How to Create a PDF File


In today's digital age, the PDF has become ubiquitous for sharing and preserving documents. Whether you're a student, a professional, or simply someone looking to streamline document sharing, knowing how to make a PDF file is a valuable skill.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the process of creating PDF files, covering everything from making a PDF from scratch to converting existing document types to the universal format.

Ways to create a PDF: summary table

WayTool neededProgram for WindowsProgram for macOS
Make a PDF from scratchPDF creatorIcecream PDF EditorLibreOffice
Convert Word to PDFPDF converterPDF ConverterPDF Studio
Turn an image into PDFPDF converterIcecream PDF ConverterQuick Actions
Scan existing hard copyScanner and PDF mergerIcecream PDF Split & MergeClever PDF

Method 1: Create a PDF from scratch

To make a PDF from zero, you need to start with a blank document within a PDF editing software. Then, you can add text, images, and other elements.

This process allows for complete customization and control over the layout, design, and content of the PDF to meet specific needs or requirements.

Icecream PDF Editor (Windows)

Icecream PDF Editor is a program for editing PDFs, filling out forms, and also producing PDF documents. Additionally, it provides tools for rotating PDF pages, password protection, and more.

See the step-by-step guide on how to create a PDF file with this app:

  1. Download the PDF maker. Install it on your computer and launch.
  2. Click the "Create PDF..." button. You can also use the "File" menu and select there the "New" option. Another way is to just use the Ctrl + N hotkey combination.
  3. In the new window, adjust the settings for your new PDF: page size, orientation (portrait or landscape), and the number of pages. As soon as you select all the parameters, hit "OK".
  4. Click "Edit" in the upper-left-hand corner. This will enable the "Edit PDF" mode, so you can add text, images, and other elements to your document.
  5. To add more pages, locate the "Page" option from the navigation panel at the top of the PDF maker. Click it and select "Add page...". The Ctrl + Shift + N combination will also do that.
  6. Use the "Thumbnails" panel to rearrange the PDF pages.
  7. Hit Ctrl + S or the "Save as..." option of the "File" menu to add a name and specify the output folder on your computer.

LibreOffice (macOS)

Making a PDF file on a Mac is a simple task with LibreOffice, a free and open-source editing software. With this program, you can create documents, presentations, and spreadsheets in just a few simple steps.

Below is the guide to creating a PDF document on your Mac using this app:

  1. Download the software from the official website and follow the installation instructions.
  2. Open the program. Go to the "File" menu. Choose "New". In the dropdown list, pick "Text Document". Alternatively, hit the Command + N hotkey combination.
  3. Make the necessary edits: add text, import images, etc.
  4. Once your document is ready, open the "File" menu and go with "Export as". There, select the "Export as PDF..." or "Export directly as PDF". The first option will provide you with more file settings: general, security, links, digital signature, etc.
  5. Hit "Export" to proceed and save your file.

Method 2: Convert Word to PDF

Using a Word document is another way to create a PDF file. This is a convenient way of producing a digital document in the familiar to many editor. All you need to do afterward is convert it to PDF to preserve all the formatting.

Icecream PDF Converter

Icecream PDF Converter is a user-friendly software that allows you to quickly and effortlessly transform various document files into high-quality PDFs. The conversion operations supported are XLS to PDF, FB2 to PDF, and more.

The process of creating a PDF file from a Word document:

  1. Download and install the PDF converter. Launch the program to get started.
  2. Choose the Word document you wish to convert by clicking the "Add File" button. You can also drag and drop the file into the software's interface.
  3. Next, choose the location to save the resulting file. Hit "Convert".
  4. Upon completion, a window will pop up notifying you that the file is available in the destination folder.
How to make a PDF out of Word

PDF Studio

PDF Studio is a popular editor and viewer available for macOS. It provides a wide range of features such as editing, annotating, converting, filling forms, and signing PDF documents.

Creating a PDF from a Word using this app is detailed below:

  1. Download and install the program. Open it.
  2. In the middle of the window, you will see "Create PDF". Below it, pick the "From MS Office" option.
  3. Browse the file and upload it into the converter.
  4. Go to the "File" menu and press "Save" (you can also use the Command + S hotkey combination). Enter the new file name and pick a folder to save it to.

