How to Save Text Files as PDF Files

  Matt Cone       June 26, 2007      Tutorials Mac Apps

PDF, which stands for “Portable Document Format,” has long been the desktop publishing standard for computer users everywhere. It’s an open-standard file format developed by Adobe and supported by many applications like Preview. You’re probably used to opening user manuals and help guides saved in the PDF file format, but did you know that you can also save your text files as PDF files? You can - Mac OS X makes it easy!

Why would you want to save text files as PDF files? There are several reasons:

Here’s how to save a text file as a PDF file:

  1. Open your text or word processing document, or create a new one. In this example, we’ll use a resume - a perfect candidate for a PDF file, since we want potential employers to see our text exactly as it appears on our Mac.

    Creating a PDF file on a Mac

  2. From the File menu, select Print. (Don’t worry - we’re not printing anything. We have to do this to get to the PDF save options!) The Print window will appear. Click the PDF button, and then select Save As PDF.

    Creating a PDF file on a Mac

    Note that there are plenty of other options to explore under the PDF button. We won’t be discussing those in this tutorial, but we’re quite fond of the Encrypt PDF option. That will password-protect your PDF file and keep it safe from prying eyes!

  3. Select a location to save your PDF file.

    Creating a PDF file on a Mac

  4. That’s it! You now have a PDF file that looks exactly like your text file. You can compress this file and email it to someone else, or you could just keep it as a backup. Either way, you’re good to go!

    Mac PDF icon

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