4 quick and easy ways to make a PDF.
Learn about the variety of ways to create PDFs.
In professional, academic, and personal settings, you’re likely to encounter PDFs everywhere. The Portable Document Format (PDF) is one of the most universal and preferred file formats for many reasons.
Its clean and finished quality communicates professionalism. It stands out for its functionality on the web and in print — you can share it via email, save web pages, or finalize print jobs for beautiful and reliably formatted final products. PDF documents will always retain their formatting and design. PDF stands out, too, for its accessibility — it is viewable and shareable on any operating system and on any device.
Create a PDF on a mobile device.
Some PDF makers work on both mobile and desktop, but not all. If you want to use your phone to create a PDF from another file, you can do so with the built-in software on your Android or iPhone.
On an Android device:
- Open the file.
- Open the Share menu.
- Select Print.
- Choose Save as PDF.
On an iPhone:
- Open the file.
- Tap the Share button at the bottom of the screen.
- Scroll to find the Print option. A preview will appear.
- Press Share in the top-right corner.
To transform a paper document into a PDF with your phone, you can scan it or take a photo of it and save the image as a PDF. Adobe Scan is a free document scanner app that will help you get a clean and clear image and that can even recognize text automatically.
Create PDFs with the best PDF maker.
As the creator of the PDF, Adobe provides the best PDF maker out there. Create and edit PDFs with Adobe Acrobat, or use Adobe online services if you’re on a mobile device. Acrobat offers the reliability and full functionality you need whether you’re using Windows or Mac, mobile or desktop, online or offline. Acrobat Pro provides advanced tools for when you want to take your PDFs to the next level.
Adding images to a blank PDF.
Follow these instructions to add an image or another object to a blank PDF:
- Choose Tools > Edit PDF > Add Image.
- In the Open dialog box, locate the file.
- Select the image file, and click Open.
- Click where you want to place the image, or click-drag to size the image as you place it.
- Use the bounding box handles to resize the image, or the tools in the right panel under Objects to Flip, Rotate, or Crop the image.
Explore the other tools in the toolbar or under Edit PDF in the right panel. You can update fonts using selections from the format list, add a watermark, and annotate. Don’t forget to save your file as the final step.
If you want to create a PDF from an existing document or another file type, you can do so in Adobe Acrobat in just a few easy steps:
- Open Acrobat and choose Tools > Create PDF.
- Select the file type you want to create a PDF from — single file, multiple files, scan, or another option.
- Click Create or Next, depending on the file type.
- Follow the prompts to convert it to PDF and save the file to your desired location.
These are just a few of the many ways to create a PDF. Other methods include using Acrobat online or Acrobat Pro to convert other file formats.
Adobe Acrobat online services.
This method is perfect for when you need to quickly convert another file type into a PDF, make a few annotations, or share a file. You can convert from PDF, convert to PDF, edit, or sign and protect a PDF. The most commonly used tools include:
- Convert to PDF
- JPG to PDF
- Edit PDF
- Compress PDF
- Rotate PDF pages
- Delete PDF pages
- Reorder PDF pages
- Fill & Sign
Just click the tool you want to use, sign in with a free or paid account, and follow the prompts.
4. Scanning documents to PDF.
When you want to ensure that you have a digital backup for important paper documents or when you want to share files you’ve received in print, you can scan and save them as PDFs with Adobe Acrobat.
To scan a paper document to PDF using Acrobat, go to Tools > Create PDF. The Create a PDF from any format interface is displayed. Choose Scanner to see the options available.
To convert JPG files and scanned documents to PDF:
- Open the file in Acrobat.
- Click on the Enhance Scans tool in the right pane.
- Choose the file you want to convert.
- Edit the PDF.
- Save as a new PDF file.
Advanced PDF techniques.
Once you’ve created your PDF, you can explore some of the more advanced PDF-making techniques and tools. You might want to create fillable forms, redact sensitive information, or take advantage of optical character recognition (OCR) technology.
OCR and PDF creation.
While the PDF was originally created for finished products and is often still used that way, OCR technology has helped to make the PDF even more accessible and useful. Instead of manually typing information from printed forms, you can scan and instantly access and edit large amounts of text digitally. In addition to cutting down on the time and hassle of data entry, OCR makes it possible to organize and locate information quickly. Once you have digital versions of scanned documents, you can create a searchable database.
This technology also makes it much easier to edit the text of a scanned image to make a fresh, updated PDF.
To get started using OCR, try editing a scanned document:
- Open a PDF file containing a scanned image in Acrobat for Mac or PC.
- Click on the Edit PDF tool in the right pane. Acrobat automatically applies optical character recognition (OCR) to your document and converts it to a fully editable copy of your PDF.
- Click the text element you wish to edit and start typing. New text matches the look of the original fonts in your scanned image.
- Choose File > Save As and type a new name for your editable document.