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

  • Maybe you could give us some details on what you mean by "better". Better quality, more features, or what? Commented Jul 15, 2009 at 9:36
  • cogniview.com/cc-free-pdf-converter is my favorite one to date. It's based on GhostScript, but installs as printer driver, which is a requirement for a legacy use case for me.
    – polemon
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 19:18

17 Answers 17


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.

  • 4
    We've found it is better at generating PDFs from Crystal reports than Crystal Reports itself... Commented Jul 15, 2009 at 20:03
  • 6
    @Rowland: then again, writing the binary yourself would probably be better than using Crystal Reports' 'functionality'... Commented Jul 15, 2009 at 20:20
  • +1 Doesn't bug you like some options. Commented Jul 16, 2009 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 :) Commented Mar 10, 2011 at 23:07

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

  • 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. Commented Jul 16, 2009 at 18:21
  • 1
    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
    Commented Jul 17, 2009 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
    Commented Jul 17, 2009 at 11:49
  • PDFCreator is my favorite as well. Commented Jul 31, 2009 at 13:04

Using the built-in Export to PDF option in OpenOffice.org 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 OpenOffice.org 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!

  • Yeah, Macs have fantastic PDF support. And using the new trackpads to zoom in and out (or even rotate) is really great. Commented Jul 16, 2009 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

  • Any idea if this creates clickable table of contents, cross-references and so on?
    – Arjan
    Commented Jul 15, 2009 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
    Commented Jul 15, 2009 at 11:14

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

  • Yup; use this all the time. Commented Jul 15, 2009 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.

  • I use it too, it has good quality, it's great if you don't mind the ads
    – djeidot
    Commented Jul 15, 2009 at 22:27
  • I used to use it too, but the adds are pretty annoying. Switched to CutePDF
    – kristof
    Commented Jul 16, 2009 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.


OpenOffice is another option.


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.


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


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.


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...


I use pdfFactory from Fineprint Software.


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


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


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