PDFCreator

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PDFCreator is an open source virtual printer than can convert any printable document into PDF, PNG, JPG, BMP, PCX, TIFF, PS, and EPS file formats.

Another day, another virtual PDF printer, it seems.

Except this one also converts to multiple image formats: PNG, JPG, BMP, PCX, TIFF, as well as adobe Postscript (PS) and Extended Postscript (EPS).

This program might well benefit from a name change, because although there are many free virtual PDF printers out there, this is possibly THE only decent truly freeware program that can also convert to image files.

This is a sophisticated virtual printer that packs a number of nice features, as follows:

  • Upon sending a page to PDFCreator, you can use a “wait-collect” button tell it to hold off on printing and go to the print monitor screen. This allows you to manage your documents, print more pages, save print jobs and/or to combine them a single document.
  • The options screen allows you to access the quality parameters for output formats (see screenshot) before printing. For PDF these are comprehensive (resolution, colors, fonts, security, etc.). I must admit, though, that I really like PrimoPDF’s simple quality options and will probably have both programs installed simultaneously.
  • You can integrate PDFCreator into the shell (right-click) menu. This will allow you to right click on any file and send it straight to the PDFCreator virtual printer.
  • Allows for autosaving files based on tags such as date of creation, user name, computer name, etc.
  • You can create a PDF and send it straight to email.
  • It is free for personal as well as commercial use (in contrast to, say, PrimoPDF, which is free only for personal use).
  • It can be run on Terminal Servers.

Note: PDFCreater will also offer to install a toolbar on your browser that will (a) enable you to quickly and easily send the webpage to PDFCreater, and (b) install a Google and Yahoo search box for you. Personally, I do not like more toolbars cluttering my already busy browser interface with ‘search’ functionality, and I already use both the Google and Yahoo toolbars because of the options that these offer. Thankfully, uninstalling the PDFCreator toolbar is a very simple process.

With the ability to create PDFs and image files this program may well be the virtual printer to rule them all.

Version tested:  0.9.3

Go to the project page for the latest version.