PDFCreator – virtual printer to create documents

pdfcreator_icon I had thought for some time how should I organize jump from my report at work (beautiful mess of MySQL, PHP and my Google Charts class) to consolidated document.

I am no fan of PDFs, but they supposed to be made for such occasions. And aside from expensive editors fastest way to get PDF document is to use virtual printer like PDFCreator.

What it does

App installs as virtual printer. It will appear like regular printer to any and every software that has print capability. Only difference is that output would not be wasted paper, but files in PDF (or other available) format.

pdfcreator_interface

Another option is file conversion, technically it is automated process of using same virtual printer.

Strong features

What I like best is how unobtrusive app is. Maybe for better, maybe for worse but there is little to control. As long as you can print something, you can just as easy make PDF out of it.

There are also options to further reduce time spent on it by configuring automatic saving of files and running custom tasks after conversion.

Weak spots

While app name starts with PDF is offers support for numerous formats. However performance both for formats and sources is very rocky.

Worked best with MS Word document, but simple web-page from Opera already had layout issues. Extra formats are questionable, prints to PNG and SVG had very poor visual quality.

Overall

I wouldn’t recommend this app outright, performance can vary greatly for infinite combination of inputs and outputs. Still it is easy to use, relatively fast and convenient to get PDF documents without much time wasted.

Home http://en.pdfforge.org/pdfcreator

Download http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/files/

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6 Comments

  • I’ve been using this app for a couple of years, and I really like it. I am not using Opera, so I could not comment on this, but with Firefox I have never experimented weird layout issues. It comes out in PDF exactly as it would come out on paper.

    Used in combination with “PDFTK Builder” (http://portableapps.com/apps/office/pdftk_builder_portable) or with “PDF Split and Merge”, I can do a lot of PDF manipulation, useful for sending PDF files by email to coworkers.

  • I too am an advocate of this app and have been using frequently for over a year. It is an open source application that will ultimately get better and better. Definitely a “paper saver”.

    Great review!

    Rick

  • I was choosing one of few such apps to cover so went with open source one, alternatives being adwar-ish. Seems like I made right call. :)

  • I’ve never actually tried this app before, but I think I will. I’ve been using cutepdf (http://www.cutepdf.com/) for a while now and it’s done everything that I’ve needed it to, so I never thought to look around.

    Plus I don’t get to use it that often.

  • @Angelo

    Thanks for suggestion, will take a look at it. PDFCreator was first one I liked, so could use few more good ones for comparison.

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