There are several reasons to convert an image into a PDF. You could be working on a logo for your domain name or building a brand for yourself – in any case, you will require an image in PDF to get your job done. Based on the original image format, the device it’s on, and the operating system, there are several ways to save a picture as a PDF. Before we dive into the details of the methods, let’s break down the file formats.
Portable Document Format or PDF files were created by Adode using PostScript language. They were made to function independently, irrespective of the application, device, or operating system they are used in. The PDF file is a fixed-layout flat document that hosts not just text but also images and other graphics formats.
It is a multi-layered document that is media-rich and extremely versatile. Due to its ability to provide encryption, digital signatures, file attachments, and metadata in its many layers, it is the most reliable format for official documentation processes.
Types of Digital Images
Digital images primarily fall into two categories.
These are most useful when resizing a graphic image. Vector files maintain image clarity and crispness even after changing their scales and are an excellent choice for digital illustrations like logos.
They usually come in three file extensions:
- SVG – web-based vector format
- EPS – Adobe-based vector format
- EMF – Microsoft Office-based vector format
Vector files can be transformed into raster files, but it is not advised since it loses its vector advantages.
Raster images are widely compatible, and they are best utilized for photographs. However, they lose detail and turn blurry when enlarged. These files cannot be converted into vector files and will remain raster even when saved with a vector extension.
They too come in three file extensions:
- JPG – compressed raster format, often used for photos
- PNG – raster format good for illustrations or icons
- TIFF – raster format that is best for high-resolution printing
How to Convert and Save
The easiest method is to find an online application that does the conversion for you. While most websites offer PDF conversions from multiple image formats, only a handful of them retain the image for what it is. Pdf.io is one such website that offers a quick and flexible conversion application online that is easy and effective.
But what do you do when you have to function offline?
- Use your default image viewer to open the image. It could be the Windows photo app, or if you prefer editing applications, Microsoft Paint will do too!
- On the opened file, press Ctrl + P and a print dialogue box will open.
- Under the printer options, select Microsoft Print to PDF instead of your printer and click Print. It is possible that you may not find this option, and that is because you do not have the Microsoft Print to PDF enabled. To enable this feature, run a system search for Turn Windows Features On or Off. Scroll down to find Microsoft Print to PDF on the windows features list and click OK.
- On the printer dialogue box, yet another pop-up box will request you to enter a filename and select a file location.
- Click Save, and you’re done!
This method works great with all image formats, any program that supports printing and works on mobile too!
- Use your default Preview app on your Mac and open up your file.
- In the top left corner of the image, click File and look for Export as PDF.
- Enter a filename and pick a save to a location.
- Click Save and voila!
Why Would You Need to Convert to PDF?
PDF isn’t an option while discussing image files. However, it is the industry standard for document sharing. While it may not be used to upload online or in the official branding process, it may be used to email and store other images combined with text documents or photographs.
PDFs are highly reliable for their accessibility across platforms and their high-quality copy of the original design.
It is also important to understand PDF standards and their different specifications:
- PDF 2.0 is a revised version of the PDF and defines the potential of the format for years to come. This is a safe format for future developments.
- PDF/UA is Universal Accessibility and allows a ‘read-out-loud option for PDF readers. It is not the choice for image conversions.
- PDF/A is a lot like PDF 2.0, meaning operability in the future is a guarantee, and it has three variants: Basic, Unicode, and Accessible.
Overall, PDFs are an extremely versatile way of transferring and saving data. It is feasible to save most documents on PDF in the long run due to their independent nature. They are a safe and easy option if the images need to be encrypted, protected, or digitally signed by the author.