How to Print a PDF and Print Other Documents to PDF Free


How to print a PDF on papers and how to print to PDF? These are different questions with the same answer - you need a printer. But there's a big difference, though.

To print a PDF on papers, you need to install a printer driving program on your device and connect with a real printer. With little changes in the printing settings, you can print a PDF in the single or double side, print multiple pages on one page, or print multiple of the same PDF page per sheet.

To print to PDF, what you require is a fictitious PDF printer on your device instead of a real printer. And in most cases, our computer or smartphone has already included such kind of "printer" by default.

Part 1. How to Print to PDF

Printing to PDF means to save a document as a .pdf file, which can prevent the content of your document being altered or even copied. To achieve that, we need to use a fictitious PDF printer on our device. Now let's see how to print to PDF on different devices.

How to Print to PDF on Windows

If you're using Windows 10, congratulations, you've already got the PDF printer you need. In Windows, Microsoft has included a built-in" print to PDF" feature into the operating system. And this feature will help you print any document to PDF from any application effortlessly.

Step 1. Open the document you want to print to PDF. You can open a Word, Excel, PPT, RTF, Webpage, image, etc in Microsoft Office, web browser, Photo viewer or any other program.

Step 2. Select "Print" on the menu of the program you're viewing the document. Or you can use the shortcut "Ctrl + P" on your keyboard.

Step 3. On the newly opened "Print" window, choose "Microsoft Print to PDF" as the printer, set a page range and number of copies, then click the "Print" button at the bottom.

Windows 10 Microsoft Print to PDF

Step 4. A "Save Print Output As" dialog will pop up, set your file name and select location to save your PDF file, and click the "Save" button. Now you've got your document printed to PDF.

Microsoft Print to PDF is not available in other Windows systems older than Windows 10. Therefore, you'll have to install other PDF printers such as Adobe Acrobat and CutePDF as alternatives. They will help to create PDFs from Word, PPT, Excel, etc in the print feature.

How to Print to PDF on Mac

Like Windows, Mac has a built-in "Save as PDF" feature as well. So we can print any document or image to PDF on Mac in any application that is compatible with this feature.

Step 1. Open any file you would like to print to PDF.

Step 2. Press "Command + P" on your keyboard to open the print option.

Step 3. On the "Print" setting window, choose "Save as PDF" on the destination, printer or output option. The detailed position varies for different apps.

Mac Screenshot Capture

Step 4. Customize the page range, layout orientation, paper size, storage location, file name, etc options, then hit the "Save" button. Done! The document has already been printed to a PDF file.


"In Preview and Safari, you can also go for the "Export as PDF" option on the "File" menu. This way will also save your files like Word, PPT, JPG, PNG, Excel to PDF quickly."

How to Print Multiple Slides on One Page PDF

How to print multiple PowerPoint slides on one page PDF? The answer is easy, we can simply set the printing handouts while printing to PDF.

Follow step 1 to step 3 in Part 1 or Part 2 according to your operating system. Then do a little change in step 3. For Windows users, click the "Full Page Slides" tab to pull down a layout and handouts setting window. Choose any multiple-slide handout you like. Then follow step 4 in Part 1.

Windows Print PPT to PDF Handouts

For Mac users, you'll have to choose the "Layout" option below the "Orientation" tab before you go to the "Save as PDF" selection. Then pick a number on the "Pages per sheet" column, this will decide how many slides of your PPT to be printed on the PDF. Next, just finish the process in part 2 and all will be fine.

Mac Preview Print to PDF Layout

How to Print Multiple Pages on One Page PDF

Printing multiple pages on one page PDF is almost the same as printing multiple slides. The key is to make multiple pages setting on the "Pages per sheet" option. This option might be in a different position to open on different programs, but once you find it, the rest operating steps are the same.


"If you got multiple files to print to one PDF, you can print them to a PDF file separately, and then merge multiple PDFs as one file."

Part 2. How to Print a PDF

How to Print a PDF File

Unlike printing to PDF, to print a PDF on papers require a real printer. Therefore, you'll have to purchase a printer and connected to your device, then download and install the corresponding driving program on your device to activate the printer. Once you active it, the printer will be displayed on the printer list on your computer. Next, we start to print your PDF on paper.

Print PDF On Papers

Step 1. Open your PDF with any program that is compatible with the format. Mac Preview, Adobe Acrobat Reader, PDFelememt, Google Chrome, etc are all decent choices.

Step 2. Activate the print function on your device. You can activate it by using the shortcut "Ctrl + P" on Windows and "Command + P" on Mac or selecting the "Print" option within the main menu of your viewer.

Step 3. Choose a printer. When the "Print" setting window pop up, choose the printer you've connected with your device from the printer list.

Step 4. Set the orientation, page range, and pages per sheet for your papers.

Adobe Reader Print Settings

Step 5. Make sure you've put enough blank papers in your printer.

Step 6. When everything is set, just click the "Print" button. Once all data of your PDF have been sent to the printer, you'll hear the printed papers coming out of it. That's it. Now you can pick up and read your PDF in a material object. This tutorial works for both Windows and Mac, only there's a bit different in the printing setting step on a different program.

How to Print Double-Sided PDF

To print double sided PDF, we just make a little setting while we're setting the print option in step 4. This double-sided PDF printing setting needs to choose or activate in different ways according to the PDF viewer you're using.

In Preview on Mac, select "Layout" on the default "Preview" column, and then open the "Two-sided" option.

Mac Preview Print Two-Sided

In Chrome for Mac, click the "More Settings" tab to open the hidden settings, then scroll the mouse to the bottom and select "Print using system dialog". Then you go for "Layout" > "Two-sided" and turn it on.

Mac Chrome Print Using System Dialog

In Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (Windows), you select "File" > "Print". In the printer dialog, select "Print On Both Sides Of Paper", then click the "Print" button.

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC Print Both Sides

For the Mac version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, the setting is a bit complicated. Here's an article explaining how to print double sided PDF with Adobe, follow the instructions on your version of Adobe Reader and it won't be a problem anymore.

No matter you're looking for help on how to print a PDF or how to print other documents to a PDF, this post has listed all kinds of solutions for both Windows and Mac users. Have you picked them up? Feel free to leave a comment or email us if you have anything to add to this topic.

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