After my Mom passed away, preserving memories of my Mom became extremely important to me. A smartphone was the best thing I could ever have given to her because even though we were in different countries, keeping in touch was so easy and it didn’t feel like we were that far away from each other. Our daily WhatsApp conversations are now a precious memory I shall always treasure and are now even easier for me to read and enjoy in a book format.
Coincidentally, I discovered that there are a few companies that offer this service. This is a great option if you’d prefer someone else to do it for you and if it’s important to you to have all the images and emoji symbols included in your chat book. I considered this briefly but after weighing up the costs, I decided on the cost effective route of creating my own WhatsApp Chat ebook.
The steps I’m about to share will give you 2 options:
- Create an electronic book of your WhatsApp conversations that can be viewed on a tablet, e-reader or computer
- Create a paper book of your WhatsApp conversations
You will need:
- Your phone
- A PC or laptop
- Microsoft Word 2007+ installed on your machine
- Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your machine
I decided to exclude the images from my book as I couldn’t come up with a quick and easy one step method of inserting the images. (I’m lazy that way – but it’s not impossible to do if you have the patience and have a small book to create).
Please also take note that these steps are taken from an iPhone. The steps will differ for an Android or Windows phone.
Steps on how to create a WhatsApp Chat book
1. Export the chat conversation
- Open the WhatsApp conversation you want to export by choosing the contact or group
- Tap the contact’s name or the group subject in the navigation bar (in the same way as if you were to view the contact or group info of the conversation)
- Scroll to the bottom and tap “Export Chat”
- Select if you want to Attach Media or email the conversation Without Media
- A dialog box will appear where you can directly send your WhatsApp chat to any email. Just type in the email address and tap on Send. Log into your email from your PC and download this file to your PC.
- If the file is too big, then you will be asked to upload the file to the iCloud drive. If your iCloud drive is not enabled you may get an option to send it via Mail Drop. The Mail Drop option didn’t work for me so make sure your iCloud drive is enabled from Settings -> iCloud -> iCloud Drive -> On. If your iCloud drive is enabled then a dialog box will appear allowing you to save it to the drive. From here you then need to log into your iCloud account via www.icloud.com from a PC and can now download the file from the iCloud to your PC. If you chose to Attach Media, the images will be included in a separate folder as part of the zip file.
2. Editing the conversation
- Now that the text file is saved on your PC, the next step is to open it from Microsoft Word.
- A dialog box may appear asking you to select the encoding. Leave it on the default “Unicode UTF-8” and click on OK.
- It may take a few seconds for the file to load into Word but once the text is visible you can now proceed with editing.
- Edit the document by changing the font, adding page numbers, spacing, a book title and a cover page image. If you’re OCD like me then you could change the font to one of the more popular fonts used in self-published books such as Garamond, Janson, Palatino or Book Antiqua.
- If you chose the option to Include Media when you exported your Whatsapp conversation from your phone then there will be a reference in the conversation to the name of the image file. You could use this as a pointer for where to insert the images. You can use Microsoft Word’s “Insert Picture” facility to do this. I chose to skip this step.
3. Save as PDF for an ebook
Once you’ve completed editing your document, you are now ready to save it as a PDF. By default, Microsoft Word 2007 and up has the option to save your document as a PDF. To save the document go to File -> Save As -> Click on the File Types drop down and choose the PDF option.
Depending on the size of the file, it may take a little while for the PDF file to generate. A spinning circle will be visible while the PDF document is being created. When the file is finished generating it will open in Adobe Acrobat Reader as can be seen in the screenshot below. And voila! You now have an ebook which cost nothing to create!
To view this Ebook on your iPad you need to upload it to your iCloud Drive from your PC and then download it from the iCloud Drive onto your iPad. Or you could also email it to yourself and access the PDF file from your device that way. If you use the Kindle app on your iPad, you could save the PDF to the Kindle app so that you can access your book using this app.
4. Save as RTF to create a printable book
If you’d prefer to create a hard copy of your book, then instead of saving the document as a PDF, save it as an RTF file.
5. Create a printable book
I briefly considered using a company called Blurb to have my book printed. They have 3 different sized options to print Trade Books in black and white or colour. Should you wish to follow this route then you’ll need to install their application for creating books. There will be an option to add the RTF file that you created in the previous step. From here, you can then continue to create your very own book which will obviously come at a cost.
I thought this was a post worth writing because maybe one day mobile phones will become extinct. And maybe you also might have entertaining or meaningful conversations that you’d like to keep forever, printed in a book for yourself or as a gift to someone 🙂
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