Product Guides

How to Turn an Email Into a PDF: A Step by Step Guide

February 19, 2021
Inkit Team

For customer success, customer service, sales, and many other customer-facing teams in your company, quick access to customer details and past communication is vital.

 Such quick access, alongside the necessary security and the convenience of long-term storage, is best ensured when each email is stored as a PDF file. Besides, when you convert an email to a PDF, you can clear some space in your mailbox and keep everything in order.

There are generally two ways to convert an email to PDF – manual and automated. Let’s talk about how to turn an email into a PDF manually first.

How to manually convert an email to a PDF in top email clients

Microsoft Outlook: How to turn an email into a PDF

The Windows 2010 version of MS Outlook supports the file print to PDF feature. The conversion will take several simple steps.

  1. Open the email you need to save.
  2. Select the File tab and click Print.
  3. Select Microsoft Print to PDF from the Printer drop-down menu.
  4. Click Print and save the PDF in the Save Print Output As box.

If you have an older Windows operating system, you will need to save your Outlook emails as HTML files and then only convert them to PDFs. Follow the next steps to convert an email to a PDF:

  1. Open the email you need to save.
  2. Select the File tab and click Save as.
  3. Type the name of the file in the File name box and choose the location.
  4. In the Save as type list, select HTML and save the file.
  5. Open Microsoft Word.
  6. Click File > Open and select the created HTML file.
  7. Click File > Save As, indicate the location, and select PDF format before clicking Save.

Outlook Express: How to turn an email into a PDF

Whereas Microsoft Outlook is designed for corporate users, Outlook Express has limited functionality. Just like Windows Mail, it is no longer supported in the latest Microsoft versions and is mainly associated with Windows XP.

Besides, Outlook Express stores emails in the EML format. You will need to save emails in the HTML format first and later convert them to PDFs.

If you still use Outlook Express and need to convert EML files to PDFs, complete the next steps.

  1. Open Outlook Express > Mail Option.
  2. Select the File tab, click Save asHTML.
  3. Open the created HTML file in Microsoft Word.
  4. Click File > Save As, choose the location, and select PDF format before clicking Save.

Mozilla Thunderbird: How to turn an email into a PDF

Mozilla Thunderbird is a popular email client you can use instead of email to PDF converter free download software. It stores emails in the mbox format and allows you to convert an email to a PDF manually. 

Note that to convert an email to a PDF, you will first need to install the Import/Export add-on. After that, you can store emails you want to save in the PDF format following these steps:

  1. Open Thunderbird and select the required folder or several emails on the left pane.
  2. Click Tools > select Import/Export Tool > Export all messages in the folder > PDF format.
  3. Select the location and save the converted files.

In Mozilla Thunderbird, you can save as PDF one email or convert emails in batches.

How to automatically convert email messages to PDFs with Inkit Render

If you send lots of emails and need to convert them to PDF documents, manual export won’t help. You should use Inkit Render to automatically generate a PDF from an HTML file saved in your database. Render works based on API requests.

To start using Inkit Render for HTML into PDF conversion, you need to integrate it completing several simple steps:

  1. Create an Inkit account using this link:
  2. Go to the Render section in the dashboard and copy your API key.
  3. Save your API key in a secure place. It’s best practice to set the key as an environment variable in your development environment.
  4. Select the language you are working with and paste the code.
  5. That’s it! Now you can run your script to convert an HTML document into a PDF.

The tool will automatically convert documents to PDF files for record-keeping or printing them out. For more information on how to integrate Inkit Render, visit this page.

Out-of-the-box PDF generation

The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
Try for Free