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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

1845. Print to PDF in Windows 10

I have Windows 10 installed on my computer, and I need to create PDF files from my Microsoft Word documents. I’ve been told I can do this, but I can’t figure out how. Can you help?

For those who have somehow missed this, a PDF (Portable Document Format) file is a (mostly) read-only format for sharing and presenting information. You can create documents in Microsoft Word, for example, and share them with people that don’t have a copy of Microsoft Word by sending a recipient a PDF-format version of the document. Almost everyone has installed the Adobe Reader (free software that can display PDF files), and even those that haven’t can use most any modern browser to display the contents of the file. In other words, sending a PDF file as an attachment to an email message is a relatively safe way to ensure that just about anyone can view and read your document.

In versions of Windows prior to Windows 10, it wasn’t easy to create PDF files—you were required to download and install special printer drivers that would allow you to print documents to PDF format. Now, in Windows 10, the feature is finally built into the operating system. Anyone running Windows 10 can create a PDF from any application that allows printing, including Microsoft Word.

To do this, start printing your document, as if you were going to print it to a printer. (Pressing Ctrl+P normally works, in Windows.) Look at the list of available printers. You’re looking for the printer named Microsoft Print to PDF. Select that printer (rather than your normal, default printer). Once you do, you’ll be asked to supply a file name, and once you do, the software will “print” your document to a PDF file and save it where you indicated.
Mac users should note that this feature has been available since, well, almost forever (as long as we can recall, anyway). When you start to print a document, select the PDF dropdown list in the lower-left corner of the Print dialog box, and you’ll see various options dealing with printing to a PDF file. Couldn’t be easier! And now Windows 10 handles the job in much the same way.

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