How to Create PDF Files without Adobe


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When dealing with other companies electronically, you will want to keep the integrity of your files. One solution is using a type of file called a PDF file. These files end with . pdf extension. PDF file are used by businesses to send important documents like contracts and proposals to other businesses. This type of file is used because it is more difficult to edit the document. PDF files are also use on web pages as they can be viewed in your Internet browser when you use a PDF viewer like the one provide by Adobe for free. Also, people do not use the same word processor so this means that they will not be able to open your document if they do not have the same program as you. With PDF file, anybody can view them by getting a free viewer from the Internet.

One way to create a PDF file is to use the Adobe suite of software. These programs can be costly and I will provide a way to create a PDF file by using some capabilities on your computer and some free software which can be found on the Internet.

This method has a two step process to create the PDF file. You must first create a postscript file of your document. A postscript file is just your document being printed to a file on your hard drive instead to your printer. These files usually have an extension of . ps. You will have to set up your computer to create this file.

Here are the steps to create the file:

1. You must create a new printer association for your computer. You accomplish this by going to Control Panel icon in the Start menu.
Once the dialog is opened, click on the Printer and Faxes icon.
Click on Add a printer and click the Next button.
Make sure that only Local printer attached to this computer is selected and click the Next button.
Make sure that Use the following port: is selected and choose FILE: (Print to file) in the drop down box.
Once all this is accomplished, click the Next button.

I prefer to Tektronix Phaser 300i as the printer driver that I utilized.
Select the driver that you want (driver that end with PS are usually only used to created postscript files).
After selecting which driver that you want, click the Next button.

You can use the Printer name provided by Windows or create your own. I also suggest that you select No for Do you want to use this printer as the default printer?
When you are ready; click the Next button.

Choose Do not share this printer and click the Next button.

Select No for Do you want to print a test page? Click the Next button. Finally, click the Finish button to create your new printer icon on your computer.

If you now look in your Printer and Faxes dialog, you should see the new icon of the printer.

2. After you have finished editing your document, you must now create the postscript file.
In MS Word, choose the menu option File->Print….

In the dialog that appears at the top, make sure that the printer selected is the new one you created in the preceding step. If it is not, select the printer from the drop down box. When you have selected the printer, press the OK button on the bottom and provide a location on the hard drive and name for the postscript file. The program will now create the postscript file at the specified location.

Now that you have your postscript file, you must convert it to PDF format. This is done by getting two files from the Internet called Ghostscript and GSview.

Here are the steps to convert your postscript file:

1. Download gsvXXw32. exe (for GSView) where XX is the version number. I located the file here: www.cs. wisc. edu/~ghost/gsview/get48.htm.
2. Download gsXXXw32. exe (for Ghostscript ) where XXX is the version number. I located the file here: www.cs. wisc. edu/~ghost/doc/AFPL/new853.htm.
3. Install both programs in the order that you choose.
4. Open GSView and you will prompted to choose a version of Ghostscript.

Once you have installed the two programs, you are ready to create your PDF file.
1. Double click your . ps file which you have already created. GSView should open with your postscript file.
2. Click the following menu selection File->Convert.
3. In the Device: box, choose pdfwrite. Select the resolution that you want (Larger resolution means a larger file and better quality. You can test this to see which resolution that you prefer). Select the pages that you want to convert and click OK.
4. You will be prompted to name your file and you should use the . pdf extension (mydoc. pdf). Click Save and you are done.

This method is very economical and it makes sense to send PDF file when dealing with sensitive documents to make sure that people are not able to make changes after the fact. By doing this, you will look more professional and have an easy way to distribute your documents over the Internet.

Copyright 2006 Greg Doucet. All rights reserved.

Any suggestions or comments please write to Greg Doucet at .

Greg Doucet is a consultant whose main purpose is helping businesses grow and expand while enjoying life. His philosophy is to provide value first, help people in their endeavors and have fun while doing his work.

He accepts consulting assignment that will contribute to business’ profitability and realize their goal of running a successful business.

He has a Computer Science degree which is complimented by a MBA. He is also a member of Toastmaster and Junior Chamber International where he enjoys meeting new people. He is always ready to provide excellent advice to people that are ready to put in the effort to improve their business and personal lives.


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