Document management, whether paper or digital, is particularly important to ensure maximum retrievability. In order for you to have everything under control, it is smart to convert images to PDF, but how to turn a photo into PDF without wasting too much time?
In the next few lines we will look at the fastest and most effective methods of doing this, focusing not only on online solutions, but also on offline ones.
How to turn a photo into a PDF: reasons to do it
Converting an image, whether JPEG, PNG or any other format, can be useful for several reasons. Although the needs of individuals are in many cases different from those of SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises), it is interesting to note that the motivations for using such a system are very similar. Let’s see what the benefits are in daily use.
Creating photo albums
One of the reasons why more and more people are turning a photo into a PDF lies in the possibility of making real photo albums to keep. As much as creating a folder from scratch with album images inside it may seem like a good solution, people often have difficulty finding the desired photograph.
By making a dedicated PDF, markers can also be included with which to search for the photo in question. All the photos in the folder can be condensed into one file, saving space and time.
Generate editable documents in OCR
It is no coincidence that it is precisely offices that use image-to-PDF conversion the most. This condition is due to the fact that the OCR function can be taken advantage of. Paper documents, especially those in which there is well-readable text, can be converted to PDF and edited later on a smartphone or PC.
The potential of this function is endless and provides excellent versatility for those who have to edit documents on a daily basis.
Ease of Storage
Scanning dozens of documents, in addition to being very time-consuming from the point of view of man-hours, is also so because of the difficulty of filing. Putting all the files on your hard disk or cloud service, as quick and easy as it may be, induces some confusion.
Turning a photo into a PFD makes it markedly easier to catalog files by being able to circumscribe them into a single, nameable and identifiable solution in just a few clicks.
Organization of documents
There is no shadow of a doubt that understanding how to turn a photo into a PDF is also useful for improving the organization of documents, whether they are business or private. In many cases you end up storing hundreds of scans on the internal memory of your device, only to make it almost impossible to find them.
Conversion allows you to optimize your work time and wisely organize your files, making everything much faster and more intuitive.
Simplicity of search
When you scan an image, whether it is of a document or a particular graphic, you hardly ever rename the file. Such a way of doing things, although it may not be deleterious with a limited number of documents, becomes so with several files on file.
With a fle PDF you will be able to perform an advanced search, which also allows you to search for words within the file, making the process much easier and faster. In this case, advanced Windows systems or dedicated software should be used.
Reduction in file size
One of the most significant advantages of converting a photo to PDF lies in the reduction of file size. Customarily an image, especially a high-resolution one, has a size that exceeds 2.5 MB, a condition that induces the use of considerable storage space over time.
By turning the photo into a PDF, the size can be compressed, effectively generating a much leaner and less PC-heavy storage system. Those who do not have much storage space on their computer system will benefit enormously.
How to turn a photo into a PDF: websites
Let’s get more into the heart of the guide by trying to understand how to turn a photo into a PDF concretely. The methods for doing this are different and in many cases change depending on the operating system of reference.
So as not to confuse those using Apple, Microsoft and Android systems, we will highlight the relevant platform. In this section we will take a look at online sites that allow conversion of photos to PDF, you will be able to use them from any device, provided you have a network connection and a web browser, the latter can be either Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox or other.
I Love PDF
The most popular online platform used by teachers is definitely I Love PDF, an effective solution with which JPG images can be converted to PDF.
Going to the home page simply select the desired image and upload it to the website, or simply drag and drop the image within the page. The site is particularly interesting because it allows users to add photos directly from Dropbox and Google Drive, speeding up operations for those who use these services on a daily basis.
Once the image is imported, the site will ask for the orientation, page size, i.e., format, and margins to be applied to the page. The conversion takes only a few seconds, and you can save the file to your PC, smartphone, Google Drive, Dropbox or share the direct link.
Another website for turning a photo into a PDF is Small PDF, a solution for anyone who needs to convert a photo from JPG to PDF format. Dragging the file within the dedicated section will allow you to proceed with the conversion, always choosing: format, orientation and margins.
The company Adobe certainly needs no introduction; for years it has been engaged in making software capable of editing documents and graphics. The dedicated section for transforming photos to PDF is simple and functional.
Unlike previous websites, the platform provided by Adobe can convert multiple image formats, specifically: JPG, PNG and BPM. Actually, other formats can be transformed as well, but we found minor imperfections in the final result.
Adobe does not allow selection of orientation, margins, and sheet size, but it provides more versatility for functions. You can compress, merge and organize PDF files with thededicated editor.
