You might already know that you can print to PDF directly from your desktop’s Chrome browser. It’s a great way to save important web pages in a universal format, such as online receipts. Or you might just want to permanently save an article you’ve found to use when you’re offline.
Chrome for Android offers the same functionality, though it works a little differently. As far as saving web pages, this isn’t the same as saving content for offline reading. Once printed, you won’t even need Chrome to view it. However, you’ll need an app that supports PDF files, such as Adobe Reader, which is free.
Why Print to PDF?
With so many different ways to share web pages and save content for offline reading, this may all seem pointless. However, this is useful if there’s a page you want to keep. Even if the page is taken down, you still have a copy.
It also works better than a screenshot if the page you’re printing is longer than your screen. Instead of multiple images to keep track of, you have one file with everything in order.
To print to PDF using Chrome on an Android device, you can’t print directly from Chrome. Instead, you use the Chrome sharing feature to start the process.
Open the page you want to print. Tap the Chrome menu at the top right to expand the menu options. Tap Share.
You’ll see a variety of sharing options appear on the bottom half of your screen. Pull the options window up to see all the options available to you.
The options you see will vary based on the apps you installed. For instance, I can share links to Facebook and Pinterest because I have those apps installed.
Print to PDF
If you want to print to PDF, tap the Print option. You’ll see a preview of the printed web page. At the very top, tap the drop-down menu that says “Select a printer.”
Choose Save as PDF. If you have Wi-Fi printers, you’ll likely see those listed as options, too. However, you’ll want the PDF option to save it locally versus actually printing it.
Tap the teal PDF icon at the top-right corner of the preview image. This takes you to your default download folder on your device. At the bottom of the screen, tap the Save button. You can rename the file before saving it by tapping the existing file name and entering a new one.
Finding Your File
Now that you’ve printed it, it’s time to check it out. Unlike when you download files directly in Chrome, you won’t see your PDF file in the Downloads area in the Chrome menu.
Instead, you’ll have to use Android’s File Manager app, which is the default file manager. If you have another file manager app, you can use it instead.
The easiest way to find your file is to open the Download folder. If you have more than one, tap the folder with the download icon on it. Your file should be the most recent on the list.
Tap the file to open it using your app of choice. You may have multiple options available. Use whichever one works best for you. I personally use Adobe Acrobat most often unless I’ve downloaded a free ebook. In that case I use Amazon Kindle.
If no options appear or you get an error, you may need to download a PDF reader first. Once installed, repeat the above process to open your PDF file.
While you may not use this often, it’s a quick and free way to save pages from Chrome as PDF files that you can save or share.