Product Guides

Save Email As PDF: How to Export as PDF On Gmail, Outlook, and More

February 6, 2022
Author
Inkit Team

Wondering how to save that important work email as a PDF file you can access any time?

You’ve come to the right place.

Like most people, if you use email as your main source of work communication, your inbox might be messier than you want it to be.

And going through your inbox just to find that one important email message is too time-consuming to do every time.

Meanwhile, if you save the email as a PDF, you can have it directly on your computer (or phone) and be able to access it anytime. 

And unlike email, you don’t need an internet connection for this, and you can also share the PDF or make any markup changes accordingly.

The point is, usually, it’s much easier to manage PDF files than email messages.

And below, we’ll teach you how to save your email messages from your inbox as a PDF file, no matter if you use Gmail, Outlook, or want to do it on a mobile.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • Why Save Email Messages As PDF
  • How to Download an Email Message on Gmail
  • How to Download An Email Message as PDF File On Gmail
  • How to Save Microsoft Outlook Email As PDF
  • How to Convert an Email to PDF On a Mac
  • How to Save Email as PDF on iPhone or iPad
  • How to Save Email as HTML
  • How to Attach PDF to Email When Sending

Why Save Email Messages As PDF

More often than not, emails contain information that you’ll want to come back to for future reference. 

For example, your work emails probably contain important and confidential information that you want to store for easier access. 

Instead of searching through your inbox each time you wanted to find that one specific email, you can simply save it as a PDF instead.

Additionally, emails are prone to data loss, and archiving all email files will be incredibly difficult.

To get straight to the point, saving an email message as a PDF file takes just two simple taps.

Let’s take a look.

How to Download an Email Message on Gmail

There are 2 ways to export an email message: You can save it as a PDF or an E-mail Message (.eml) format.

Let’s cover the latter first.

  1. Open the email message you want to download.
  2. Press the three dots next to the reply icon.
  3. Press Download message.
download message on gmail as pdf

This will download the content of the email as an .eml format file.

What’s an .eml format?

Here’s what you need to know:

What is an .EML file format?

An EML file is an email message saved by your email application (Outlook, Gmail, Apple Mail, etc.).

It simply contains the content of the message - such as the subject line, the text, date, recipient info, and more.

This format can also store one or more email attachments, which are files included in the original email message.

To open a .eml file, you need to use an email program like Microsoft Outlook for Windows, Apple Mail, or Mozilla Thunderbird. 

But since these files are saved as a plain text format, you can also open them with a plain text editor, such as Notepad.

Now, let’s take a look at how to save the message as a PDF instead of EML.

How to Download An Email Message as PDF File On Gmail

If you’re using Gmail on desktop, you can save an email message as a PDF file in a few quick steps:

  1. Open the email message, press the three dots next to the reply icon, and select Print.
print as pdf gmail


  1. Then, If you want to print the email thread, select your printer in the Destination section. If not, select Save as PDF and click Save.
save email as pdf file

Where do you go from there?

Check out some of our guides on PDF file management and best practices:

Out-of-the-box PDF generation
The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
Start for free

How to Save Microsoft Outlook Email As PDF

Microsoft Outlook is a comprehensive tool that can help you organize your emails in different ways.

Outlook gives you a few options for when you want to save an email message - it can be saved as a file on your computer or in another folder in Outlook.

Here are the steps to save it as a PDF:

  1. Open the email.
  2. Press “File” tab.
outlook file section to save as pdf
  1. Select “Printer”.
  2. Select “Microsoft Print to PDF” under the “Printer” designation.
  3. Next, choose “Print”.
  4. You will then be prompted to enter filename and location in “Save Print Output As”.
  5. Click on “Save” to save the PDF to your selected location.

You can now go to the folder where you chose to save the PDF to access it for printing or any other purpose you deem necessary.

Save a email message as a PDF with an older version of Microsoft Outlook

It’s important to note that Outlook versions prior to 2010 must be saved as an HTML file and converted to PDF. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Outlook and select the message that you wish to convert.
  2. Click on the “File Tab”.
  3. Choose “Save as”.
  4. Find to the folder you wish to save the file in the “Save As” dialog box.
  5. You can change the file name where it says “File Name”.
  6. Select from the “Save As Type” drop-down menu.
  7. Click “Save”.
  8. Next, you need to open Microsoft Word.
  9. From there, select “Open” from the “File” tab.
  10. Select the HTML file you have saved.
  11. Click on the “File” tab again and choose “Save As”.
  12. Navigate to the place where you wish to save the file.
  13. Click the “Save As” dialog box.
  14. Select “PDF”.
  15. Click “Save”.

