Apple’s Photos app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch packs in a little-known feature that allows you to quickly and easily create a PDF document from a bunch of photographs. PDF, or Portable Document Format, is an ubiquitous file format used to present documents in a manner that’s independent of apps, hardware and operating systems.
As such, PDF is great for sharing any type of document and having peace of mind that it will render for the recipient precisely as intended. In this step-by-step tutorial, you will learn two ways to turn your photos into PDF documents on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.
Convert photos to PDF
Because there was not a great way to convert photos to PDF directly from an iPhone or iPad, we decided to create our own app. Called Photos to PDF, this free app with an optional in-app purchase gives you flexibility when converting photos to a PDF file.
1) Download Photos to PDF in the App Store for free.
2) Launch the app and tap the + sign to open the photo picker, then select the photos you want to convert to PDF. Tap Add to move to the layout settings.
3) Choose the specific layout you want to apply to your photos. On this screen, you may select:
- How many photos you want per page
- The margin around the photos
- The page orientation
- The paper size
Tap on Preview PDF to get a preview of what your file will look like.
4) Tap Share PDF to share your PDF via any app available on your iPhone, or simply to print the PDF.
Save photos as PDF on iPhone and iPad
The beauty of the Photos to PDF app is that it offers tons of flexibility, but if you don’t need any kind of customization in your PDF file, you can simply follow this tip to save photos as PDF, no app required.
1) Launch Photos on your iOS device.
2) Tap Select in the upper-right corner, then tap the images that you’d like to use for your PDF document.
TIP: To select multiple photos quickly, hit the Select button and now tap and drag from one image through the range of images that you wish to select.
3) Tap the Share button.
4) Choose the Print option from the Share menu.
5) You’ll be taken to the Printer Options screen with preview thumbnails.
6) Pinch and zoom in on the preview thumbnail to turn everything into a PDF.
7) On the PDF preview screen, swipe the page thumbnails to check that everything looks good. If so, tap the Share icon and choose how you’d like to share your newly created PDF file.
You can choose to attach the PDF to an email message, add it to the Notes app (if you use Notes as a file manager of sorts), import the document into iBooks (for those who use iBooks to import and manage their PDFs), save it in your iCloud Drive, copy the PDF to the system clipboard and more.
Great, what next?
Unfortunately, iOS lacks richer PDF-creation options so you won’t be able to choose a page format, adjust image compression or password-protect the document. The coolest thing about this method is that it can be used to quickly turn anything—from photos and emails to Office and iWork documents to webpages and more—into a handy PDF anywhere that a document can be printed on your iPhone or iPad.
To make changes to your newly created PDF, use Apple’s Preview app for macOS or a capable PDF editor such as Readdle’s excellent PDF Expert, which lets you edit your PDFs, add text and annotations, touch up images and perform other edits right on your iPhone, iPad or Mac.
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