Printing documents to PDF format directly from your printer allows creating digital copies easily accessible from any device. Setting up this configuration takes just a few steps depending on your printer model and computer OS.
The main benefits of printing to PDF include:
- Creating digital backups easily accessible from anywhere
- Saving paper and ink costs
- Enabling easy sharing of documents via email or cloud storage
- Retaining full formatting, images, colors etc. in digital copies
- Allowing PDF copies to be searched, edited or used in other documents
Below is a step-by-step guide to configuring different printer models to print to PDF on Windows and Mac OS.
Meta description: Learn how to set up any printer model to print directly to PDF on Windows and Mac. Step-by-step instructions for HP, Canon, Epson, Brother, Samsung printers.
Setting Up HP Printers to Print to PDF
HP printers allow printing to PDF on both Windows and Mac simply by selecting a virtual “HP PDF Printer” option. Here’s how to set up:
- Open the HP Printer Software. Go to Printer Properties > Printing Preferences.
- Click the “Print to File” tab > Select “Enable Print to File” > Choose PDF output format.
- Click OK to save the changes. The HP PDF printer will now appear as an option to print from any application.
- To print a file to PDF, select Print and choose the HP PDF printer as your printer. Adjust any settings as needed and click Print.
- Choose a save location and file name when prompted. The document will be saved as a PDF file instead of physically printing.
- Open System Preferences > Printers & Scanners and select your HP printer.
- Click Options & Supplies > Driver.
- Check the “Print To File” option to enable it and select PDF from the drop-down menu.
- Click OK and close System Preferences. The PDF option will now be available when printing.
- To print to PDF, select Print from any application and change the printer to the virtual “Save as PDF” option.
- Choose a save location and file name and click Save. This will generate a PDF file of your document.
Setting Up Canon Printers to Print to PDF
Canon printers also offer integrated options to print directly to PDF format:
- Access the Canon Printer Properties from Devices and Printers.
- Go to the Printing Preferences tab and click the Page Setup tab.
- Under Output Method, enable Print to file then select PDF from the drop-down menu.
- Click OK to apply the changes. The PDF printer will now appear as an option when you select Print.
- To print to PDF, choose the Canon PDF printer, adjust any settings, and click Print.
- Select a save location and file name for your PDF file.
- In System Preferences select your Canon printer and choose Options & Supplies.
- Go to the Driver tab and check the Print To File box. Select PDF from the drop-down menu.
- Click OK to save the changes. The PDF printer will now show up when printing.
- From any application, choose Print then select the PDF printer option to save your document as a PDF file instead of printing.
Setting up Epson Printers to Print to PDF
Epson printers use the PDF Printing feature to enable saving documents as PDFs:
- Access your Epson printer settings from Devices and Printers > Printing Preferences
- Select the Maintenance tab > Click PDF Settings > Enable PDF Printing
- Click OK to apply settings. The Save as PDF option will now appear when you print.
- To print to PDF, select Print from any application and choose the Save as PDF printer option.
- Select a location to save your PDF and click Print. The document will be saved as a PDF file.
- In System Preferences select your Epson printer and open the Options & Supplies window.
- Go to the Driver tab and select Print To File, then choose PDF from the drop-down menu.
- Click OK to confirm changes. The PDF printer option will now appear when printing.
- To print a document to PDF, choose Print then select the PDF printer option.
- Choose a file name and save location for your PDF file and click Save to generate the PDF copy.
Setting up Brother Printers to Print to PDF
Brother printers allow integrating with third-party PDF software to enable printing to PDF:
- Download and install a free PDF creation software like PrimoPDF. This will add a virtual PDF printer option.
- Access your Brother printer properties, click Print to File under Print Settings, and select PDF format. Click OK to apply settings.
- Now when you print from any application, choose the PrimoPDF printer option to save your documents as a PDF file.
- Download and install a PDF software solution like Adobe Acrobat. This will add a Print to Adobe PDF option.
- From System Preferences, select your Brother printer, click Options & Supplies, and enable Print To File feature.
- Now when you print a document, choose Print to Adobe PDF to save the output as a PDF file instead of printing.