Your new PDF is saved to the folder you chose in the steps above. As such, the contents of the email are saved for later viewing, printing, or editing.

To convert HTML to PDF, see here:

Save email as PDF with Microsoft Office 2007

Microsoft Outlook 2007 doesn’t have a way to convert email messages to PDF. However, you can convert the email message to a PDF by following these steps:

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Select the message that you wish to save.
  3. To select the entire message body, place your cursor in the message.
  4. On your keyboard, press CTRL + A.
  5. To copy the text, press CTRL + C.
  6. Start a new Word document.
  7. To paste the text in the document, press CTRL + V.
  8. Click on the “Microsoft Office” button.
  9. Select “Save”.
  10. The message header will not be included in this process. You can add this information to the Word document by either typing it manually or clicking “Respond”.
  11. Next, select “Forward”.
  12. Now you can copy which part of the content you want.
  13. When ready, press CTRL + V to paste it into your document.
  14. Click the “Microsoft Office” button in the Word document.
  15. Hover your mouse cursor over “Save As”. 
  16. Select “PDF” (you may also choose “XPS”).
  17. Type a file name for your document in the “File Name” field.
  18. Now, select “PDF” from the “Save As Type” list.
  19. Under the “Optimize For” option, select the print quality.
  20. To select additional settings, click “Options”.
  21. Click on “OK”.
  22. Click on “Publish”.

Your new PDF is now saved in the folder that you chose in the steps above.

How to Convert an Email to PDF On a Mac

Now, there’s not much of a difference in whether you use Mac or Windows to save email as PDF.

The main thing is whether you use Gmail, Outlook, or something else. Either way, the steps will probably be somewhat similar: Select Print, change the destination to Save as PDF, and select where you want to have the file saved.

The following steps are for Mac users using Microsoft Outlook:

  1. Open Outlook.
  2. Select the message that you wish to convert to PDF.
  3. In the menu bar, click “File”.
  4. A drop-down menu will appear.
  5. Select “Print”.
  6. Now, a drop-down menu will appear for PDFs.
  7. Select “Save As PDF”.
  8. Enter a name to create your new PDF file.
  9. Click the arrow beside the “Save As” field. 
  10. Next, go to the folder in which you wish to save the file.
  11. Select “Save”.

Your new PDF will then be saved in the folder that you chose above.

How to Save Email as PDF on iPhone or iPad

Apple makes it easy to save emails as PDFs right from your smart device. 

The process will be similar as above. Navigate to Print and select Save As PDF.

So if save an email as a PDF on your iPhone or iPad, simply complete the following steps:

  1. Tap on the Mail app.
  2. Select the email message you wish to save as a PDF.
  3. Select the “Action” option (this button resembles a standard reply button).
  4. Next, you’ll need to scroll down until you see “Print”.
  5. Tap it to access the printer options.
  6. Use the pinch-to-zoom feature to open the thumbnail.
  7. In the upper right corner, tap on “Share”.
  8. Choose the application to which you would like to save your new PDF email.
how to save email as pdf on iphone

You can save your new PDF to Notes, Dropbox, Books, and more.

For more info on managing PDF files on an iPhone or iPad, also see:

How to Save Email as HTML

Unfortunately, Gmail doesn’t have a direct feature to save an email message as HTML.

But one simple workaround is to use an online conversion tool.

Here’s how:

  1. Save the HTML version of the email that you just opened.
  2. All contents of the mail can be selected and copied.
  3. Click here and paste the contents of the email.
  4. To convert data to HTML format, click on “Convert”.
  5. Copy the code after the conversion completes.
  6. Create a Notepad file on your computer.
  7. Paste the HTML code (CTRL + V).

Finally, save it. Just be sure to save the file as an HTML document

How to Attach PDF to Email When Sending

In most email programs, you should see an “Attach File” icon, often represented by a paperclip. 

Select this and navigate to the folder where your PDF is located. 

Click “OK,” and your PDF will be attached to your email. 

When ready, simply send the email.

how to attach pdf to email when sending


For a full guide on this, and to learn how to send a PDF file as an attachment on Google Docs, Dropbox, WhatsApp, and more, see here: How To Send A PDF File As An Email Attachment (Examples and Screenshots)

Conclusion

As you can see, there are many ways to go about saving an email message as a PDF file, depending on your email platform or device.

However, for the most part, the process will be the same: Select the print icon, choose your destination as Save As PDF, and select your file destination.

It’s that simple!

Finally, if you’re looking for more info on managing or editing PDF files after downloading, you can also read:

Out-of-the-box PDF generation
The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
Start for free