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Mail PDF via [some app other than Mail]

Published on October 29, 2016 by in useful stuff

You’ve probably come across the very handy ‘Mail PDF’ option in the Mac Print menu … in case you haven’t: select “Print” or ⌘+P – in the lower left corner of the print window that appears, there’s a drop-down box headed ‘PDF’; click on the arrow next to ‘PDF’ and that gives you an array of things you can do, including Mail PDF. Basically, this menu turns whatever you’re looking at into a PDF and allows you do Do Stuff with it – mail it, save it, etc etc.

Ok, so the PDF function is very very useful: I use it to save articles etc to Evernote, for example, and to mail PDFs of documents/articles/other stuff as necessary.

The Mail PDF function works fine … as long as you use Apple’s built-in Mail app. If you prefer/need to use another application (Outlook, Postbox, Airmail, etc etc) then at first glance, you’re out of luck. At second glance … you aren’t.

If you want to be able to mail PDFs from another email application, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the print window (⌘+P or select “Print” from the File menu)
  2. Click on the drop-down arrow next to “PDF” in the lower left corner
  3. Select the last option in the list, “Edit Menu…” (by the way – if you see … at the end of an option in a menu, it means there are further options that will appear when you click that option. Just FYI)
  4. The “Edit Menu…” option brings up a window titled “Printing Workflows:”. Basically, it’s a way of passing PDFs to other apps
  5. Click the + in the lower left corner
  6. That will bring up a Finder Window: navigate to your Application folder and, from there, select whichever email app you prefer/need to use. Click “Open” (don’t worry, it doesn’t actually open the app)
  7. You’ll be taken back to the “Printing Workflows:” window, and the name of the app you’ve just selected will now appear on the list in that window
  8. If you want to change the entry from the app name on the list to something a bit clearer (e.g.: change “Outlook” to “Send PDF with Outlook”) then click on the app name; it’ll be highlighted and you will be able to change the wording on the list to something else (doesn’t change the functionality – just the entry that appears in the menu list after).
  9. Once you’re done, click “Ok”
  10. That’ll take you back to the Print window. Click on the arrow next to “PDF” again, and you’ll find your new entry in the list … click it, and you should find you have a new mail message created with the relevant article/document etc that you sent to print as a PDF attachment to the mail message.
  11. Write the text of the email and send as usual!

This works for things other than emailing – many programs (Scrivener, Evernote) put their own “Save as PDF to …” functions into this menu but (in theory) any program that can handle a PDF can be added. For example, I use Things as a project/task app these days, and have added “Send PDF to Things” to the PDF print menu; that creates a new task in Things with the PDF as a note, which can be useful for saving background material for a task.

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