Keyboard Shortcut for “Save as PDF…” in OS X

Dear Reader,

 This post was updated in 2013 with a fancy screencast. You should go there now.

———————————————— 

Here is one thing that has been driving me crazy for some time.  I constantly find myself saving from Safari to PDF.  Whether it is a utility bill or legal research, I have a fetish for saving PDF copies.  The problem is that in order to do so you must click print, then the PDF button, then the “Save as PDF” button.  Each step requires me to get the mouse in the right place and read the menu.  Granted this is probably less than 10 seconds but I do it a lot and it makes me just a little bit  nuts.

So I’ve been thinking about this and wondering if there is an Automator action or perhaps an Applescript that can simplify this.  Well tonight I stumbled upon

an excellent hint at MacOSXHints

that address this very problem very easily through with a keyboard shorcut.

Here is the walkthrough.

Open your Keyboard Shortcuts tab in the Keyboard & Mouse system preference pane.

Picture 1.png

Click the “+” sign to add a new shortcut for all applications.

Picture 2.png

Then a box pops up asking for the command.

Save as PDF 3.png

Type in the Command exactly as it appears: “Save as PDF…”  For the ellipses, use the combination: option + semicolon.  Don’t ask me why because I have no clue.  Just do it.

Save as PDF 4.png

For the keyboard shortcut use: command + P (I know this sounds like a conflict with the print shortcut, but trust me)

Now you are done.

Picture 5.png

Now go to your favorite webpage and hold down the command key and press “P” twice.

Bingo.  “Save as PDF…” lickity split.

169 Comments Keyboard Shortcut for “Save as PDF…” in OS X

  1. anthonyjross@mac.com

    Great tip. Another good one that I think I picked up at MacOSXHints (I think in a comment to a tip) is a way to add a button to the browser bookmark bar that, when clicked, automatically opens an email with a link to the page you are viewing so you can send it to someone. You do it by creating a bookmark with the following address

    javascript:location.href=’mailto:?SUBJECT=’+document.title+’&BODY=’+escape(location.href)

    and then naming it something like “sendlink” and then putting the bookmark in the bookmark bar.

    Reply
  2. anthonyjross@mac.com

    Great tip. Another good one that I think I picked up at MacOSXHints (I think in a comment to a tip) is a way to add a button to the browser bookmark bar that, when clicked, automatically opens an email with a link to the page you are viewing so you can send it to someone. You do it by creating a bookmark with the following address

    javascript:location.href=’mailto:?SUBJECT=’+document.title+’&BODY=’+escape(location.href)

    and then naming it something like “sendlink” and then putting the bookmark in the bookmark bar.

    Reply
  3. anthonyjross@mac.com

    Great tip. Another good one that I think I picked up at MacOSXHints (I think in a comment to a tip) is a way to add a button to the browser bookmark bar that, when clicked, automatically opens an email with a link to the page you are viewing so you can send it to someone. You do it by creating a bookmark with the following address

    javascript:location.href=’mailto:?SUBJECT=’+document.title+’&BODY=’+escape(location.href)

    and then naming it something like “sendlink” and then putting the bookmark in the bookmark bar.

    Reply
  4. anthonyjross@mac.com

    Great tip. Another good one that I think I picked up at MacOSXHints (I think in a comment to a tip) is a way to add a button to the browser bookmark bar that, when clicked, automatically opens an email with a link to the page you are viewing so you can send it to someone. You do it by creating a bookmark with the following address

    javascript:location.href=’mailto:?SUBJECT=’+document.title+’&BODY=’+escape(location.href)

    and then naming it something like “sendlink” and then putting the bookmark in the bookmark bar.

    Reply
  5. anthonyjross@mac.com

    Great tip. Another good one that I think I picked up at MacOSXHints (I think in a comment to a tip) is a way to add a button to the browser bookmark bar that, when clicked, automatically opens an email with a link to the page you are viewing so you can send it to someone. You do it by creating a bookmark with the following address

    javascript:location.href=’mailto:?SUBJECT=’+document.title+’&BODY=’+escape(location.href)

    and then naming it something like “sendlink” and then putting the bookmark in the bookmark bar.

    Reply
  6. bernie.ball@duke.edu

    Great tip, thanks. Can this be modified to save as PDF to a specific folder? I see a workflow in the pull-down menu that says “Save PDF to iPhoto” It would be nice to be able to add the pull-down menu or simply have the PDF directed to a folder.

    Reply
  7. bernie.ball@duke.edu

    Great tip, thanks. Can this be modified to save as PDF to a specific folder? I see a workflow in the pull-down menu that says “Save PDF to iPhoto” It would be nice to be able to add the pull-down menu or simply have the PDF directed to a folder.

