How To Convert Email to PDF

Saving emails to PDF is useful for many industries including legal discovery, real-estate, banking and many more. Having important or transactional emails backed up in a non-proprietary but searchable format is useful for archiving (and general email back ups), keeping related project/case file emails together, or for using different search tools other than Outlook’s native searching capabilities.

Despite the advantages listed above, converting email to PDF in Outlook is a somewhat convoluted process because Outlook does not support saving emails directly into PDF. Nonetheless, follow these instructions on how to convert email to PDF from Outlook in your Windows folders:

How to convert email from Outlook to PDF:

  1. In the main Outlook window, select the email you want to convert
  2. Choose File (the tab at the top) then Save As
  3. Choose the HTML format and click Save
  4. Open Word
  5. Open the HTML email you just saved in Word
  6. Choose File (the tab at the top) then Save As
  7. Choose the PDF format and click Save

As you can see, although it’s possible to save emails as PDF it is not straightforward. It’s the same for attachments.

How to convert Outlook attachments to PDF:

  1. In the main Outlook window, select the email you want to convert
  2. Right click and select Save All Attachments
  3. Open each attachment in it’s associated program (i.e., Word for .docx, Excel for .xlsx, etc)
  4. Choose File (the tab at the top) then Save As
  5. Choose the PDF format and click Save

In addition to being a long and tedious process, it results in separate PDFs, one for each attachment. Further, emails are not included.

There are add-ins to help with converting emails and attachments to PDF. Our Save As PDF add-in for instance, will save multiple emails to PDFs, including attachments. To save emails (and/or attachments) to PDF using the Save As PDF add-in, follow these instructions.

How to convert emails and/or attachments to PDF using the Save As PDF add-in:

  1. In the main Outlook window, select one or more emails you want to convert
  2. Choose Sperry Software (the tab at the top) then the Save As PDF toolbar button
  3. Choose where to save the PDF

There are actually three ways to convert email messages to PDF. You can choose choose to use the Save As PDF toolbar button (the simplest way, documented in the above 3 steps), automatically whenever an email arrives (with say, a certain subject or from a certain person (or all emails)), and by using a batch mode to process one or more folders all at once.

You might be wondering if the Save As PDF add-in automatically turns Outlook emails (and their attachments) into individual PDF files, is there a way to get one single PDF file that has all the emails and their attachments listed one after the other, in order? The answer is yes – in the Microsoft Outlook Save as PDF add-in this is supported.

In addition, that add-in has the ability to use rules to turn emails from this sender to PDF files in this folder and emails from that sender to PDF files in that folder. Here is a table that compares the two PDF add-ins and their features.

Need more information?

Download a free trial version of the Save As PDF add-in.

Download a free trial version of the Save As PDF Pro add-in.

See How to back up emails in Outlook.

View a list of useful Outlook how to articles

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