PDF Print Clipping

What Is It?

When you print from any application on the Mac, the app creates a PDF that it sends to your printer. PDF print clipping refers to the ability to redirect that PDF file from the printer to your Mac note taking app where it’s saved in your notes. The Print panel in every Mac application contains a menu of PDF options—note taking applications that support PDF print clipping will insert one or more commands into this menu. Choosing one of these commands reroutes the PDF output from the printer to the note taking app, which can store the PDF within the note repository.

Because the Print panel generates the PDF, you can use the controls like page range and orientation to tailor the PDF output to your needs before it’s sent to the note taking app.

Mac Notes Apps with This Feature

What Else Should I Know?

PDF print clipping is surprisingly useful. For example, if you run across some information on the web or in an app that you would ordinarily print out, you can choose to send the PDF output to your notes app instead. As with clipping, some note taking apps save the PDF in one central location, while others let you direct the PDF to specific storage locations within the app. If you’re working on two different research projects, the ability to direct the PDFs to Research Project A’s or Research Project B’s clipping repositories is better than later picking through a central repository and figuring out which PDF corresponds to which project.

The system that lets apps insert commands into the Print panel’s PDF menu is called PDF Workflows – you may see apps using this term to refer to PDF print clipping.