Print to PDF on iPad and iPhone

Did you know you can print to pdf on your iPad and iPhone using a built in pdf printer? This means you do not need to download or pay for any app for printing your files to pdf format on your apple device.

Lets go through some screenshots showing how you can convert or print any file, document or even a picture to pdf on your iPad. This is one of those lesser known iPad or iPhone tips and tricks that make life easier.

PDF is one of the most widely used formats for viewing read-only documents. They consume less memory, are easy to share, and are difficult to edit (mess up). Time and time again, when we are ready to showcase a word document we composed, or file away an email in some local space, or upload an attachment to some site, it has to be done in PDF format. That’s when you start finding ways to print to pdf on your iPad.

Many end up downloading the Adobe Acrobat Reader app in our iphones to view pdf files. Its a good app for viewing pdfs, but its also constantly spamming you to purchase the premium features such as ‘convert to pdf’. If you have already done this then they have won. But if you are reading this article before buying that “upgrade”, then you have won.

Step 1: Get ready to print your item to pdf

Find the share button in the menu of action items on your ipad. I am using a small note I wrote in the notes app as an example. See screenshot below. The share button on ipads and iphone looks like a box with an arrow pointing upwards.

How to print to pdf on ipad
Find the share button for the item you want to save as pdf

Step 2: Select the print option in the list that shows up

Since you are printing to pdf, select the Print option that appears in the sharing menu.

print to pdf on ipad
Select Print to print to PDF


After tapping on Print, you are presented with a print preview with some options about selecting a printer and number of copies. Instead of selecting a printer, use your fingers to zoom into the print preview of the item you want to print to pdf. You have to zoom in all the way and let it fill the screen, just like how you zoom into pictures on you iPad.

ipad pdf print
zoom into your iphones screen to convert the page into PDF

Step 4: The document is now in PDF format

Congratulations, you have successfully converted your item into pdf on your iPad without downloading any app. To view what you can do with it, tap on the share option.

Save as pdf on ipad

Step 5: Treat it as a pdf file because it is

After tapping the the share button, you will notice that the file extension or file type will show as “PDF Document”. Refer to the image below. Now you can save it to your icloud drive, or whatsapp it, or email it. Do whatever you want to with it. Its a PDF, that’s what its for.

I hope this clearly explained how you can print any file to pdf on your ipad or iphone for free. There is no need to download and install any app as the built-in ipad pdf printer works perfectly fine for free. This same process and feature is also available in iPhones.

For more specific examples on printing to pdf on your ipad, check out any of the following links.

Printing an email to pdf on your iphone

Converting a webpage to pdf on an iphone

Print a note to pdf on iphone

Print a pages document to pdf on iphone

Watch this video for an animated demonstration of this article.