Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Sunday, March 31, 2002

Creating PDFs without Adobe Acrobat - Part II

Free and Low-cost Alternative Tools to Create Acrobat PDF files

In this article:

1. //">Applications
2. //">Print drivers
3. //">Online services
4. //">Online resources

Yes, the official news is out: Adobe is not anymore the only player in town when in need of creating PDF files. PDF stands for Portable Document Format and it is an interchange format that has a growing number of reasons to be supported and used by communicators worldwide.

PDF files are compact, can be read on any computer platform and Operating system, maintain highest quality of text and graphics, and can be produced by any standard application. And this is good news for MasterMind readers as it means there are effective alternatives to buying the official Adobe Acrobat toolkit (over USD $200) when in need to create PDF files in a reliable and legal way.

A number of freeware, shareware and commercial software programs have become recently available which either extend the capabilities of Adobe's open source Portable Document Format (PDF) specifications or provide an alternative approach that is both reliable and low-cost.

Yes, Adobe Systems Inc. is the company that created the PDF file format and that owns the copyrights on the data structures, operators, and written specification for the file format called PDF or Portable Document Format.

But since Adobe wishes to make PDF an open standard, it has given permission to anyone to write software that creates PDF files. Adobe has also given royalty free licenses to the patents if used to create PDF files.

More specific information on this policy is in section 1.7 of the PDF specification published by Adobe at: developer/acrosdk/docs/PDFRef.pdf
and also at
//" target="_blank"> developer/legalnotices.html.

Find here again an extended and updated group of 10 tools that allow the creation of Acrobat PDF files without requiring ownership of Adobe Acrobat original software.

My original review of November 2001 of alternative tools and technologies to create Acrobat PDF files is available online as:
//" target="_blank">Creating Acrobat PDF files without Acrobat and for free.
It included four tools not reviewed here (PDF-O-MATIC, GoBCL GoHTM, PS2PDF, Text2PDF) and links to a few other online resources.

This new review includes the following tools and resources:

a) //">Applications:
//">PageGenie Pro



b) Print drivers:

c) Online services:
Create Adobe PDF Online

d) Resources:
Acrobat/PDF Libraries
Planet PDF
Free Acrobat Tips Booklet

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posted by Robin Good on Sunday, March 31 2002, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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