I would like to have the ability to generate pdfs from the applications on iPad and iPhone that are print capable.

What I am asking for here is an object that would appear as a printer in OS X, but is actually set up as a virtual printer, a bit of software that anything that can print sees exactly as a printer, that can be shared over a local network and will list in any apps on any iOS devices that are currently running print-capable apps.

Simply put: how do I set up a local network pdf printer for iPad?

I need this to work with iOS5 and Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

1 Answer 1


1 - Install PDFwriter (free). It will allow you to add a new printer in Settings > Printer & Scanners > + button. When you print using this new printer, it will generate a PDF file under /Users/Shared/[username]/

2 - Install handyPrint (donationware). It will allow you to share the virtual PDF printer with the mobile devices.

You might need to disable or create a custom rule on the Mac's firewall so that the devices will find the printer. Change this under Settings > Security & Privacy > Firewall.

PS: I have only used on Mavericks and iOS 6, but I'm 97,21% sure it will work on Snow Leopard and iOS 5.

PPS: There might be similar programs to acomplish this, you don't really need these ones. If you want to see alternatives, search for "virtual printer mac".

  • Wow. That was fast. This bit of cleverness will be very very useful to anyone with iOS and Mac environments that actually do work on the iOS devices, because Apple is very restrictive these days, and never makes it easy to output just what you want from iOS, except when printing from apps dedicated to what you're doing. I'm pretty new here... so how do I reward Vincius Pinto? I hope others can see just how great this is, and wow... answered with a quickness I have not seen since... Obiwan? Is that you?
    – chillin
    Commented May 4, 2014 at 6:35
  • It works! Just like you fn planned!! Outstanding! Again, I am new here and I do not know how to reward you for both understanding exactly what I wanted, and answering within minutes. Thank you so much!!! :D
    – chillin
    Commented May 4, 2014 at 7:29
  • if you would like to give more points than are given for accepting the answer you can click "start a bounty" and there should be an option to immediately reward the bounty because you think the answer is especially good.
    – dwightk
    Commented May 17, 2014 at 23:45

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