    Reply
  8. bernie.ball@duke.edu

    Great tip, thanks. Can this be modified to save as PDF to a specific folder? I see a workflow in the pull-down menu that says “Save PDF to iPhoto” It would be nice to be able to add the pull-down menu or simply have the PDF directed to a folder.

    Reply
  9. bernie.ball@duke.edu

    Great tip, thanks. Can this be modified to save as PDF to a specific folder? I see a workflow in the pull-down menu that says “Save PDF to iPhoto” It would be nice to be able to add the pull-down menu or simply have the PDF directed to a folder.

    Reply
  10. bernie.ball@duke.edu

    Great tip, thanks. Can this be modified to save as PDF to a specific folder? I see a workflow in the pull-down menu that says “Save PDF to iPhoto” It would be nice to be able to add the pull-down menu or simply have the PDF directed to a folder.

    Reply
  11. jonathan.cisco@gmail.com

    I have been looking for this for HOURS. By far the best method. THANKS.

    Reply
  12. jonathan.cisco@gmail.com

    I have been looking for this for HOURS. By far the best method. THANKS.

    Reply
  13. jonathan.cisco@gmail.com

    I have been looking for this for HOURS. By far the best method. THANKS.

    Reply
  14. jonathan.cisco@gmail.com

    I have been looking for this for HOURS. By far the best method. THANKS.

    Reply
  15. jonathan.cisco@gmail.com

    I have been looking for this for HOURS. By far the best method. THANKS.

    Reply
  16. cjones@pittstate.edu

    My problem is that I want to save only pages 3-500 not 1-500 but I can’t change those options via this method.

    Reply
  17. cjones@pittstate.edu

    My problem is that I want to save only pages 3-500 not 1-500 but I can’t change those options via this method.

    Reply
  18. cjones@pittstate.edu

    My problem is that I want to save only pages 3-500 not 1-500 but I can’t change those options via this method.

    Reply
  19. cjones@pittstate.edu

    My problem is that I want to save only pages 3-500 not 1-500 but I can’t change those options via this method.

    Reply
  20. cjones@pittstate.edu

    My problem is that I want to save only pages 3-500 not 1-500 but I can’t change those options via this method.

    Reply
  21. peter.register@zonnet.nl

    Tiger 2009-09-01

    Did not work, command + P twice doesn’t work. Followed intruct exactly. is this Leo only?

    Reply
  22. peter.register@zonnet.nl

    Tiger 2009-09-01

    Did not work, command + P twice doesn’t work. Followed intruct exactly. is this Leo only?

    Reply
  23. peter.register@zonnet.nl

    Tiger 2009-09-01

    Did not work, command + P twice doesn’t work. Followed intruct exactly. is this Leo only?

    Reply
  24. peter.register@zonnet.nl

    Tiger 2009-09-01

    Did not work, command + P twice doesn’t work. Followed intruct exactly. is this Leo only?

    Reply
  25. peter.register@zonnet.nl

    Tiger 2009-09-01

    Did not work, command + P twice doesn’t work. Followed intruct exactly. is this Leo only?

    Reply
  26. bauermusic@hotmail.com

    Brilliant!!!

    Make sure you write it EXACTLY the same. ‘Save’ – with capital ‘S’ and ‘as’ with small letters. Or just copy&paste from this page.

    (Didn’t work the first time for me because I wrote ‘As’ instead of ‘as’.)

    Using 10.5

    Reply
  27. bauermusic@hotmail.com

    Brilliant!!!

    Make sure you write it EXACTLY the same. ‘Save’ – with capital ‘S’ and ‘as’ with small letters. Or just copy&paste from this page.

    (Didn’t work the first time for me because I wrote ‘As’ instead of ‘as’.)

    Using 10.5

    Reply
  28. bauermusic@hotmail.com

    Brilliant!!!

    Make sure you write it EXACTLY the same. ‘Save’ – with capital ‘S’ and ‘as’ with small letters. Or just copy&paste from this page.

    (Didn’t work the first time for me because I wrote ‘As’ instead of ‘as’.)

    Using 10.5

    Reply
  29. bauermusic@hotmail.com

    Brilliant!!!

    Make sure you write it EXACTLY the same. ‘Save’ – with capital ‘S’ and ‘as’ with small letters. Or just copy&paste from this page.

    (Didn’t work the first time for me because I wrote ‘As’ instead of ‘as’.)

    Using 10.5

    Reply
  30. bauermusic@hotmail.com

    Brilliant!!!

    Make sure you write it EXACTLY the same. ‘Save’ – with capital ‘S’ and ‘as’ with small letters. Or just copy&paste from this page.

