SWF Printer Pro is a virtual printer that can convert any printable document into PDF, standalone flash presentation format (SWF), as well as JPG.
There are several freeware virtual printer programs
reviewed on Freewaregenius that convert printable documents into PDFs (PrimoPDF, Bullzip PDF Printer, and PDF Creator, the latter having the ability to convert to image formats as well).
What’s interesting about SWF Printer Pro is that it can convert to flash format (SWF) in addition to PDF and JPG’s. Here are some notes on this program:
- Converts anything you can print: installs as a virtual printer, and if your document allows for printing then it can be converted no matter what format it is.
- SWF navigation: you can either set a time period for transitioning the SWF flash file from one page to the next that will apply to all pages (no, you cannot set it for each page individually) or choose to wait for user input before going to the next page. In this case SWF Printer Pro provides a number of pre-set navigation buttons to choose from, and will allow you to customize the placement of these on the page.
- SWF options: you can set the size and margin of the SWF presentation, set background color for transparent areas. Other options: whether or not to set ’full screen mode’, whether or not to allow scaling/enable right click menu/allow keyboard navigation. You can even choose an audio file (MP3 or WAV) to use as background soundtrack. For some reason the resulting SWF files that I generated lacked the .SWF extension in the file names, but worked great once I added that manually into the filename.
- PDF options: include meta info for the document (author, keywords, descriptions, etc.), security options (permissions, protection strength), master and user level password protection. A handful of other options as well such as margins, orientation, etc.
- Print to JPG: generates a separate JPG file for each page in your document. Surprisingly, no options available in this case; by default it generates large hi-res Jpegs that you can subsequently reduce in size if you need to.
- Freeware: not just for personal use but, interestingly, business use as well. I am guessing that there used to be two versions of this program (SWF Printer and SWF Printer Pro) but that at this point the developers are offering the Pro version for free.
- Silent mode: is a mode whereby you can print straight into your default options without having to go through the options menus every time. Unfortunately, setting this up requires manually going in and changing the registry, which I found rather strange . On the other hand this option is (apparently) geared towards developers and isn’t something most user would want anyway.
- Different Quality settings: would have been great, especially if they also displayed a preview of the predicted size of the generated file(s). As it is the different DPI quality settings that can be changed from the printing preferences strangely do not seem to have any effect on the quality or size of the generated files.
The verdict: the fact that this program does all three of PDFs, JPGs and SWF sends it high up on my list of must-install programs (it does a great job with all 3 formats.) It is the only freeware virtual printer that I know of that does SWF. If you work with SWF files especially or you want to create SWF files from all manner of source documents then this program is for you.
Version tested: 1.0
Compatibility: Windows 2000, XP, VISTA.
Go to the program page to get the latest version (approx 1.76 megs).