Turn documents into PDFs and share them
Windows 8.1 / Windows 8 / Windows 7 / Windows Vista / Windows XP
PDFCreator is a piece of software that will convert almost any file format into a PDF file. This is exceptionally helpful when you need to convert a Word file into a universal PDF.
It should be noted that some security software will detect a virus threat from the installation process of PDFCreator, but that threat has been proven to be a false positive. The software is certified by a trusted antivirus consultant, and it is guaranteed to be safe.
In essence, this software is nothing more than a virtual printer. Instead of outputting physical pieces of paper, it outputs PDFs. When prepping a file to be exported as a PDF, you can select from a number of different options to optimize the final product. You can rotate the page into any configuration, and you can change the level of compression used on text and images. If you don't have much experience with file creation, it's best to use the file profile that is loaded by default. You could also select a preloaded setting if you're so inclined.
Of course, if you have even a small amount of experience working with computers, you can probably create the perfect PDF with all your desired customizations by simply tweaking the setup menu to your specifications.
If you want to add a level of protection to your files, you can protect them with passwords that use three layers of encryption. For greater security, you can employ a digital signature. Once documents are prepped for exporting, you can decide where to send that PDF. You could email it to someone or send it directly to the printer to create a physical copy.
You can also use PDFCreator to convert PDF files into a number of other formats, like RAW, TXT, PNG, BMP, or JPEG. The option is given in the export menu, but it is set to PDF by default.
It's important to remember that this app is essentially a virtual printer, so it works best when provided with files that are already prepped for conversion. Most standard files don't require any special preparation to make them ready for conversion.
With this software, you can make PDFs in two different ways. The first way requires that you open the file you wish to convert with its native app. Once in that native app with the file open, go to the Print option and change the printer to PDFCreator.
The second way to make a PDF is to open PDFCreator directly, then select the menu titled Document/Add near the top of the app. The drop down menu will provide several options, but select All Files. Choose a save path, then click the Save button. The interface for PDFCreator is fairly dull, but it doesn't require any flash. In some instances, the software has trouble converting text files that contain many images.
PDFcreator converts documents from any kind of file that you can print into a portable document format or other graphic formats using a virtual printer.
This unassuming converter is simple to use since all you have to do is choose it as a printer from whatever program you're using. It also gives you the option to drag and drop files it recognizes directly into its menu. You can combine several files including photos into one PDF with a single button. In addition, you can also email the new file directly to a recipient from the PDFcreator's menu.
Other output options include PDF, PNG, JPEG, BMP, PCX, TIFF, TXT, Raw and SVG files. Just be aware that only the first page of a document will be converted in some cases. There have been reports of errors involving graphics, but tests converting Word, HTML and Open Office documents produced flawless results, as did tests on various graphics files.
In order to use the drag and drop option, you must set the PDFcreator as your default printer when the prompt shows up. It's easy enough to change back when it's not in use. When using the "add files" tool, it defaults to post script files requiring a drop down menu selection to find anything else, which is a minor annoyance. Like with many free programs, another annoyance was that optional programs were offered to be loaded at the same time. Some may be useful, and all were easily avoided.
Overall, this is a versatile, convenient PDF converter with plenty of nice options for those who want them.