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How to create PDF files in MacOS Mojave without additional software

You have been able to make a PDF out of any document on Mac for many years. We take it so much for granted that we don't know what extra options we have – not noticed how Apple is trying to change the way we make PDFs. AppleInsider walks you through making a PDF, with only the tools included with macOS.

We do not appreciate what we have. After a short period of the 90s, when PDF files could only be generated through costly software, the document format was added as a key element in MacOS. For a while, it would only be when you had to use a customer's PC that you realized how integrated PDF files are for Mac, how easy they should be used. And how exasperating it was to just print a PDF on Windows had to buy extra software ̵

1; if the client's IT department would leave you.

Things have changed, and now Windows 10 has some of the PDF features we're used to on Mac. Nevertheless, our knowledge means that we can miss some of the finer PDF details and features that our Macs can do for us.

There are third-party tools with features like Macs – and especially the Preview app – don't have. But the gigantic majority of what you can use a PDF for is covered in the Mojave.

Create PDF files

For many years and years, the way to make a PDF out of any document in any application on the Mac was exactly the same. You printed it out. Go to File Print and click PDF button at the bottom left of the Print dialog box. It looks like a button, but it's a drop-down menu. Select Save as PDF from the list and then display a regular Save dialog that lets you choose where to put the PDF.

  It's easy to miss, but every print dialog has a PDF drop-down menu

It's easy to miss, but every print dialog has a PDF drop-down menu

That's it. Before Selecting Save as PDF you can make some minor adjustments in the print dialog. You can set it to make the PDF file out of pages 10-15 only, for example. Or change it from standing to landscape. All you can adjust for a document print on paper, you can adjust here for the PDF, but that's all.

Apple would rather you do it differently. The company prefers that the programs give you something like File Export to PDF option that Pages, Numbers and other Apple apps have.

Currently, someone is guessing whether a particular app will ever adopt this or not. Microsoft Office ignores it, for example, and sticks to the old way, but there are times when this export approach is useful. It's true, it's partly just because it saves you a step looking through the print dialog, but it also gives you the ability to save the PDF in different qualities. It's not a precise tool, but Apple gives you the choice of Good Better and Best gives you significantly different quality and file sizes in the resulting PDF file. 19659007] Top LR: a good, better, best text PDF. Bottom: same with an image "height =" 636 "class =" lazy "data-original =" https://photos5.appleinsider.com/gallery/29667-48132-002-Comparing-Export-Quality-l.jpg "/>

Top LR: a good, better, best text PDF Bottom: the same with a picture

You can be hard pressed to see the difference in text after selecting Bra Better or Best quality in Export to PDF There is not always a dramatic difference when the PDF also has pictures, but it may be. Good slightly distorted the theater walls in the first picture.

  Close-up on the difference between good and best quality. notice how the brickwork between the windows is distorted </span></div>
<p>  Similarly, you will get differences when the PDF file has charts or illustrations, but they may be small. With pen and ink illustrations, you can see that areas with a cross-hatch look for example less. </p><div><script async src=

There is no way to measure how much difference it will be, and in fact there is not even a way to know in advance how much less your file size will be. It depends on the length of your PDF document and the number of pictures or illustrations in it. For example, the PDF document in the image above is 115KB in good quality, 168KB better and 197KB at best.

It's not a difference that will worry you. Yet with a much larger and complex document, a reduction in file size can be the difference between being able to upload it to a service such as MailChimp or not.

Preview is not just for display

The document in the examples above was created in Pages, exported to PDF, and then opened in Preview. The preview program is an excellent PDF reader, but it is also much, much more than that.

Preview has two strange similar but more important different options. In the menu File you can see both Export … and Export to PDF .

The first Export … lets you create a PDF, just as the other option does, but it gives you more controls along the way. Select Export … and preview will display a regular Save As dialog with specific automatic settings. For example, there is a Format setting. This allows you to save any document such as PDF, JPEG, PNG and so on.

Below, however, there are settings that vary depending on the format you selected. For PDF you get an alternative called Quartz Filter . The name Quartz comes from macOS internal Core Graphics features, and what you really put in here is how the Mac will make the PDF file. You can create a monochrome PDF, you can lighten the pictures – and you can reduce the file size.

  Left: Full-size PDF document. Right: Same after using Preview's Reduce File Size

Left: Full-size PDF document. Right: the same after using Preview's Reduce File Size

However, you will not be able to set the reduction, you can only turn Reduce File Size on or off. Also, you cannot select two of the Quartfilter options or at least not at the same time. You can produce PDF that was black and white. Then open it and export it again with Reduce file size .

Again, there is no way to predict the difference of all this will do in the size of the PDF document. For example, taking the same page document with an image and using Reduce file size changed the 197KB original to a 92KB PDF.

Returns to Pages PDF and chooses to create a black and white version in Preview made a 86KB file. And then you use Reduce file size on that version we ended with an 87KB document.

  You can really squeeze the life out of the PDF. Left: A monochrome version. Right: That version also adds Reduce file size

You can really squeeze the life out of the PDF file. Left: A monochrome version. Right: That version also adds Reduce file size

So we made the document as bad as possible, and we also increased the size, if only fractionally. Perhaps this is why Apple only lets you choose one quartz filter at a time.

Nevertheless, even if you have to wonder a little to get a combination of small file size and a document that is acceptable to read, you can do so. You have several options for PDF files on your Mac before considering third-party apps.

That's exactly the same with the next number. Most of the time you will only read PDF files and only occasionally will you create them. And then it's a little less time when you edit the PDF documents instead of the original document.

You can make some major changes to your Mac, such as adding and removing entire pages. And you can annotate or tag any PDF to an inch of their life just by using what comes with Mojave.

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