How to Export Notes as PDF on Mac

May 10, 2018 - 2 Comments

The Notes icon for Mac

The Notes app for Mac is a great place to jot down notes, lists, tasks, tidbits of information, URL and links that you don’t want to bookmark, gather collections of pictures and other info, password protected notes, and much more. And thanks to iCloud Notes, you can also automatically have those notes sync to other Macs and to/from iOS devices like your iPhone and iPad too.

But what if you want to save a note as a separate file, or share a note with someone outside of the Apple ecosystem? What if you want to save or export a note as a PDF file so that the notes full contents are preserved just as they were maintained in the Notes app?

Fortunately you can easily export any note from Notes app as a PDF file, which can then be saved, sent, shared, or stored just about anywhere.

How to Save Notes as PDF on Mac

Have a note or several that you want to export from the Notes app and save as PDF files? Here’s how to get the job done on a Mac:

  1. Open the “Notes” app in Mac OS if you have not done so already
  2. The Notes icon for Mac

  3. Navigate to the note you want to export and save as a PDF and select it so that it’s the active note (alternatively, you can double-click to open the note in a new window)
  4. How to save a note as pdf

  5. Pull down the ‘File’ menu and choose “Export as PDF”
  6. How to export notes as PDF on Mac

  7. Give the note file a name and select the save destination, then click on “Save”
  8. Exported note being saved as a PDF file

It’s that simple, the note will be saved as a PDF file and any styling or content within the note will be preserved in that resulting PDF document.

If desired, you can confirm the note was properly saved as a PDF by locating the exported PDF file within the Finder of Mac OS, and then using Quick Look to glance at it, or opening it within Preview or another PDF reader app on the Mac.

The exported note as a PDF file

Using the Notes app built-in Export as PDF approach is easier and faster than using Print to PDF, though printing the note as a PDF works just as well and results in largely the same thing.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

2 Comments

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  1. Anne Bennett says:

    You can also email them. I’ve only tried on the iPad.

    It’s good you just want a quick copy. (I email it to myself)

  2. rpk says:

    If you know some html/css you can right-click and select ‘inspect item’ on the mac and customize a note even further.

    It appears to be the same editor that Safari Inspector uses (I don’t recall if the Debug Menu option needs to be enabled.)

    I use a modified note as a template. You can copy from your template note and select ‘Paste and retain style’ into a new one (or option-drag to duplicate).

    If you copy pre-styled text from a web page or styled document, make sure to use ‘Paste and match style’ otherwise the other style will replace the one in your template.

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