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I like to print PDFs of my documents. I've been using PDFCreator. Is this a good choice, are there any better solutions?

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closed as not constructive by slhck Apr 27 '13 at 15:11

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Maybe you could give us some details on what you mean by "better". Better quality, more features, or what? – Christian Davén Jul 15 '09 at 9:36

17 Answers 17

up vote 32 down vote accepted

CutePDF Writer is working well for us (way less flaky than the slightly old version of Acrobat we are running at work, anyway)

EDIT: There is also information in the CutePDF FAQ about using parameters to change the print quality/file size settings which we have found useful for larger documents.

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We've found it is better at generating PDFs from Crystal reports than Crystal Reports itself... – Rowland Shaw Jul 15 '09 at 20:03
@Rowland: then again, writing the binary yourself would probably be better than using Crystal Reports' 'functionality'... – Andy Mikula Jul 15 '09 at 20:20
+1 Doesn't bug you like some options. – Daniel A. White Jul 16 '09 at 12:52
Thank you! Total life saver! I had to save a form that was supposed to be displayed as pdf, but Chrome didn't recognize it as such. CutePDF did exactly what I needed :) – Sverre Rabbelier Mar 10 '11 at 23:07

I prefer PDFCreator over the other tools. Much more flexibility than the others but probably is an overkill for simple purposes.

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I had two problems with PDFCreator: If im printing something like a presentation, the margins are white. Maybe there is an option to change that. Rhe other is that sometimes I cant find the save dialog box. And when it appears, there is a list of all the pdf prints Ive ordered. – Artur Carvalho Jul 16 '09 at 18:21
The margins are white because your presentation software has a print margin set. If you use borderless printing (assuming the software supports it) you'll get PDFs with no border. – AnonJr Jul 17 '09 at 11:45
I love that PDFCreator will let you create the end result in more than one format, and you can use it to "merge" multiple documents into one PDF - great if you have different people working on different chapters of a user manual... – AnonJr Jul 17 '09 at 11:49
PDFCreator is my favorite as well. – Justin Dearing Jul 31 '09 at 13:04

Using the built-in Export to PDF option in has one VERY major advantage over anything that simulates a printer: it creates clickable table of contents, cross-references, indexes and explicit internet links. Of course, most PDF viewers will recognise some URLs and email addresses. But when linking some text to some URL, most PDF printers do not make that into a clickable link. That's simply because the print processor does not "tell" the PDF printer about this.

As a side note: on a Mac, PDF is very much integrated. Still, when using on a Mac, one should also explicitly use Export to PDF -- using the Save to PDF option from a Mac's print dialog does not create clickable links. However, some other Mac programs do in fact somehow send such information to the Mac's print processor, through the print dialog. For example, when saving to PDF using the print dialog in Pages, Safari or OmniWeb (the latter being non-Apple software), all links are in fact clickable. (On a Mac, when one does NOT want clickable links when saving a web site as PDF, one should in fact use Firefox instead.)

By the way: getting a clickable table of contents is a very good reason to learn how to use styles and headers. One should never have to create a table of contents manually!

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Yeah, Macs have fantastic PDF support. And using the new trackpads to zoom in and out (or even rotate) is really great. – Artur Carvalho Jul 16 '09 at 18:22

If it's Office 2007 applications that you're printing from, there's an add-in to provide a Save as PDF option:

Office 2007 Save as PDF Add-in

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Any idea if this creates clickable table of contents, cross-references and so on? – Arjan Jul 15 '09 at 10:17
Yes, I've used it for converting a number of technical manuals I've authored with large tables of contents and lots of cross references, and these were all clickable in the resultant PDF. – Sliff Jul 15 '09 at 11:14

I used primo pdf since a while, and it works great

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Yup; use this all the time. – Steve Melnikoff Jul 15 '09 at 20:18

I use pdf995. Shareware, but the license isn't too expensive and it works really nicely. Also has the ability to split and merge pdfs, add watermarks and more.

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I use it too, it has good quality, it's great if you don't mind the ads – djeidot Jul 15 '09 at 22:27
I used to use it too, but the adds are pretty annoying. Switched to CutePDF – kristof Jul 16 '09 at 11:28

I use doPDF and it is very successful. And free...

doPDF installs itself as a virtual PDF printer driver so after a successful installation will appear in your Printers and Faxes list. To convert to PDF, you just have to print the document to doPDF.

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Another option (the one I used to use until all the other programs listed here came out) is to install a printer driver for a Postscript printer, connected to the FILE: port.

When you print to that printer, you'll get a postscript (.ps) file. You can then open that using Ghostscript and Ghostview and convert them to PDF from there.

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If "free" is not a requirement I would suggest Adobe Acrobat. It still is the most professional tool for creating PDFs.

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I've used Bullzip pdf printer for a year or so and have been very happy with it.

It installs as just another printer, so is available to any application.

It's reliable, does watermarks, pdf merging, no ads, simple to use and good quality output.

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Google Docs download as PDF option is the best option if you want to convert your documents to PDF on the fly without installing anything...

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I use pdfFactory.

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While this link may answer the question, it is better to include the essential parts of the answer here and provide the link for reference. Link-only answers can become invalid if the linked page changes. – HackToHell Aug 10 '12 at 14:19

Quite frankly, I use google docs and download my file as PDF from there :P

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We are using FreePDF (formely known as "FreePDF XP") and it's working like a charm.

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Amyuni PDF Converter (Commercial) Usual Disclaimer applies

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