In this article, we will review the main available options for the preparation of PDF files: Printing, exporting and online creation.
Printing a PDF file
Traditional PDF creators has been usually related to the Adobe Acrobat application (important: this is NOT the reader-only). It can work as a stand-alone application, but typically they are installed as added PDF printers to the computer.
As a result, any application with printing capability could generate PDF files - not only Word, but also Excel, Power Point. Even image edition programs such as Photoshop could produce PDF data. Applications and printing
Nowadays, you can find many shareware or freeware applications on the internet that will work this way. When you select the Print command, a new printer will appear in your devices list - you can even set it as default printer from your Control Panel.
Exporting a PDF file
Currently, the two main office suites (Microsoft Office and Open Office) already include some option for direct saving of PDF files.
- In the case of Microsoft Office, a new command is available from the 2007 version under the "Save as" menu: Save as PDF or XPS. All you have to do is to give the file a valid name, and it will be created in the indicated folder.
- In case of Open Office, you have a direct icon in all applications with the PDF logo - just click on it, and the "Save as" window will open. In both cases, you can define certain parameters to the PDF file, like password and further protections (write / edit / copy), just like in the previous PDF-print option.
Creating a PDF online
There are several websites that allow you to upload your Microsoft Word files, doing an online conversion to a PDF file on-the-fly, so that you can download it immediately, or even receive it via email.
Please consider that this option will depend strongly on the size of the file (i.e. if you put many pictures to your Microsoft Word text) and your Internet connection). This option may not be optimal in some cases, but it avoids installing any software to your computer.
Making a quick search, you can find Internet website pages like Pdfonline.com, Freepdfconvert.com, Primopdf.com. Drawbacks of such webpages
It is important to note here that some webs may also limit the possibilities for free PDF creation. in some cases, source file format, file size or number of pages may be the constraint.