are many free ways to create
for free. PDFs are wonderful fixed-layout documents but sometimes it is
necessary to convert PDF
to excel or to word for practical
applications. The drawbacks fall into several camps. There are the free Web services from Adobe and others that require you to send
them the document which their automated programs convert and then send back. The drawbacks are: they are limited to the number of documents you can convert
under one registration, or the number of document you can convert per day, or
the output comes back with a watermarked advertising of their service on all the
pages (you can remove this). Next are the actual freestanding application
with their drawbacks too. These free applications are often limited by the type
document you can convert to PDF, such as simple text, or HTML or are limited
to non-business use. Finally there are the "printer" PDF creators.
Some of these are nagware in that you have to click through a screen asking you
to register for a small fee, each time you use the program. There
are however "printer" PDF creators which once they are set up, allow you to
print from any program, producing a PDF document, even in full color. The
drawback here is there is some difficulty in setting these up, but don't
despair, there are fully documented instructions with screenshots on how to do
this.. One final caveat, apparently PDF files can be very complex, with
bookmarks, hyperlinks etc. There are many issues involved with PDF
creation for professional use particularly in the Graphics and Printing
Industries which I don't pretend to understand. The PDF files created with
the methods below are for simple PDF files not for professional manuals and the
like. You'll have to pay for the pro programs if you want to do anything fancy. I will in most cases be pasting in the blurbs from the Web sites for all the
products, following that with my own comments in Italics.
Create Adobe® PDF Online is a Web-hosted service that lets you convert a variety
of documents into Adobe
PDF files that anyone can view using the free Adobe
Acrobat® Reader?. Supported formats include Microsoft® Office files,
graphics formats, Web pages, and other
types. Use Paper Capture to create searchable PDF files from scanned paper
documents. You can create the first five copies for free.
goBCL® provides you with quick and free document conversion into PDF and HTML
formats. As a web-based server solution, goBCL allows you to convert documents
automatically - from your PC or your Mac, from your home or your office...from
anywhere in the world! goBCL lets you submit documents from your web browser.
goBCL then processes your document and, within minutes, generates and emails you
an accurate PDF or HTML (complete with JPEG files) representation of your
document. The maximum size that you can upload is 500K per file.. - Limits your
documents to 500 KB.
Neevia Document Converter eXPress is a FREE web-based service that lets you
convert your business documents into
Portable Document Format (PDF). Adobe PDF solves many common file-sharing
problems, from preserving the look-and-feel of the original document to allowing
anyone, on any platform, to view, navigate, and print documents using the free Adobe®
Acrobat® Reader®. Supported formats include Microsoft® Office files,
graphics formats, and other document
formats. - Limits your documents to 500 KB.
http://184.108.40.206/abcpdf/ - Using
the links below you can add text, images and other graphics to your very own PDF
document. You can choose to view the document in a browser window or download it
to your computer for viewing. The actual document itself is dynamically
generated and sent direct to your web browser - there are no files saved
anywhere. In this example web site we limit the document to a single page
to make it easy to see the changes you're making. However if you want to create
multi-page documents it's only a few more lines of code!
This site puts an advertising watermark on each page if you do it for free.
NetPower PDFconvert is the on-line solution to convert Microsoft® Office (Word,
Excel, PowerPoint®) documents, Web pages, images, ... into Adobe® PDF
files. Notice: * This service is currently free of charge. Converted documents
may include our watermark.* Adobe Acrobat Reader (available free of charge)
enables one to read the documents thus produced.* The size of the file to
convert shouldn't exceed 15 Mb or 5 minutes in processing time.- This site may
put a watermark on the resulting file.
http://www.teamprinting.com/toolbox.asp - Convert your
documents online to Adobe PDF files that anyone, anywhere can view and print.
Supports more than 280 formats! - This site limits you to one conversion per
great simple online file merger, page rearranger and page deleter of PDF files.
the best free pdf printer in my book. Can also print any file to jpg and
other standard image types including PS. It may install Ghost Script (see
the next section).
This is a French Tool called MiniPDF 2.03. It may come out in an English
version soon. It probably has limited functionality.
Converts HTML files to PDF or PostScript. Generates a table-of-contents
for books. Generates indexed HTML files. Generates files on-the-fly
for web applications, from the command- line for batch jobs, or from a GUI for
interactive work. Runs on most UNIX/Linux and Windows operating systems. Provides a command-line interface for batch and WWW applications. Provides a
graphical interface for interactive work. - Limited version is for free.
Free extensive Office suite for personal use and is nagware. Can save its
word processor and spreadsheet files to PDF. Commercial license and
personal registration is very cheap.
FyTek's Text to PDF Converter does more than just convert plain text. You can
include HTML-like tags to add in images, change font size or color, underline
and highlight text, and more. If you want even more features, consider
registering your copy which allows you to embed fonts, create bookmarks and use
a wider variety of image types. - Free version is limited to 50 pages and only
Easy PDF is a specialized WYSIWYG environment for quickly and easily creating
Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) documents. Easy PDF provides all the power
to create sophisticated PDF documents, and apply links/hypertext on the final
document. - This is Word processor of sorts and though limited is more than a
Notepad or WordPad replacement, pretty good.
AcroPAD is a program very similar to Notepad; the main differences are: the
toolbar with the buttons to open/save etc. the files, the ability to open RTF
files (e.g. from WinWord), and in particular the "Save as PDF" Menu! AcroPAD
allows end users to copy text from their documents in MSWord or Excel and paste
inside itself; then they can export everything in PDF, without the need for
Adobe Acrobat (tm). There isn't an installation program; just copy
the 600Kbytes executable and everything works! The program is completely
Freeware and is just an experiment to let you see what can be done with the
component PDFREPORT -
exporting the entire text is a matter of just a single command: TEXTOUT(). -
WordPad replacement that save in PDF.
