Create PDF On iPad: Save Documents Web Pages And Emails To PDF

Did you know you could create PDF on iPad by converting your Documents, Emails, Webpages, and Photos to the PDF format?

In this post I’ll show you how to create PDF versions of your files with the app PDF Converter. I’ll also take you deep into the topic of PDF to explain the benefits of converting your documents to the Portable Document Format and walk you through one of my daily iPad workflows to show — how to manage (and share) your PDF files while working mobile on the iPad.

What you’ll learn from this article:

    1. What is a PDF file?
    2. Why convert your files to PDF?
    3. The advantages of converting files on the iPad vs. using a (free) online service.
    4. The 3 (iOS productivity) apps I consider essential to work with PDF files on the iPad.
    5. How to Create PDF on iPad from… Emails, Webpages, Photos, and Microsoft Word Documents.

Why convert your files to PDF

In the post: “Getting stuff from Mail to OmniFocus for iPad,” we looked at the task management app OmniFocus for iPad, and saw how important and easy it was to attach a PDF file to a task. But as you continue reading this article, you’ll find that this is just one of the many uses I have for the Portable Document Format.

For example, at my office to help manage projects and share information with my clients, coworkers, and outside contractors, I turn to this handy file document standard to keep things flowing. One way this is done while working mobile on the iPad, is by sending all my emails and reference documents for each project to a notebook in Evernote. The notebooks are then made accessible to all those involved with the project.

To learn more about Evernote, visit my post: “An Introduction to the Green Elephant.”

So how do I manage to update all those notebooks throughout my day? This is done by converting all my documents and emails to the PDF format on the iPad — just before sending them over to Evernote.

Why — because besides using the OCR feature that makes all those documents quickly searchable (in Evernote). One of the best way to know if my documents are received and read, in the same way that I send them — is by converting them first to the standardized document format known as PDF.

What is PDF you ask?

Create PDF On iPad: Save Documents Web Pages And Emails To PDF

According to Wikipedia, the Portable Document Format (or PDF) is a file format used to represent documents in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. To break this down this simply means: that by converting a file (i.e., a Microsoft Word document) to the PDF format. The user receiving the document doesn’t need Microsoft Word installed.

Useful right? I think so! Especially since more folks are using mobile devices, that sometime may have difficulties opening all the file formats found on a desktop computer, (as a result of licensing issues or the company’s decision to use their own format).

One-other well noted advantage to convert your files and documents to the PDF format on the iPad — is to be able to save and carry them wherever you go. A great tip to enhance this type of PDF workflow, is to use cloud-based services like Dropbox, iCloud and Evernote to securely save and store all your PDFs. Not only do I consider this to be a much better method to-overall manage and sort your documents. But this will also help you to free up the iPad’s internal memory.

How to create PDF on iPad

One of the fastest and simplest way to create PDF on iPad is done by using an app called PDF Converter.

PDF Converter - Save Documents, Web Pages, Photos to PDF

PDF Converter - Save Documents, Web Pages, Photos to PDF

by Readdle

2.99 USD
Category: Business, Productivity

Here’s some of the things you can do with this app .

With PDF Converter you can make PDFs from:

  • ✓ Email Attachments
  • ✓ iWork and MS Office documents
  • ✓ Web pages
  • ✓ Files from other applications
  • ✓ Clipboard content
  • ✓ Photos
  • ✓ Documents on Dropbox
  • ✓ Contacts
  • To save a web page, just change “http” to “pdfhttp” in the Safari address bar and tap Go.

★ PDF Converter supports the following document formats
Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, TXT, HTML, JPG, PNG, Safari webarchive

BUT WAIT! — Why pay for an app, when you can use a free online service to convert documents to PDF?

Great question… and here’s why:

      • With PDF Converter, you’ll able to create PDF on iPad without connecting to the Internet.
      • Also, why trust sending your private information to an online server, not knowing… who’s looking at it or how long will it stay there? When the same task can be done securely on your device.
      • And finally, we did say fast and easy. Right!

How to converter to PDF with the PDF Converter app

To show you how to create PDF on iPad using the app PDF Converter, I made a quick video tutorial.

 Create PDF on iPad: Convert Documents to PDF

3 Apps to help Edit, Organize, and Manage PDF

Okay, now that we’ve gone over the benefits of converting documents to the PDF format and seen how to convert files with the app PDF Converter. Let me turn your attention to three apps that will help you manage, organize, and edit all the PDFs you’ll soon be creating.

My first pick for managing PDF files is the app Evernote.

Evernote – handles the task of managing PDF by allowing users to…

      • Search through their files (or notes) using the OCR feature.
      • Organize and manage PDF by assigning them to notebooks.
      • Share notebooks – by sending a link to a contact.
      • Mark-up PDF files using the Evernote capturing app Skitch.
Note: A misconception most people have about the PDF format — is to believe that the content on these file are locked down and not editable. But that’s not true, just as you can modify a Microsoft Word document and resave the file, the same can be done with a PDF document.

For example, one such app that not only helps me to manage and organize all my PDF files, but also includes features to edit and annotate my files directly on the iPad is the app PDF Pen for iPad by Smile software.
This well-designed iOS app is what I use daily in my workflow to add my signature to PDF documents on the iPad. Plus, I also like the way it syncs with iCloud and Dropbox. To read more about this app visit my post: “The iPad college checklist 8 essential apps for students.”

