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What is the easiest way to capture the printout of a document in a picture (i.e. GIF, BMP etc.)? Making a screenshot does not help, since the printout is different and larger than the screen. Is there a special printer driver for windows that captures the printout into pictures?

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Why do you want to do this in the first place? If you're trying to make a document that looks exactly like it does on your screen, would a PDF be a better solution? – Margaret Sep 4 '09 at 7:56
    
This is useful if you want to create a document from several printouts by embedding the images. Joining several PDFs with some additional text is not as easy as embedding images. – hstoerr Oct 25 '09 at 9:15
    
try using pdfill. it will install a virtual prd and jpg image printer, and its free. – user254428 Sep 15 '13 at 16:09
up vote 18 down vote accepted

You can use PDFCreator. It's free and open source. Here's a bit more info on it:

  • Create PDFs from any program that is able to print Security: Encrypt PDFs and protect them from being opened, printed etc
  • New: Digitally sign your PDFs to ensure that you are the author and the file has not been modified
  • New: Create PDF/A files for long term archives
  • Send generated files via eMail
  • Create more than just PDFs: PNG, JPG, TIFF, BMP, PCX, PS, EPS
  • AutoSave files to folders and filenames based on Tags like Username, Computername, Date, Time etc.
  • Merge multiple files into one PDF Easy Install: Just say what you want and everything is installed
  • Terminal Server: PDFCreator also runs on Terminal Servers without problems
  • And the best: PDFCreator is free, even for commercial use! It is Open Source and released under the Terms of the GNU General Public License.
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Though that doesn't make it a picture, only a pdf. good solution if the author only wants to print later, or archive, but it won't work if he wants to modify it after, though. Depends on his need, I guess it should be detailed. – Gnoupi Sep 4 '09 at 7:58
    
It makes pictures as well, I just added more info right now :). – alex Sep 4 '09 at 7:59
    
In this case, it's the ideal answer, I guess. – Gnoupi Sep 4 '09 at 8:09
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Great program. You can edit preferences to make PNG default format, or you can select it per document in Save As dialog. – Josip Sep 4 '09 at 8:11
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One small issue. If you download the free version, it shows you ads, and that can make some anti-malware programs very unhappy. It's very much worth paying the $5 (as of 201508) license fee to get the ad free version. Other than that, /fantastic/ program! – James Newton Aug 25 '15 at 0:10

What is the easiest way to capture the printout of a document in a picture (i.e. GIF, BMP etc.)? Making a screenshot does not help

oh yes, it does .... if you have the right software :)

Faststone Capture does exactly what you want:

Capture windows, objects, menus, full screen, rectangular/freehand regions and scrolling windows/web pages

Faststone Capture version 5.3 is free, and so is its portable variant.

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+1 for actually answering what was asked, whether it's what he should be doing or not ;) – Margaret Sep 4 '09 at 9:19
    
'what he should be doing or not' is none of my concern, i won't tell him how he has to run his computer. :) but my personal choice for this particular task would be a PDF printer too :) – Molly7244 Sep 4 '09 at 9:24

Would printing to .pdf help?

I use cute pdf, and I think Open Office does this.

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I have had good luck with Foxit Reader.

It does not provide direct print to image, but instead provides a print-to-pdf print driver. It then also provides a way to copy a selected area as an image on the clipboard using the SnapShot tool (where you can then paste into mspaint or some other software). The resulting resolution depends on how scrolled in you are.

SnapShot

Compared to the other answers, this is a better solution in that:

  1. The installer does not come with any malware or ads (cutepdf and PDFCreator are both blocked at my work for this reason).
  2. The area allowed to convert is not limited by what can fit on your screen (Faststone can scroll down only, not left and right). When selecting text, Foxit Reader will scroll the window as you approach the edge, allowing you to scroll to the appropriate location in the document.
  3. Snappy PDF reader with native-looking UI (more intuitive UI if you're a regular MS Office user, but without the bloat -- Foxit Reader is also very fast compared to Adobe Reader and MS Office programs).
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