    (Didn’t work the first time for me because I wrote ‘As’ instead of ‘as’.)

    Using 10.5

    Reply
  31. mail4pja@gmail.com

    Thanks David, I have been wanting this feature for years. Why has this not been documented somewhere previously?

    Does this still work in Snow Leopard ?

    Reply
  32. mail4pja@gmail.com

    Thanks David, I have been wanting this feature for years. Why has this not been documented somewhere previously?

    Does this still work in Snow Leopard ?

    Reply
  33. mail4pja@gmail.com

    Thanks David, I have been wanting this feature for years. Why has this not been documented somewhere previously?

    Does this still work in Snow Leopard ?

    Reply
  34. mail4pja@gmail.com

    Thanks David, I have been wanting this feature for years. Why has this not been documented somewhere previously?

    Does this still work in Snow Leopard ?

    Reply
  35. mail4pja@gmail.com

    Thanks David, I have been wanting this feature for years. Why has this not been documented somewhere previously?

    Does this still work in Snow Leopard ?

    Reply
  36. D. Clark

    This has been bugging me for ever. I was so close, too. Thanks for sharing this. Awesome.

    Reply
  37. Curtis

    Absolutely fantastic tip. The only unfortunate side effect is it seems to kill the Shift--I command for "Mail Link to This Page", but manually adding into Keyboard Shortcuts brings it back.

    Reply
  38. harrymilleriii@hotmail.com

    I read about this when first posted, and wanted forever to set up. Finally did. Beautiful. Thanks. – H

    Reply
  39. harrymilleriii@hotmail.com

    I read about this when first posted, and wanted forever to set up. Finally did. Beautiful. Thanks. – H

    Reply
  40. harrymilleriii@hotmail.com

    I read about this when first posted, and wanted forever to set up. Finally did. Beautiful. Thanks. – H

    Reply
  41. harrymilleriii@hotmail.com

    I read about this when first posted, and wanted forever to set up. Finally did. Beautiful. Thanks. – H

    Reply
  42. harrymilleriii@hotmail.com

    I read about this when first posted, and wanted forever to set up. Finally did. Beautiful. Thanks. – H

    Reply
  43. rob@gl3media.com

    I'm trying to get this to work with sending PDF's to Evernote. I press CMD P, it brings up print window, but I then have to select PDF dropdown box before the second CMD P will send the page to Evernote. CMD P P doesn't do it all it one shot. Any idea if this is possible?

    Reply
  44. rob@gl3media.com

    I'm trying to get this to work with sending PDF's to Evernote. I press CMD P, it brings up print window, but I then have to select PDF dropdown box before the second CMD P will send the page to Evernote. CMD P P doesn't do it all it one shot. Any idea if this is possible?

    Reply
  45. rob@gl3media.com

    I'm trying to get this to work with sending PDF's to Evernote. I press CMD P, it brings up print window, but I then have to select PDF dropdown box before the second CMD P will send the page to Evernote. CMD P P doesn't do it all it one shot. Any idea if this is possible?

    Reply
  46. rob@gl3media.com

    I'm trying to get this to work with sending PDF's to Evernote. I press CMD P, it brings up print window, but I then have to select PDF dropdown box before the second CMD P will send the page to Evernote. CMD P P doesn't do it all it one shot. Any idea if this is possible?

    Reply
  47. rob@gl3media.com

    I'm trying to get this to work with sending PDF's to Evernote. I press CMD P, it brings up print window, but I then have to select PDF dropdown box before the second CMD P will send the page to Evernote. CMD P P doesn't do it all it one shot. Any idea if this is possible?

    Reply
  48. michaelrose@gmail.com

    Awesome.

    I just added 'Save PDF to Evernote' and bound it to ⌘-E

    Now archiving a fulltext snapshot of a webpage to Evernote is as simple as ⌘-P then E

    Love it!

    Reply
  49. michaelrose@gmail.com

    Awesome.

    I just added 'Save PDF to Evernote' and bound it to ⌘-E

    Now archiving a fulltext snapshot of a webpage to Evernote is as simple as ⌘-P then E

    Love it!

    Reply
  50. michaelrose@gmail.com

    Awesome.

    I just added 'Save PDF to Evernote' and bound it to ⌘-E

    Now archiving a fulltext snapshot of a webpage to Evernote is as simple as ⌘-P then E

    Love it!

    Reply
  51. michaelrose@gmail.com

    Awesome.

    I just added 'Save PDF to Evernote' and bound it to ⌘-E

    Now archiving a fulltext snapshot of a webpage to Evernote is as simple as ⌘-P then E

    Love it!

