PDFs and How To Make Them Page

This was originally a post but a demand seems to have arisen so I am sticking it into the the “Pages” sections so it is easier to find.

In the last day or so I have had 3 people ask me how to create a PDF, preferably without giving a bunch of money to Adobe (nothing personal guys).

Now my preference (where possible) is for an Open Source Solution. So lets have a look at PDF Creator

PDF (Portable Document Format) files are the de facto standard in electronic publishing, because the author can be sure that the document will look as intended on all platforms, regardless of local fonts or lack thereof. PDFs can also be generated with the aforementioned Adobe commercial packages, but PDFCreator is by far the easiest and cheapest option (free).

Use PDFCreator to generate PDF documents directly from any Windows program.
PDFCreator is also a free tool to create PDFs easily from nearly any application.
With the PDFCreator Printer driver you turn any program into a PDF-machine

Once installed, you simply select ‘Print’ from the File menu of your word processor or drawing program, and select ‘PDFCreator Printer’ from the list of printers.

Click ‘Save’ and enter a name for your PDF output file. That’s it!

Optionally, you may also enter information to identify the document, such as Title, Creation Date and Author. The Options dialogue lets you control the process in more detail. You can set the resolution and compression levels for the various file types, and control how fonts are included. Use the security feature to protect your document with a password. JPEG, PNG, Postscript (PS) and Encapsulated Postscript (EPS) output formats are also supported.

PDFCreator is released under the term of th GPL (GNU General Public License).

or go to Sourceforge http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/
and Press the Green Download Button and open the + PDFCreator section

UPDATE: There is a new version grab it. Will fix the links shortly

Download PDFCreator 0.9.3 GPL

PDFCreator-0_8_0_AFPLGhostscript (I have always used this version) OR
and dont forget the patch

Another program that does the same thing and is a bit more Windows-centric is CutePDF Writer (formerly CutePDF Printer) is a free version of their commercial PDF creation software. CutePDF Writer installs itself as a “printer subsystem”. This enables virtually any Windows application that is able to print, to create professional quality PDF documents all with just a click!

It’s FREE for both personal and commercial use! No watermarks!

Installation Requirements

  • Supports Microsoft Windows 98/ME/2000/XP (x64)/2003 (x64).
  • Requires PS2PDF converter such as Ghostscript (recommended). You can get the free GPL Ghostscript 8.15 the site as well.

Stroll across to http://www.cutepdf.com/Products/CutePDF/writer.asp the download links are on the left of the page (and YES you really do need both bits).

If you feel like spending some money Jaws PDF is well worth a look. It has been around a long time and is about a quarter of the Adobe Acrobat.

(By the way. If you own a recent Canon Scanner they sometimes include PDF as a save option. Have a look and see)