Easily Print to PDF, Postscript And SVG Files From Any Application [Ubuntu]

There are plenty of extensions you can install that allow you to create PDF file for any webpage you come across. Well, if you are using Linux (particularly Ubuntu), this PDF creation feature is already inbuilt in your system and you can use it without installing any other extensions/applications.

In Ubuntu, regardless which browsers or applications you are using, as long as it supports the “Print” function, you can quickly create a PDF, postscript or SVG file of the work you are doing (or the webpage that you have come across).

In the application (say Google Chrome), go to the “Print” option in your menu.

Select “Print to File” in the popup window. You will see an option for you to save the file as PDF, Postscript or SVG. Choose the option you want, set the filename and the save location. Lastly, click on the “Print” button.


That’s it. The PDF quality might not be the best, but the process is very fast and it just works.

Note: This trick was tested on Ubuntu 10.04 and 10.10. It should work on other Ubuntu derivative distro as well. I have not tested it on older version of Ubuntu and all other distros. If you are using a distro other than Ubuntu, test it out and let me know if it works.

Thanks to @Carl Draper for the trick.

Damien Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.


  1. For great PDF printouts, install CUPSpdf. You can adjust compression and resolution of the pdf.

  2. This is the GTK print dialog which is not specific to any OS.

  3. What are the conversion libraries that are being used? Does the html -> pdf conversion done through firefox have a standalone library we could leverage without having to go through firefox? I know there are various xxx2pdf tools, but I don’t know which are the best ones (and FOSS of course).

    1. The print to PDF is using the cups-pdf package. You can access it from almost any applications. Just go to print and choose the “Print to file” option.

      1. no cups-pdf does not have to be installed for “print to file” as show above to work.

        1. If I am not wrong, it is already built into the system. No extra installation is required.

  4. This works on PCLinuxOS too. It’s already built in but the .SVG option is not included.

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