Print to PDF and attach to Outlook for Mac

This isn’t a new feature but it’s worth a reminder that PDFs can be printed directly to Outlook as attachments. I mentioned this feature in the Office for Mac forums a few days ago in response to my post about using Automator to create a similar service and folks have really enjoyed the tip. It has that gee-whiz factor and comes in handy when you want to send your current document to someone via E-mail.


Look for the PDF Services folder in the Library folder of your home folder. To make that shorter, look here (where ” ~ ” represents your home folder):

Create an alias of the Microsoft Outlook application in this folder. I do it the easy way by holding Option + Command and dragging Outlook to the PDF Services folder.

Outlook alias

That’s all that’s needed for this to work. The alias can be renamed so that is appears as something like “Attach PDF to new Outlook message” or something similar.

Creating and attaching PDFs to new Outlook messages

Attaching a new PDF to a new Outlook message is as easy as printing. For example, assume you’ve written a document using Microsoft Word and you’d like to send it as a PDF to a friend to get his opinion.

  1. Select Print from the File menu
  2. Click on the PDF menu button at the bottom of the Print window
  3. Select Attach PDF to new Outlook message

Print to PDF

In the amount of time it takes to create the PDF and launch Outlook, you’ll have a new mail message ready to address and send.

Outlook message with attachment

This PDF Service is handy for printing receipts or recipes from Safari, printing multiple Outlook E-mail messages to a single PDF and dozens of other uses. Microsoft Entourage also supports the PDF Service as well as Apple’s Mail application.

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4 comments to Print to PDF and attach to Outlook for Mac

  • Very helpful. Thank you!

  • This does not work if the file is already a PDF. (“Printing a PDF to a PDF os not supported”) Any suggestions??

    • This feature is part of Mac OS X’s PDF Services. It’s not an Outlook for Mac feature. PDF Services does not support creating a PDF from a PDF. (That just doesn’t make sense!) You can take your PDF attachment and manually attach it to an outgoing mail message.

  • Ben Radcliffe

    In Entourage you could print a PDF and attach it to an open email ie click reply and then attach to that open email composition. In Outlook it ALWAYS opens a fresh email.
    Is there anyway to get the old functionality back as it was very useful to reply to a long email string and then automatically attach a number of PDFs to the reply?