Printing / Exporting Mac Messages (iMessages)

If you’re like me, first, God help you and second you may find yourself transacting some business via Mac Messages, also known as iMessage.  I have Cloud (formerly iCloud) turned on so that my messages sync across my devices.  Makes it handy to interact no matter where I’m located.  Or iLocated.

And, by the by you may find that once a transaction is completed you’d like to save a copy of that conversation for historical reference.  I did some searching and found some non-workable suggestions that included taking screen shots, clicking the right mouse button on a message and trying to copy and past them into your favorite editor (ugh) navigating to where the text logs are kept, viewing those logs in a text editor and printing them, and so on.

But but, you say!  This is a Mac!  This ain’t no Wind-doh’s!  There’s gotta be a clever workaround!  But, indeed.

And by gosh you’d be correct.  Here’s a quick way to print or save your conversations from Messages in a well formatted, attractive way.

  1. Open Messages on your Mac.  (uh-doi!)
  2. Select the conversation you wish to save.
  3. (not sure this next step is required, but it makes it a less error prone process)  Select “File” and then “Open Conversation in a Separate Window”.
  4. Next, in order to make the print out nicer, select “View” and then “Show All Buddy Pictures in Conversations”.
  5. Then, select “File” followed by “Print”. (we’re getting close!)
  6. Then, rather than actually print, select the “PDF” drop down in the lower left corner of the Print window that popped up, and then select “Save as PDF”
  7. Navigate to where you want to save the Message conversation, give it a nifty name, and click “Save”.

The whole “Save as a PDF” option on a Mac has a ton of uses.  For example, you can update an existing PDF by adding content on top of a particular page, for example.  And then you don’t want to send that to someone because they can just remove your edits.  Instead, print the PDF, and “Save as a PDF”.  The new PDF will be the old PDF with your additions, but the recipient cannot remove your edits! Denied!

Hopefully you’ll find this useful!  Let me know!

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