move up) e move down (move down) and click the button Save as but I will complete the operation.

For more information on how PDFill FREE PDF Tools and other similar software work, read my tutorial on how to transform JPEG to PDF.

Preview (macOS)

Su Mac you can convert a series of images or PDF documents into unique PDFs using Preview, one of the applications included “standard” in macOS. The procedure to follow is really simple: open the first image you want to be part of the PDF, then go to the menu View> Thumbnails and drag the other images to the program's sidebar.

When done, click on any of the thumbnails, then select them all by pressing the key combination cmd + a and calls the function of print from the menu Fillet. Expand the drop-down menu PDF at the bottom left of the window that opens and select the item Save as PDF to get your document.

Google Drive (Online)

Google Drive is Google's cloud storage service and, by connecting to its official website, you can access a real free productivity suite that allows you to create and edit text documents, spreadsheets and presentations. It also supports viewing and exporting files to PDF, so I recommend that you highly consider it.

To export a Google Drive document to PDF, all you have to do is go to the menu File> Download located at the top left and select the item PDF document da quest'ultimo.

App for smartphones and tablets

In conclusion, let me recommend some apps to create and edit PDF documents on the go. There is something for all tastes and budgets.

  • Pages - Apple's word processing application, now free on both Mac and iOS. It allows you to export any file to PDF simply by pressing the button (...), selecting the item Send a copy from the menu that opens and pressing the icon PDF.
  • Exodus PDF - an editor for PDF documents available on Android and iPhone and iPad that allows you to edit for free all the documents that are fed to you by adding customized texts, highlights and so on.
  • Notability - one of the best applications for creating annotations on PDF files and writing documents of this type from scratch. Only for iPad and iPhone, it costs 9,99 euros.
  • AndrOpen Office - an almost perfect port of OpenOffice (the productivity suite from which LibreOffice was born) for Android terminals. It's free.
  • Foxit Mobile PDF - another PDF file viewer that allows you to edit documents with text, notes and more. It is available for free for Android and iOS / iPadOS.

How to create editable PDF

Have you created a PDF file and now you want to know how to edit it? In this case, you should know that there are some tools to convert the document back to its original file or you can directly edit the PDF to add, remove or simply modify its content.

If you want to know then how to create editable pdf, my advice is to consult all the solutions that I have provided you in my tutorial on the subject.

How to create fillable PDF

If you intend to create a PDF form that may have fillable boxes, you must know that all this is possible, thanks to some tools suitable for this purpose.

For this reason, I recommend that you read my guide on how to create fillable PDF, where you will surely find all the information and suggestions you need!

How to create PDF online

If you do not want in any way to proceed with the installation of a software or application to create your documents in PDF format, you can also rely on some tools that allow you to create PDF online in a simple and immediate way.

Of course, you must first always make sure that an online PDF creation tool fully respects your privacy! In any case, you can refer to my tutorial on how to edit PDF online, so as to find the solutions that best suit you.

How to create PDF with photos

Do you want create PDF with photos without having to perform complex procedures? If so, know that you can easily do this thanks to the use of programs, apps or online tools that allow you to add images to your PDF documents.

If you want to know more about this topic, my advice is to carefully read all the tips I gave you in my guide on how to create PDF from images.

How to create unique PDF

If you have multiple files in PDF format and want to combine them together, your only solution is to use special tools designed for this purpose.

There are several PC software and even apps for smartphones and tablets, which can help you in this feat. You can also use online tools that can make this task even easier for you. To know more, you can refer to my tutorial on how to merge PDF files.

Articolo realizzato in collaboration with Wondershare.

How to create PDF

Audio Video How to create PDF
add a comment of How to create PDF
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.