Super-Fast Keyboard Shortcut for Printing to PDF Files

by Michael Alderete on 12/4/2013 · 1 comment

Courtesy of “Tripp”, here’s a great tip for making it super fast to Print to PDF in any application. Once you’ve set this up, you just press Command-P twice to go directly to the Save as PDF dialog.

  1. Open the System Preferences app, and then open Keyboard preferences.

  2. In the Application Shortcuts section, select All Applications, and then click the + (plus) button.

  3. Create the new keyboard shortcut. The Menu Title text must be an exact match for the menu item; those three periods are actually a single ellipsis. Copy and paste this into the field if you don’t know how to type one: “Save as PDF…”. You don’t have to use Command-P, but pressing it twice is probably the fastest possible shortcut. It should look like this: Define keyboard shortcut for Save as PDF… Click Add.

  4. You’re basically done. Your All Applications shortcuts should look something like this: Keyboard shortcuts in Keyboard preference pane Quit System Preferences.

Now in any application, the new keyboard shortcut is added to the Print dialog:

Keyboard shortcut for Save as PDF… in Print dialog

Save your document to a PDF by pressing Command-P to open the Print dialog, and then pressing Command-P again to open the Save as PDF dialog.

Quick to set up, and it works without any extra software. Sweet!

Alan Weiss December 20, 2013 at 1:23 am

This is an excellent tip, but I had a small problem with it (which may be peculiar to my system - I have a 32-bit processor, so the latest system I can run is Snow Leopard). When I added the shortcut as described here it seems to have mysteriously made the Cmd-Shift-D shortcut for Send in disappear. I just had to put the Send shortcut back in via Keyboard sysprefs, and (so far at least) both shortcuts seem to be OK.

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