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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Quick Tip: Print to PDF in iOS

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

A while back, I covered the Save to PDF feature that debuted in the iOS 9 beta, and which is now part of iOS. But, as I remarked at the time, it’s not quite equal to the Print to PDF feature that the Mac has long had.


However, there’s been another hidden version of the Print to PDF feature on iOS that’s been floating around for some time–I most recently saw it on Devon Technologies blog. It’s still not quite as convenient as it is on the Mac, but it gives you a little more flexibility than simply saving a PDF to iBooks.

Tap the Share button in any app that has it, then tap the Print button. You’ll get a print preview window, with a thumbnail. Now, here’s the fun part: pinch to zoom on the preview image and it’ll pop into fullscreen mode. (Note: If you’ve got a 3D Touch-enabled iPhone, you can also pop the image into fullscreen mode.) You’re now essentially viewing a PDF that’s been generated as a preview–but that document has its own Share menu. Using that, you can share the PDF via iMessage, email, AirDrop, or anything else that the Share sheet allows.

There you go. Maybe some day Apple will bake in a real Print to PDF feature, but for the moment, the alternatives are pretty good if you just need to get it done.

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is now available for pre-order.]

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