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Create Your Own PDFs

Thanks to a few individuals, I have become aware of a handy little program that will allow you to create your own PDF documents for FREE. Usually this is only accomplished with the FULL versions of Adobe Acrobat that retail for around $300. So… free compared to $300 is definitely a good deal in my opinion!

Overview

Being able to convert your own documents to PDF files is becoming a necessity today with such a heavy reliance on email correspondence instead of the high volume of phone calls and faxes of the past decades.

PDF (Portable Document Format) files are a standard now and about 99% of all people have the free Adobe Acrobat READER already on their computer. This ensures that whoever you are sending PDF files to will be able to open it and read it without any compatibility problems.

PrimoPDF is a free tool for high-quality PDF creation, comprising a user-friendly interface that enables printing to PDF from virtually any Windows application. Additionally, PrimoPDF provides the ability to optimize PDF output for screen, print, ebook, and prepress …

“Primo PDF” is the free program that this article is all about, and you can download it from download.com’s website by using this link here: Click Here

Ok, download and run the install program and then we can get on with the step-by-step walk-through…

Step 1: Open a File, any file…

First off we need a file to test this out with, so I decided to use your typical MS Word file shown below…

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Step 2: Open the Print Menu

Now, go to the File menu and select Print just as if you were going to use a regular old, physical printer…

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For some of you this may not make any sense at all, we are obviously not printing to a physical printer. Instead, consider a PDF file as a “virtual” page that is printed as an electronic document instead of a physical document. This electronic document will be viewable on your screen as opposed to in your hands. It will appear exactly the same way, and in the same format as if it was printed on paper.

Also, since all programs on your computer have the ability to print, all programs will now have the ability to create PDF files as well. Pretty ingenious if you ask me…

Step 3: Select “PrimoPDF” As The Printer

When you are presented with the print menu, select PrimoPDF as the printer. It will show up in the list of printers if it was properly installed like shown below.

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Step 4: Changing the Default Settings

Now, a new window should pop-up and you will have the ability to change the default settings for PrimoPDF. I suggest selecting Screen and changing the default location where to Save As.

What the screen option does is make the quality of your document suitable for viewing on a computer screen and also keeps the file size small so it can be emailed easily.

This is opposed to printing out on a physical printer that typically requires a higher quality resulting in a larger file size which is your alternative here for the quality settings.

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If for some reason the screen above did not pop-up for you, you may need to “bring it to the front” by clicking on the program icon down in your task bar like shown in this next picture.

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OK, after you select the quality settings you want and click on the little button with the three dots “…” as shown in the other picture above, go to the next step…

Step 5: Set “Desktop” as the Save Location

This is purely my own preference… I choose to save all my PDF’s to the desktop, which is the main screen of your computer where you see all your desktop Icons.

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Since I save all my files to the desktop, they are always there in my face to remind me to either file them away where they belong or delete them when I am done. Since most of the PDF files I make are just for a temporary reason, this helps me keep up on the “cleanup” of computer files that I need only once.

Step 6: More Settings…

Ok, here is another quick setting that you can choose. In the event that you create two PDF files with the same name, the program wants to know if you would like to overwrite the original or append to it.

Most often, you will want to overwrite it so that is the setting that I show here as an example. If you think that this will be your preference for all other PDF files as well, then be sure to check the box where it says Remember my choice.* as shown below:

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Step 7: Create The PDF file

The last step you have, is to click the OK button to create the PDF file. Click on it now and it will create a PDF file located on your desktop that will look exactly like your document would if you had printed it out on a physical piece of paper.

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Step 8: Your Done!

That’s it, you have now successfully converted one of your files to a PDF. You can now email it out without having to worry about people not being able to view it.

Notice my icon has the little Adobe Acrobat logo in the bottom right corner. Now, that little icon may just be a feature of Windows Vista that I am testing out. I am not sure, your mileage may vary…

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About the author

RJ Ponzio

RJ founded Shore Web Tech LLC in 2011. The mission of Shore Web Tech (SWT) is to help small and medium local businesses take advantage of today's affordable technology solutions. RJ currently holds Google's "AdWords Qualified Individual" certification.

2 comments

  1. John Jelinski

    And this was supposed to be EASY!!!

  2. RJ Ponzio

    Well, it gets much easier after the first time. You do not always need to play that much with the settings. I just wanted to explain some of the options and what they mean. Hope this info helps!

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