PDFCreator 0.9.8

It’s been a long time since Adobe Acrobat was the only way to generate PDF files, but the alternatives have normally had trade-offs. Some are merely cheaper than Adobe’s (admittedly high-priced) offerings but still aren’t free. Some free options are fairly complicated multistep processes, involving making a PostScript file and then converting it with GhostScript to a PDF. PDFCreator strikes a nice balance between cost (it’s free), ease of use, ease of installation, and configurability. Once you get past its only installation gotcha (be sure to uncheck the browser toolbar add-on if you normally avoid such things), installation is a snap. The installer adds GhostScript (an open-source Post-Script interpreter), a Windows printer driver, and a print job manager quickly and painlessly, and it even includes a wellwritten and complete Help file. Like other tools, making the PDF involves “printing” to the PDFCreator printer driver and specifying a filename for the resulting PDF file, and then within a few seconds, the PDF file appears in your default PDF viewer. PDFCreator has a few nice tricks. There are individual settings for controlling the compression rates of different types of graphics, controls for embedding True Type fonts within your PDF files, and different pathways for directly emailing PDF files once they’re created. If you’re trying to add PDF creation to some sort of workflow, you can automatically execute scripts before or after the actual PDF file is created. There’s even an option to create a network print driver, letting all the computers in a LAN create PDFs files without installing the program on multiple PCs. PDFCreator is one of those projects that’s been improving for years yet still refuses to breach the magic “1.0 Barrier,” so we encountered what is basically a finished and polished product, free from the bugs normally associated with beta software.

Publisher and URL: Philip Chinery and Frank Heindörfer, sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator
ETA: Q4 2009
Why You Should Care: There’s no better free PDF creator for Windows with this many options.

Source of Information : CPU Magazine 07 2009

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