Setting up Samsung Printers to Print to PDF
Samsung printers can integrate with the Windows Microsoft Print to PDF or Mac’s built-in PDF saving options:
- Click Start > Settings > Devices > Printers & scanners and select your Samsung printer
- Click Manage > Printing preferences and enable Print to file option
- Now when printing, select Microsoft Print to PDF to save your document as PDF
- In System Preferences, select your Samsung printer
- Enable Print To File option in the Driver tab
- When printing a document, change printer to Save as PDF to save your file as a PDF
Key Takeaway: The basic process involves enabling print to file or PDF options in your printer settings, after which virtual PDF printer options will appear for printing and saving documents as PDFs across Windows and Mac OS. Integrating your printer with specialized PDF software provides added functionality for advanced PDF conversion needs.
Setting up printing to PDF is a straightforward process for most major printer brands and computer operating systems. It transforms your regular printer into a virtual PDF creator for digitizing documents easily.
Utilizing the native print to file functions or integrating add-on PDF applications empowers saving a digital copy of any printable content as a fully formatted, editable, and searchable PDF file. This unlocks immense convenience, accessibility, cost and sustainability benefits when managing documents.
With the appropriate setup, generating PDF copies becomes as easy as selecting the virtual PDF printer option when printing from any application. So enable direct PDF printing on your devices and begin reaping the advantages.
Q1: Does printing to PDF use a lot of ink?
A: No, virtually no ink is used when printing directly to PDF as no physical pages are printed out. Documents are converted directly to digital PDF format.
Q2: Is PDF printing available on laser printers?
A: Yes, all major laser printer models offer print to PDF capabilities through native drivers or third-party software.
Q3: Can iOS devices print directly to PDF?
A: Yes, AirPrint enabled printers can print to PDF when sharing documents from iOS devices. Certain apps also allow saving to PDF.
Q4: Does printing to PDF retain all formatting accurately?
A: Yes, printing to PDF captures and saves the precise document formatting, images, text styling, colors etc. in the output PDF file.
Q5: Is there size limit when printing documents to PDF?
A: No practical size constraints exist. Print jobs of any size can be converted to PDF files subject to storage space available.
Q6: Can password protection be added when printing to PDF?
A: Yes, options generally exist to assign passwords to secure the resulting PDFs and control access.
Q7: Will special paper effects be retained when printing to PDF?
A: No, only the standard paper output is captured when converting print jobs to PDF format.
Q8: Can multiple document copies be printed to one PDF file?
A: Yes, copy count settings when printing get captured in the resulting PDF, retaining multiple digital copies.
Q9: Does Print to PDF work for scanning documents?
A: Printers with integrated scanners can directly scan to PDF using the same approach as printing to PDF.
Q10: Can PDF files be searched easily like Word documents?
A: Yes, PDFs are fully searchable for text appearing in the documents for easy discovery of information.
Q11: Is printing to PDF available over WiFi or only USB?
A: Print to PDF functions operate reliably over both USB and WiFi/Network connected printers.
Q12: Will images and graphics print clearly when saving as PDF?
A: Yes, graphics will retain full clarity and resolution when printed documents are converted to PDF format.
Q13: Can editable form fields be created when printing to PDF?
A: Yes, advanced PDF software provide options to create custom, fillable form fields in the output PDF files.
Q14: Does Print to PDF work well across Windows and Mac devices?
A: Yes, seamless printing to PDF is reliably enabled by printers on both Windows and macOS.
Q15: Is specialized software needed for printing envelopes or labels to PDF?
A: All printers can print envelopes and labels to PDF using defaults drivers. Specialty software is rarely required.
Q16: Where do saved PDF files go by default when printing to PDF?
A: By default, PDF documents are saved to the Documents folder. The output location can also be customized if needed.
Q17: Can I directly print emails from Outlook or Thunderbird to PDF?
A: Yes, emails from all major email clients can be easily printed directly to PDF on supporting printers.
Q18: Is Print to PDF available on Android smartphones and tablets?
A: Many Android printing apps have embedded support for printing to PDF format from mobile devices.
Q19: Does eco-mode printing affect print to PDF quality?
A: No, eco settings only save ink/toner when physically printing and don’t affect print to PDF output.
Q20: Can I print a PDF file directly into Microsoft Word format?
A: Yes, PDFs can be converted directly to Word documents for editing using PDF to Word converter tools.