Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016 finally come with a built-in PDF printer called “Microsoft Print to PDF” that you can use from PowerShell to create PDF files. Run this to check your PDF printer:

$printer = Get-Printer -Name "Microsoft Print to PDF" -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
if (!$?)
{
    Write-Warning "Your PDF Printer is not yet available!"
}
else
{
    Write-Warning "PDF printer is ready for use."
}

If the printer is not (yet) available, then you are either not using Windows 10/Windows Server 2016, or the PDF Print Feature is not enabled. Run this command from an elevated PowerShell to fix it:

 
PS> Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Printing-PrintToPDFServices-Features 
 

To always make sure the line runs with Administrator privileges, you could also try and use this:

$code = 'Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Printing-PrintToPDFServices-Features'

Start-Process -Verb Runas -FilePath powershell.exe -ArgumentList "-noprofile -command $code"

Once your PDF Printer is ready for action, creating PDF files from PowerShell is very simple. Just send output to Out-Printer. Here is an example:

 
PS> Get-Service | Out-Printer -Name "Microsoft Print to PDF"
 

The printer driver opens a dialog where you can choose the output file name. If you’d like to print unattended and avoid this dialog, we’ll look into this tomorrow.


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