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Making PDF Files for Free and Almost Free

Discussion in 'Computers & Technology Forum' started by Anthro, Apr 26, 2003.

  1. Anthro

    Anthro New Member

    Mar 5, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Making PDF Files

    » First Thing

    Making PDFs is rather pointless unless you have Adobe Acrobat Reader or another .pdf file reader. So, in the event you do not have a .pdf file reader already installed on your computer, you will need to install a PDF reader. Adobe Reader is freeware, and the general “standard” for reading .pdf files. Go to http://www.adobe.com for more info or to download. Then, to then get started making your own PDFs, choose from the options below.

    » Option One

    To make PDFs on your computer, you will need to install both GhostScript and GhostView, and in the event your computer does not have one installed already (most do with Windows), a Post-Script printer driver. All three items are freeware.

    To acquire GhostScript and GhostView, go to http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost/doc/AFPL/get800.htm. In case you do not have a Post-Script printer driver already installed on your computer, you can download "HP Color LaserJet 4600 PostScript" printer driver from following URLs:

    Windows 95/98/ME - http://www.convertzone.com/postscript/lj4600pswin9xme-en.exe
    Windows 2000/XP - http://www.convertzone.com/postscript/lj4600pswin2kxp-en.exe
    Windows NT 4.0 - http://www.convertzone.com/postscript/lj4600pswinnt4-en.exe
    After downloading the driver, unzip it to "c:\printer", and input "c:\printer" path after select "on hard disk." Select "HP Color LaserJet 4600 PS" printer to install. Click on "Next".

    Many feel this option is the best because, once it is set up, you are independent and never have to worry about how to make PDFs again! Conversion is quite straight forward, involving a small series of steps and just a few minutes.
    If you link to http://oregonstate.edu/dept/grad_school/thesis/electronic%20thesis/files/PDFconversion.PDF, it will walk you through all you need to know to make high quality PDFs with GhostScript, GhostView, and a Post Script printer driver.

    If you have a very small or full harddrive, however, or want to make your PDFs without installing significant software, here are other options.

    Option Two

    Go to http://www.babinszki.ca/distiller/ and follow the directions. You will need an FTP transfer program to best upload files to their server (you can search these programs out, many are freeware), though you can also use your browser. This is a free service. I am not sure about any limitations they place on it.

    Option Three

    Go to http://www.ps2pdf.com/convert/index.htm and follow the directions to use their free service. You will need to make post-script files first with a post-script printer driver and upload them to their server for pdf conversion (the last link under OPTION ONE explains how to make them--in short, you install the post-script printer on your computer, print your document through that printer to file, and then send that file to them). There is an 8MB file size limit for their free service. They offer a premium service for a fee.

    » Option Four

    Go to http://www.goBCL.com/ and register for the free beta testing of their .pdf file conversion service. You e-mail them a file in a word proccessor format. They then e-mail your document back in .pdf format a few minutes later. The service has quite limited font support, and the quality of the .pdf files is quite low. Free, but soon to be done for a fee.

    » Option Five

    Go to http://createpdf.adobe.com where you can sign up for their trial conversion service where you can receive several free trial PDFs. You upload .doc files (or several other files types) to their server. They then e-mail you a link to your .pdf document where you can download it from. Trial service.

    Option Six

    There are many priceware programs that make PDFs. You can search these programs out. They cost from $9.95 to $500 or more. Easy PDF cost $30. Go to http://www.visagesoft.com/easypdf/ for more info or to download. pdf995 costs $9.95, the cheapest available product. Go to http://site4.pdf995.com/download.html. You first download the freeware version of pdf995, but you cannot make a .pdf for your document with it without it placing an advertisement on each page it makes. So, you might want to pay $9.95 to register the product to get the ad scum removed before proceeding.

    [ April 26, 2003, 03:49 PM: Message edited by: Anthro ]
  2. baptistteacher

    Site Supporter

    Jan 3, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Making .pdf files with a Macintosh.

    A .pdf maker is part of System X.

    If you are running pre-System X, a shareware .pdf maker can be downloaded from

    It is called "Print to PDF" and it does an excellent job. I have used it quite a bit. When I want to take something to church to have it printed there, or to share with the poor Windows users, :eek: I make a .pdf file and put it onto a floppy.

    I did some research for our youth leader, and will make it a .pdf file so that he can access it easily, and print out only what he needs printed.
    [​IMG] This could also be done Windows-to Windows, in case your receipient doesn't have the word processor in which you created the file.
  3. Anthro

    Anthro New Member

    Mar 5, 2003
    Likes Received:
    I would look for MS Office 2003 to have a Print to PDF function as well.

    I hear Correl has it now, but have not confirmed this.

    I have heard Office XP Pro has it from a user, but after researching the matter, do not believe it is a credible report. The person probably had a third party plug-in on the version.
  4. ariella

    ariella Guest

    PDF995: create PDF documents easily for free

    (PDF viewer - e.g. Acrobat)

    Very good program, highly recommended. I used to use it all the time until my work bought the full version of Acrobat. Think it might be a Windows printer only, though... worth checking out [​IMG]