Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Sunday, March 31, 2002

Print drivers

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How to create PDF files without Adobe Acrobat - Part II

In this article:

1. PdfMachine
2. PDF-XChange
3. Win2PDF
4. PDFedit955
5. PDF Factory

PdfMachine 0-10115-100-7150188.html
= must have
PC Only

PdfMachine is a print driver that produces great quality PDF files. It integrates with so-called MAPI-compliant mail programs such as Outlook and Outlook Express allowing the direct sending of PDFs via e-mail.

PdfMachine is easy to install and use. If you know how to print a document, then you already know how to use PdfMachine. It works with virtually any Windows application by offering the option to "print" to the PdfMachine. What this means is that by selecting as a printer the PdfMachine you will obtain instead of a physical print an Acrobat PDF file ready for use.

Ease of use of pdfMachine is very high. There are no complicated options to worry about. pdfMachine is developed as a native Windows print driver and is also very quick in making the PDF conversions.

One useful and interesting feature I had been looking for is available through pdfMachine and it is called PDF Stationery. Through this functionality, people like me who have created their basic letterhead in PDF format (so that it can be easily printed from any computer to a laser printer to create immediate letterhead), can use their existing PDF files as pre-printed stationery. This exempts you from needing to first print the stationery/letterhead and then having to re-print the actual content on them. The first page of an existing PDF file is merged on to every page of your new PDF file. This is a great way to get those legacy applications to produce great looking customised PDF files.

In order to prevent unauthorized photocopying or duplicating of commercial or private documents textual watermarks can be placed on each page of the PDF file.

On the security site, PDF documents generated with pdfMachine can be password protected - and user rights such as printing/copying/modifying can be granted or denied while pdfMachine implements both the 40 bit and 128 bit encryption standards available for PDF files.

As norm ally expected by proessional Adobe Acrobat users active URL's PDF hyperlinks are automatically generated from web URLS and email addresses present in the original document.

Note: The trial version of PdfMachine creates a faint watermark on every page. Registration costs $49.

Download PdfMachine at: 0-10115-100-7150188.html

Click here to go to the top of this page !

Export information into Adobe PDF files from any program
= interesting, promising
PC only

PDF-XChange is a Windows compatible PDF creation print driver.

Like all other PDF generating tools reviewed in this sub-section, PDF-XChange is installed and acts as a pseudo printer. The user simply selects the PDF-XChange printer instead of their regular output printer and PDF-XChange creates an Adobe compatible PDF file instead of sending your print output to the printer.

Along with all the standard features of any PDF creation tool PDF-Xchange allows for these specific advanced features:

a) custom paper sizes for ease of use

b) append a PDF to an existing PDF file,

c) increased resolution options,

d) Web optimisation for files,

e) scaling,

f) improved font support, Adobe Type Manager support, support for extended international character sets, support for Postscript fonts,

g) add text and image watermarks to your pages,

h) hot URL and email link support,

i) call any viewer or application after file creation,

l) up to 2400 DPI resolution(NT/W2K/XP Versions).

Developers are provided with drivers for direct output purposes allowing the filename for the PDF fileand various other parameters to be passed from within their applications.

By use of the available API advanced users and developers can also program the automatic importing data from tables or text files and the placing graphics images and objects at specific predetermined locatiobs on the final PDF page.

When you purchase PDF-XChange drivers for all current versions of Windows are provided - just select the version you need at install time and the installation takes place seamlessly in the background.

File optimisation is quite good and allows for generation of even smaller and lighter PDF files than what possible normally.

PDF-Xchange also supports Asian character sets including Chinese/Japanese.

Support is provided via a free user support forums and responses are given within 8 working hours maximum - usually much more quickly.

Included in the evaluation is a demo of PDF-Tools allowing Image2PDF conversion, Merge files, Extract Pages and images from a PDF file, Scan2PDF direct, Email/HTTP/FTP your Files, Create Bookmarks and Thumbnail's for easy PDF navigation.

Platforms supported: Win 95, Win 98, Win NT 4, Win ME, Win 2000.

Download a trial version at:
[3.2 MB]

Full version price is USD $34.50.

Click here to go to the top of this page !

Create documents in PDF format
= interesting, promising
PC only

Win2PDF creates PDF files from any Windows NT, Windows 2000, or Windows XP application. It installs as a printer, so all you have to do is print from whatever application you are using.

Win2PDF can be integrated with Outlook and Outlook Express to automatically attach PDF files to e-mail messages. Through Win2PDF is also possible to send documents to Acrobat ReaderĀ® for PalmOSĀ®.

For developers and application customizes it is interesting to note that custom Windows applications including Visual Basic can easily interface with Win2PDF and can control the PDF file name without user intervention.

Win2PDF Pro includes all of the features in Win2PDF plus: Password protecting PDF files with 40 or 128 bit encryption. Set file permissions to restrict printing, copying, and future modifications to the document. Set the document title, subject, author, and keywords automatically.

Win2PDF does support user defined page sizes.

It does not support East European and Asian characters.

System requirements (please note):
Windows XP, Windows 2000, or Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 3 or above.
No support for Windows 95, 98, Me, or the Macintosh.

The full version price is US $35 for the standard edition and
$69 for the Pro version.

Download it at:

Click here to go to the top of this page !

= must have
PC only

Pdf995 is a fast, affordable way to create professional-quality documents in the popular PDF file format. Its easy-to-use interface allows you to create PDF files by simply selecting the "print" command from any application, creating documents which can be viewed on any computer with a PDF viewer.

With PdfEdit995, you can also take advantage of advanced PDF-related functionalities enabling greater flexibility in PDF output, like the ability to combine two or more files into one, set preferences for page orientation and naming conventions, create stationery files, embed fonts, extract text, and more.

And with Signature995, you can use encryption and digital signatures for secure transfer of your PDF documents. From start to finish, the pdf995 family products are easy-to-use, powerful, and reliable.

All three products are available as FREE downloads. The free versions display a sponsor page in your web browser each time you run the software. If you would prefer not to see sponsor pages, you may upgrade by obtaining individual license keys for each product at any time for USD $9.95 each. A suite license for all three products are also available for $19.95.

Platforms supported: Windows 95, 98, 2000 and Me, NT 4.0 and XP.

Download PDFedit955 at:

Click here to go to the top of this page !

PDF Factory
= must have
PC only

PdfFactory is a Windows printer driver that creates fully compatible Adobe PDF files. Documents can easily be combined using the PdfFactory preview and pages can be deleted and inserted easily. An e-mail button makes it easy to send your PDF files to others. Other features include full font embedding, image compression, and 40- or 128-bit encryption modes.

This PDF generating product uses a unique approach to PDF creation that may be simpler and more effective than other methods. Some of the extra features available through PdfFactory include the ability to combine documents into a single PDF, embed fonts, send via email, and preview.

The pdfFactory PRO allows you to encrypt (40 or 128 bit modes) and control access to the PDF file by various measures such as preventing copying of text and graphics out of the PDF and preventing the printing or editing of the PDF (Sure PDFs can be edited too!).

Support for Asian language character sets is also included.

In my view this is a good software for a non-pdf-professional, easy to use and good for first time pdf-creators.

You may download a trial version at: (Pro)
[.EXE 2.01 MB]

The trial version places an advertisement at the bottom of each page in the PDF. When the program is purchased, the advertisement will be removed.

The full version ad-free version of pdfFactory is USD $49.95 and pdfFactory PRO is ISD $99.95.

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

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