Monday, October 2, 2017

Command-P Squared to “Save as PDF”

David Sparks:

Years ago I shared a tip about printing to PDF by holding down the Command key and pressing P twice. It’s a great tip and people still use it. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work in High Sierra. That is because Apple removed the ellipsis from the command. To fix this, go to your keyboard shortcuts and remove the ellipsis, and all will be good again.

His original tip is great: you can assign the Command-P shortcut to the “Save as PDF” item in the PDF button menu of the Print sheet. Then just press Command-P twice to invoke it.

It’s not clear to me why Apple renamed “Save as PDF” without the ellipsis. It still brings up a sheet to ask where you want to save the file.


When it appears in the name of a button or a menu item, an ellipsis character (…) indicates to the user that additional information is required before the associated operation can be performed. Specifically, it prepares the user to expect the appearance of a window or dialog in which to make selections or enter information before the command executes.

Because users expect instant action from buttons and menu items, it’s important to prepare them for this different behavior by appropriately displaying the ellipsis character. Use the guidelines and examples here to help you decide when to use an ellipsis in menu item and button names.

Update (2017-10-02): It‘s a longstanding guideline.

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The command-line way to set the shortcut: defaults write -g NSUserKeyEquivalents -dict-add "Save as PDF" -string "@p"

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