Method 3: Convert an image to PDF

Creating a PDF from images involves compiling multiple pictures into a single PDF document. This process allows for convenient sharing and storage of image collections in a standardized and easily accessible format.

Icecream PDF Converter

Apart from converting documents, Icecream PDF Converter is also capable of making PDFs out of users' pictures. This can be a convenient option for multiple requirements, such as compiling a digital photo portfolio.

Follow these simple steps to create a PDF out of your images:

  1. After downloading and installing the PDF converter, open the program.
  2. Select the picture you want to convert either by clicking the "Add File" button or by dragging and dropping it into the program's window. You can add multiple files at once and convert them all into one PDF.
  3. Then, designate the folder where you want to save the PDF file. Press "Convert".
  4. Once the conversion is finished, you will be notified.
Create a PDF from images

Quick Actions

To convert an image to PDF on a Mac, you don't even need any software. You can simply use the Quick Actions utility within Finder.

Look at the description below to help you make a PDF out of your pictures:

  1. Select the image file or files you want to convert to PDF.
  2. Right-click on the selected image(s) to open the context menu.
  3. Navigate to the "Quick Actions" section and choose "Create PDF" from the available options.
  4. The document will be created automatically in the same folder. You can rename it or make necessary edits.
Make a PDF from images

Method 4: Create a PDF from scanned files

Creating a PDF from scanned documents involves digitizing physical papers using specialized hardware. This process enables the conversion of hard-copy documents into electronic files, facilitating easy sharing, storage, and retrieval.

Connect a scanner to your computer or use a mobile scanning app to process your papers. If possible, choose PDF as the exporting format. Otherwise, you will need to convert them to PDF first.

Once, you have your single-paged PDFs, you need to join them into one document.

Icecream PDF Split & Merge

Icecream PDF Split & Merge is a software that allows users to combine or divide digital documents. The program is very simple to use and has an intuitive user interface.

Below is the guide to making a PDF out of scanned documents:

  1. Get the PDF merger installed on your computer.
  2. Open it and click the "Add Files" button. Choose all the scanned files that you wish to combine into one PDF document. Rearrange them in any order you want by dragging and dropping.
  3. Enter the file's name and where you wish it to be located after merging. There are advanced settings available for further customization of your file. To access them, press the gear icon.
  4. Once ready, hit "Merge" to initiate creating a PDF.
  5. After the merging process is done, you can access the destination folder and examine your result in PDF format.

Clever PDF

Clever PDF is a document processing software for macOS users. It offers a variety of tools - from converting to compressing PDF. A document merger is one of the options.

Here's what to do to make a PDF out of several scanned files:

  1. Obtain the program from the App Store. Start it.
  2. Choose the "Combine PDF" tool. Use the "Choose Files" to upload the documents for merging into the program. Rearrange the files if needed.
  3. Select "Output Folder" to set the destination and enter the new name for the resulting document.
  4. Hit "Convert". The created PDF will be available at the chosen location.


How can I ensure that my PDF file is optimized for web viewing?
To ensure your PDF is suitable for the web, you can reduce its file size by compressing images, limiting embedded fonts, and using efficient PDF settings during the creation process. Additionally, consider enabling fast web view and removing unnecessary elements like metadata or annotations to improve loading speed.
Can I add hyperlinks within a PDF document?
Yes, you can insert hyperlinks into a document by using PDF editing software. Simply select the text or image you want to link, then insert the URL.


In conclusion, generating a PDF file may seem daunting at first, but with the right tools and attention to detail, it's a simple process. By following these steps, you can easily create PDF documents from scratch, through conversion, or by scanning existing hard copies.

Alexandra Meyer

Editor-in-Chief at Icecream Apps

With experience spanning over several years, Alexandra Meyer holds the esteemed position of editor-in-chief at Icecream Apps. Originally involved in the website's establishment in 2014, Alexandra now ensures the maintenance of the company's exceptional content standards across their various projects. Specializing in technology, software, online services, and human resources, she has extensively written and edited numerous articles on these subjects.
5 min read
Related articles:
Today's business world revolves around the daily signing and sharing of papers. Do you know what else would make workflow easier? Learning ...
PDFs are one of the most popular file formats to share and use. But can you edit a PDF? This file format is a solid one and originally it is ...
PDF files are widely used for sharing documents across devices and platforms. Despite their popularity, many people face challenges opening ...