ABCpdf gets up close and personal! Because it doesn't use any print drivers and
goes Direct to PDF? it's incredibly fast. Because it's Fully Both Threaded you
can use it flexibly from within ASP, VB and under COM+, MTS or .NET. ABCpdf is
simple yet powerful. It's designed so you can get up to speed and productive
within ten minutes. Yet if you want fine low-level control you can have that too
with ABCpdf. - This is free if put a link to their Website on yours, they
approve and send you a license key. I haven't tried it yet.
Software that converts text documents (.txt) to PDF Files, it also adds pages
and allows you to enter information for the file like author, copyright etc.
these methods, except for the last, involve the use of Ghostscipt, and GSView
and sometimes Redmon. All three programs use either the GNU
public license or the Aladdin
Free Public License. This means they are free to download and use even
in business. There are strictures which I don't quite yet understand about
selling the software or a derivative for money.
this is the Gnu version of Ghostscript, and works well with all the methods
outlined below. Ghostscript is a command line program that among other
things, converts Postscript files to PDF files. If you install a "dummy"
Postscript printer on your Windows machine, and tell it to print to file, it
will produce a PostScript or PS file. If you put in the right commands
into the command line of the program it will convert it to a PDF file. The
commands however are very complicated. There is a solution though, and
GSView provides. See the next link.
GSView is a PDF viewer like Acrobat Reader, but more. It is a Windows GUI
interface for Ghostscript, and therefore, with a couple clicks, allows you to
convert a PS file to a PDF file. The whole business of setting the two up
and installing the PostScript printer, is explained in the next link.
pdf_create/pdf_create.html- Instructions for using a PostScript printer,
Ghostscript and GSView to create a PDF file.
a perhaps more accessible set of instructions of the above.
GhostWord is an interface for the GhostScript package, which enables you to
create PDF documents from Microsoft Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents.
GhostWord installs itself in Word, Excel and PowerPoint, and you convert the
documents by simply clicking an icon. GhostWord is freeware. You may freely copy
and use it without any charge.
FreeDist is a freeware distiller (in combination with Ghostscript). It can
convert postscript files that are placed in a "watched folder", automatically to
PDF. It can also compose multiple postscript or PDF files to one PDF in the
order you like. FreeDist can cope with clean postscript files with the
extension eps, ps, plt and prn. - This involves slightly more automation. You needn't open GSView, all you have to do is move your newly created
PostScript files to a predetermined folder.
Note: the next sets of printer methods involve the use of Redmon.
These are a little difficult to set up, and I will provide a link later to a
more general set of instructions for installing the first program. However, once these are set up, there is no intermediate step of opening up
GSView to convert the PS document. You simply print to your PostScript
dummy printer and the PDF files are created. Redmon produces a dummy
printer port for the dummy printer, and then redirects the output into
Ghostscript, with the right parameters, and voila, you have a PDF file. You can even rename your printer to "PDF Creator".
Redmon can be downloaded here.
Free PDF is a utility which allows you to create PDF's just by printing to a
"Create PDF" printer, from any Windows 9x/ME application FOR FREE! Free
PDF bridges between RedMon (owned by Ghostgum Software Pty Ltd) and Aladdin
Ghostscript (owned by Aladdin Enterprises), thus simplifying the PDF creation
process, providing useful options and making it easy to use them. Configuration
of the programs requires comprehension and some effort on your part. - Don't be
put off by the advertising and the complexity of setup, this is a good program. This is the program that I hope in the future to set up a more generalized set
of instructions. Suffice it to say that despite what either set of
instructions might seem to say here, you can use the GNU version of Ghostscript,
just be sure to point the pdfConverter to the bin/gswin32c.exe, which under
normal installation, should be located under the C:/gs/gs[your version number
PDF Ghostscript tool is a powerful interface for RedMon and Ghostscript - the
free Postscript and PDF interpreter. RedMon redirects the printer output
to an external program and Ghostscript can convert PostScript files to PDF
files. PDF Ghostscript tool is receives the printer data from RedMon and creates
PDF files with Ghostscript. With PDF Ghostscript tool you can create PDF
files easy and free! - This is a similar tool from Germany, and may be even
better, and easier to set up. There are English instructions. Be
sure to use a color PS printer driver like the Tektronix one mentioned in the
instructions above. The Adobe printer driver here,
should work in color too.
This is a third one, with a wild interface that is slightly difficult to figure
out (the three white circles in the upper left hand corner are not decoration,
but are the small buttons he is talking about). This program also lets you
append several PS files (thus anything printed to your dummy PS printer from
even different programs) to one PDF file.
Pdf995 is the fast, affordable way to create professional-quality documents in
the popular PDF file format. Its easy-to-use interface allows you to create PDF
files by simply selecting the "Print" command from any application, creating
documents which can be viewed on any computer with a PDF viewer. Pdf995
supports advanced features such as bookmarks, links, and automatically attaching
a PDF to an email message for sending. Pdf995 is free, fully featured software.
It does not expire, and it does not limit or mark your PDF documents in any way. The download is free. Once on your computer, just double-click the install file
and you're ready to start creating professional-quality PDF files the fast
affordable way. - This is very nice and easy to use, except for the nagware
element. It does not use Ghostscript, GSView or Redmon.
Have fun! If you have any questions or comments, please write me at
This article is translated to Serbo-Croatian language by Jovana Milutinovich from WebHostingGeeks.com.