Alternative, but equally practical solution is PDF Candy, an online tool that allows conversion from JPG image to PDF. It is certainly not the most feature-rich platform, but it provides exceptional privacy as it permanently deletes uploaded files two hours after upload.
Free PDF Converter
Online, completely free site that provides fast and secure JPG to PDF image conversion is Free PDF Converter. Although one can also register to access additional services, the platform allows one to select the desired image file and turn it into a PDF without registration.
Interesting is its upload function from services such as Google Drive and Dropbox, to which is also added the direct URL link. Once the image is uploaded, the editor will open with which you can either merge multiple photos or create separate PDF files, the latter option usable only in the subscription plan.
JPG 2 PDF
Among the most comprehensive and free online platforms for turning a photo into a PDF is JPG 2 PDF. In fact, the website allows not only for this type of conversion, but also for transforming: PDF to DOC, DOC to PDF, PDF to JPG, PDF to PNG, PNG to PDF, compressing PDFs, combining PDFs, rotating PDFs, and unlocking PDFs.
Simply select the JPG to PDF section and upload the file. Multiple images can also be merged at the same time.
Those looking for a website to turn an image into a PDF without any frills can opt for SodaPDF. The platform is designed to convert files to JPG format, you will be able to download the file to your device once the conversion to PDF is finished.
IMG 2 Go
Alternative solution is IMG 2 Go, a website that features conversion of files to JPEG, PNG and SVG formats. You will be able to upload files from the URL, Dropbox and Google Drive, as well as directly selecting the photo from your device.
You can choose the conversion quality, the function to merge multiple images, and the tool to straighten the photo.
How to turn a photo into a PDF: Software
However, you may not always be connected online; some offices lack an Internet connection, and using dedicated software could be a solution. Let’s see which programs are the most lightweight and functional on how to turn a photo into a PDF on your PC.
EaseUS PDF Editor – Windows PC
One of the most important programs for turning photos into PDFs is definitely EaseUS PDF Editor, which is capable of importing images in different formats, such as JPG, TIFF, BMP and PNG.
In just a few clicks, you can get the files you want and save them to your PC, taking advantage of several features. In fact, the software also allows you to edit PDFs, enable OCR, split, compress, rotate pages in the PDF format, and restore the PDF file back to the image. The only downside is its availability only for Windows.
Image to PDF – Windows PC
Very light and handy program capable of transforming your PNG, GIF, JPEG, BMP and many other photo formats into PDF.
Its strengths include the many formats available and especially the speed of conversion. Weak point is to be found in its compatibility with very old systems; on Windows 10/11 you have to set the compatibility mode to Windows 95.
JPG To PDF Converter – Windows PC
Although from the name of the software you might think that the file conversion is only from JPG to PDF, in fact several formats can be transformed; the most common are PNG, BMP, and GIF and TIFF.
The advantages in using it are several, in addition to being able to select a good number of sizes you can also select different paper sizes and the ability to add more than 50 images. At the same time.
Word – Windows PC and Mac
In addition to third-party software, you can also use the Office package to turn a photo into a PDF. Specifically you can take advantage of Office Word, let’s see how to do it on Windows and macOS operating systems.
With Windows you have to start a new Word document and click on the Insert section, found in the top bar. From here select the Images option and upload the photo you want to convert.
By changing the format, size, and margins you can then convert the image by clicking on File and selecting the items: Export, Create PDF/XPS Document. The operating system will create a virtual printer, just choose doPDF format as the output source, press Save, and the file will be saved where you want it in PDF format.
The process with macOS is very similar, but Word in this case has different sections to interact with. One must first start a Word document, create a new one, and then press Insert. From here select the Images item and upload the desired one.
To proceed with the conversion to PDF you need to click on File and then immediately on Print. Pressing on PDF, at the bottom left, and then immediately on Save as PDF will allow you to name the file and save it to your hard drive.
Print function Windows 10/11
Those with Windows 10 or the latest Windows 11 version can speed up the conversion process by right-clicking on the photo you want to convert. Simply select the Print item. The print window will open in which you must select Microsoft Print to PDF in the Printer section. Click on Print, in the lower right corner, and you will get the file converted to PDF.
How to turn a photo into a PDF: App
As much as an online platform dedicated to transforming images into PDFs and dedicated software can serve one’s purpose, a smartphone application helps greatly in daily tasks.
