Tech Tips: How to print a PDF in Windows 10
August 7, 2017
I have Windows 10 installed on my computer, and I need to create PDF files from my Microsoft Word documents. I've been told I can do this, but I can't figure out how. Can you help?
For those who have somehow missed this, a PDF (Portable Document Format) file is a (mostly) read-only format for sharing and presenting information. You can create documents in Microsoft Word, for example, and share them with people that don't have a copy of Microsoft Word by sending a recipient a PDF-format version of the document. Almost everyone has installed the Adobe Reader (free software that can display PDF files), and even those who haven't can use most any modern browser to display the contents of the file. In other words, sending a PDF file as an attachment to an email message is a relatively safe way to ensure that just about anyone can view and read your document.
In versions of Windows prior to Windows 10, it wasn't easy to create PDF files — you were required to download and install special printer drivers that would allow you to print documents to PDF format. Now, in Windows 10, the feature is finally built into the operating system. Anyone running Windows 10 can create a PDF from any application that allows printing, including Microsoft Word.
To do this, start printing your document, as if you were going to print it to a printer. (Pressing Ctrl+P normally works, in Windows.) Look at the list of available printers. You're looking for the printer named Microsoft Print to PDF. Select that printer (rather than your normal, default printer). Once you do, you'll be asked to supply a file name, and once you do, the software will "print" your document to a PDF file and save it where you indicated.
If you don't see the Microsoft Print to PDF option when you try to print, you may have inadvertently turned off the option. To fix this, select the Windows Start menu, type Windows Features to open the Turn Windows features on or off menu, and enable the Microsoft Print to PDF option. That should do it!
Mac users should note that this feature has been available since, well, almost forever (as long as we can recall, anyway). When you start to print a document, select the PDF dropdown list in the lower-left corner of the Print dialog box, and you'll see various options dealing with printing to a PDF file. Couldn't be easier! And now Windows 10 handles the job in much the same way.
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Opening Mac Apps from Unidentified Developers
I was looking for a specialized file management utility for my Mac, and found it online. I downloaded it, and when I tried to run it, I got an error that said it couldn't be opened because it was from an unidentified developer. Do I have to pay something or do something to use this utility?
You can generally find any application you need in the Mac App Store, and all applications distributed through the App Store come from "identified" developers. You'll never see this error with an application you find in the App Store. The problem is that not all applications available come to you through the App Store, and if you want to run one of those applications, it seems that you've run up against a brick wall here.
The problem is that Mac OS X, in its efforts to "sandbox" applications so that it's difficult for you to install and run an application that could harm your computer or your data, also makes it difficult to run some applications that you might want to run. If you're sure you have a safe application, there is an easy workaround, however.
The solution: Rather than double-clicking an application to run it, the first time you run it, you must right-click on it and select Open. Starting it this way displays the same dialog box you saw previously, except this time, the dialog box offers you the option to open the application. The dialog box also tells you where the application came from, to help you verify that it is, in fact, the application you were hoping to open.
Once you take this extra step, you'll never have to do it again — it's a one-time-only thing. But the extra layer of protection is there for a reason, and helps to protect you from running malware inadvertently.
Doug Behl and Ken Getz spent years answering technical questions in private, and are minimizing the questions by pre-emptively publishing the answers. Hear Doug and Ken's tech tips on KNCO radio weekdays at around 8:21 a.m. and 5:38 p.m.; find full write-ups including links to the products they mention at http://blog.techtipguys.com. Submit your own technical questions to email@example.com.
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