And finally, our last app not only makes great use of its features for managing and saving PDF on the iPad, but is also considered by many as an essential app to have installed — even as soon as a new iPad is purchased, unboxed and powered up. This popular application is Dropbox.

Dropbox – Together with its iOS companion app, is a (free) online storage service that you can use to save and store all your PDF files to the cloud. The files and documents on your account then can be accessed and downloaded for offline use to the iPad via the Dropbox app. I like to think of Dropbox as a digital filing cabinet for all my PDF documents, because anywhere I go, all my files are updated, synced, and ready to be read and shared, across all my multiple devices.

Note: If you are looking to test drive this (free) online service, please consider signing up using my Dropbox referral link. By doing so, the kind folks at Dropbox will give each new subscriber (and me), an extra 500 mg of bonus space after signing up. Please know that you will not be charge for using my referral link – so thanks for considering it.


As we arrive to the end I hope this article has helped you see — just how fast and easy you can create PDF on iPad from your documents to the PDF format standard.

And like always if you have any questions or valuable insight to add to our topic I would love to hear them in the comments. Also… if you know someone who would benefit from this article please consider sharing it with them. Thanks!

*Photo credit: Mike Rosenberg (CC BY 2.0)


  1. Francesco says

    Thanks for your review. But the app dooesn’t solve a simple problem: print in PDF file the content of an e-mail. Usually I receive e-mail with attachment. In the body of the e-mail I have useful informations about the attachments: so I want to print in PDF the mail and then save it to my preferred application to manage pdf file (iAnnotate).
    I don’t want copy-paste the content because I loose the text formatting: I want simply print the mail! Instead of paper I want a PDF. Is it possible?
    Cheers. Francesco

  2. John says

    After converting to PDF with your app, would I be able to apply initial view properties like in Adobe Acrobat on my PC. Want to be able to email non editable PDF’s in full page view whether the recipient looks at it in either portrait or landscape modes. I have tried other creative apps but can’t find one that will do what I need. I send presentations via email and don’t always have access to my PC.

    • says

      Hi John,
      Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. I don’t use Adobe Acrobat so I can’t compare it to the app mentioned in my post. I use PDF Converter because it’s a simple and fast way to convert all my documents to PDF (that’s all it really does), if I need to do any further editing or annotation to a PDF doc I use the app PDFPen for iPad. This is the same PDF editing app that I use on the Mac. If you can provide further details or share an example of your workflow maybe I can share more light into your question. You’re more than welcome to contact me via email.

      Cheers, Michael

  3. Tora Akachan says

    Hi, Michael

    Thank you for this useful article. Do you know, how to save Evernote docs as PDF on iPad? I was hoping for simply mounting a virtual Air-printer to “print” the file, as with the iMac-version, but it doesn’t work. Perhaps someone can recommend a good app for this? I would appreciate help a lot.

    The statement, that you can edit PDF files is not 100% true. It does work for text and it does for images. But it does not, if you mix text and graphics; one of the main reasons why I am using PDF in the first place. Only one example: if you create PDFs with layers, e.g. text in a vector bubble over a pixel-image, as you would find in cartoons, the attempt to edit either one of the layers will merge all three layers to a single one, turning vector and text into uneditable pixel information. I also doubt, that you can edit text under a note or marker you added to a PDF in Evernote’s Skitch. Haven’t tried it, though. Should I be wrong, please let me know. This whole topic is very important for my work.

    • says

      Hi Tora,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I’ve been a fan of “print to PDF on the Mac for a long time. I wish it was that easy on the iPad too. But as per your question if I need to share a text formatted docs in Evernote as a PDF I use PDF converter. I copy the text and convert what’s in the clipboard in PDF converter. This makes a PDF doc of my Evernote text doc. There is a service call Cloud HQ that’s worth checking out if you are looking to convert all your Evernote docs to PDF. I myself haven’t used it yet, but I hear it’s a good workaround for working mobile on the ipad.

      Cheers, Michael

  4. Peter Dunkin says

    I Had no idea that PDF files are edible!
    Does one cook them or are they better as RAW files?

    Please don’t correct the typo. Its things like that that make life worth living.

    But to be serious.
    A great tutorial. I will make very good use of it indeed.
    Thank you indeed.

    Peter Dunkin

    • says

      “Cooked or RAW — in a box or with a fox I do enjoy eating my share of PDFs.”

      Thanks for the heads up and I’m glad you enjoyed the overall content. If you ever need help please reach out, your buddy with the strange appetite will be here waiting to help.

      Cheers Michael

  5. Jack says

    A great app which I highly recommend is PDF This Page.

    I can’t recommend methods which go to 3rd party sites as it isn’t necessary, is slower and invades your privacy since you are sending web site details to these sites which then know your browsing history.

  6. Andreea says

    Sincerely you shouldn’t recommand this app.. I bought it because you recommanded it and the app does not give the posibility to create a pdf from multiple photos… it’s something like one photo one pdf.. one by one.. you should be ashamed for recommanding this.. Other apps can do this.. And it was the only reason i needed this app… so NO IT CAN NOT MAKE PDF FROM PHOTOS but it can make pdf from 1photo…

    • says

      Hi Andreea, Thank you for taking the time to share. I would love to hear your recommendations on those other apps you found. I know that I, and the other readers here would find value in it. Thank you

  7. Alex B says

    You can create PDFs from web pages easily also with this online tool: It’s really simple but efficient.

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