Scanning an image from your mobile device and converting it directly to PDF in seconds can be very useful. But how to turn a photo into a PDF with a smartphone? The answer lies in dedicated applications. Let’s see which ones are the best.
Lens – Android
One of the best applications is Microsoft Office Lens, a solution that allows you to cut, edit, and convert any type of photo taken by the smartphone camera.
Among its strengths is the quality of the final PDFs, in fact, the resolution is very high and not far from that of the original photo. You can also convert photos to formats such as Word and PowerPoint, saving them to either the internal memory or Onenote.
The OCR function is integrated, but we emphasize a very slow file upload time.
CamScanner – Android
Effective and professional application, which in the latest versions offers everything you need for complete conversion of PDF files, is CamScanner. Conversion operations are quick and intuitive, to which is also added the possibility of underlining the most significant phrases and editing certain elements within it.
In recent years it is a popular software for its accurate digital scanning, as well as for editing photos before conversion. The only downside is the cost, but only if you want to remove the ads or add the extra features.
PDF Photos – iOS
Interesting application, especially for those who like to share a group of photos, is PDF Photos. After conversion to PDF format you will be able to send files quickly and intuitively.
The preview function is very useful to verify that the final result will conform to your expectations. Also interesting is the function for reducing image size and rotating pages. In contrast, several banner ads are present.
PDFelement – iOS
This application, available only for iOS, allows you to convert different types of formats to PDF. By reviewers all over the world, it is considered the best software to perform this function; there is absolutely no disputing this claim by analyzing it in detail.
PDFelement not only allows you to turn a photo into a PDF, but also to convert PDFs themselves into: Word files, Excel files, PowerPoint, Text, XML, ePub, HTML, RTF, and Pages.
SwiftScan – iOS
This application is designed for those with specific needs in image conversion. In fact, it allows you to scan documents and QR codes and then convert them to PDF.
This solution is useful not only for transforming images, but also for protecting PDF files on Apple devices, since a dedicated password can be added to encrypt documents.
Synchronization with iCloud and multi-page conversion are excellent; in contrast, there are critical issues with automatic background correction.
Foxit PDF – iOS
An equally good alternative that provides detailed and fast photo-to-PDF conversion is Foxit PDF. This application, by uploading the image file from internal memory or iCloud allows you to transform the image into the desired format, adding a very neat editor.
The interface is certainly not on the same level as the applications listed above, but it accomplishes conversion and editing tasks effectively.
How to turn a photo into a PDF: the importance of format
When you need to convert a photograph to PDF, it is essential to check the type of format. Although an image in JPG format may look identical to one in JPEG, to the operating system and program used, they are definitely not.
When choosing the online site, software or dedicated smartphone application, it is a good idea to check the format of the original file first so that you can adapt accordingly.
On Windows PCs to check the format of a photo simply right-click on it and select Properties. Within the General section, next to the heading File type you will find the format of the image: JPG, JPEG, TIFF, GIF, etc.
A format that is not compatible with the software used will not be recognized for conversion to PDF, showing an error message.
How to turn a photo into a PDF: the ideal features to look for
Having identified the format of the photo, you can start thinking about the platform to use for conversion. But what are the specifications that an application should possess to turn a photo into a PDF?
Ease of use
Starting software with a poorly structured interface is definitely not a good way to speed up scanning and conversion operations. A quality platform is simple to use with easy-to-apply functions.
Portable and lightweight
Leaving aside online platforms, which are constrained to the Web browser, an image-to-PDF conversion software must be lightweight. Being able to install it even on very old operating systems can be very useful for those who do not have an up-to-date PC.
Conversion is certainly great for taking advantage of the benefits listed in the previous paragraphs, but there should also be other useful functions, such as editing photos and PDFs themselves. A dedicated editor can reduce document storage and management time.
Most of the software analyzed is available free of charge, but it is worth noting that some paid features can actually be useful to those who work with photographs and PDFs on a daily basis.
In the work environment, software that allows you to turn a photo into a PDF must necessarily have the OCR function. This allows paper documents to be scanned and later edited into PDF format. Although in the private sphere this may be a superficial characteristic, for businesses it is an essential condition.
So how to turn a photo into a PDF quickly and effectively? The answer lies in one’s own needs. From a purely practical point of view, online platforms are the fastest solution, but they require a network connection to access them.
Dedicated software on one’s PC, on the other hand, is the best answer for those who also work offline during the day. While smartphone apps are the all-in-one that allows you to have an intuitive converter at your fingertips that you can implement to your photo scanner.