    Reply
  52. michaelrose@gmail.com

    Awesome.

    I just added 'Save PDF to Evernote' and bound it to ⌘-E

    Now archiving a fulltext snapshot of a webpage to Evernote is as simple as ⌘-P then E

    Love it!

    Reply
  53. nlunsford@venividi.com

    I did this some time ago, unfortunately it stopped working for me until after I click on the little PDF button, after which the shortcut works again. Does anyone have any thoughts as to what may have done this for me? (Al Macbook, 10.6.4)

    Reply
  54. nlunsford@venividi.com

    I did this some time ago, unfortunately it stopped working for me until after I click on the little PDF button, after which the shortcut works again. Does anyone have any thoughts as to what may have done this for me? (Al Macbook, 10.6.4)

    Reply
  55. nlunsford@venividi.com

    I did this some time ago, unfortunately it stopped working for me until after I click on the little PDF button, after which the shortcut works again. Does anyone have any thoughts as to what may have done this for me? (Al Macbook, 10.6.4)

    Reply
  56. nlunsford@venividi.com

    I did this some time ago, unfortunately it stopped working for me until after I click on the little PDF button, after which the shortcut works again. Does anyone have any thoughts as to what may have done this for me? (Al Macbook, 10.6.4)

    Reply
  57. nlunsford@venividi.com

    I did this some time ago, unfortunately it stopped working for me until after I click on the little PDF button, after which the shortcut works again. Does anyone have any thoughts as to what may have done this for me? (Al Macbook, 10.6.4)

    Reply
  58. jreese99@verizon.net

    The reason you have to type option + semicolon instead of three periods is that the ellipsis is a single character, not three characters. The text you enter for the menu title must match the menu text exactly, and one ellipsis character does not match three periods.

    Reply
  59. jreese99@verizon.net

    The reason you have to type option + semicolon instead of three periods is that the ellipsis is a single character, not three characters. The text you enter for the menu title must match the menu text exactly, and one ellipsis character does not match three periods.

    Reply
  60. jreese99@verizon.net

    The reason you have to type option + semicolon instead of three periods is that the ellipsis is a single character, not three characters. The text you enter for the menu title must match the menu text exactly, and one ellipsis character does not match three periods.

    Reply
  61. jreese99@verizon.net

    The reason you have to type option + semicolon instead of three periods is that the ellipsis is a single character, not three characters. The text you enter for the menu title must match the menu text exactly, and one ellipsis character does not match three periods.

    Reply
  62. jreese99@verizon.net

    The reason you have to type option + semicolon instead of three periods is that the ellipsis is a single character, not three characters. The text you enter for the menu title must match the menu text exactly, and one ellipsis character does not match three periods.

    Reply
  63. Mike

    It took me a couple of tries to figure out that you need to let the print dialogue come up before pressing P the 2nd time. If you do cmd-P-P too quickly, it just opens the print dialogue twice.

    Reply
  64. Henrik N

    Opt+; (actually Opt+. on my keyboard) gives the ellipsis glyph. It's a single character that happens to look like three periods. Since Apple uses "real" ellipses as opposed to three separate periods, that's why you need to do the same.

    Reply
  65. mbw

    Using 10.6.4. It only works if I open the dropdown menu and press Command-P again. does anyone know how to fix this?

    Reply
  66. sankichina@163.com

    Thanks for the post. Using this, and just wanted to give the shout out. Oh, and the download link on the Labs page points to the same place as the demo, instead of the zip file. Glad it was here too. 🙂

    Reply
  67. sankichina@163.com

    Thanks for the post. Using this, and just wanted to give the shout out. Oh, and the download link on the Labs page points to the same place as the demo, instead of the zip file. Glad it was here too. 🙂

    Reply
  68. sankichina@163.com

    Thanks for the post. Using this, and just wanted to give the shout out. Oh, and the download link on the Labs page points to the same place as the demo, instead of the zip file. Glad it was here too. 🙂

    Reply
  69. sankichina@163.com

    Thanks for the post. Using this, and just wanted to give the shout out. Oh, and the download link on the Labs page points to the same place as the demo, instead of the zip file. Glad it was here too. 🙂

    Reply
  70. sankichina@163.com

    Thanks for the post. Using this, and just wanted to give the shout out. Oh, and the download link on the Labs page points to the same place as the demo, instead of the zip file. Glad it was here too. 🙂

    Reply
  71. michmail

    so, the default keyboard shortcut is command -P, control-command-P. This just allows your little finger to snooze? Not that big a deal in my book.

    Reply
  72. Don

    @Nathan, this stopped working for me too. When I looked, the shortcut had been removed from System Preferences. When I added it back, it worked again.

    Reply

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