How to Create a PDF File without Acrobat
A work in process...
How to Create a PDF File
- Option 1: Use the Adobe Free Service
This service converts your file (e.g. an MS WORD .DOC file)
directly into PDF.
This is the simplest way, via a free service at the Adobe Website
which allows you to convert a small number of files for
free. This is the simplest procedure, BUT
- You will have to register with Adobe.
- You get 5 conversions free. After that,
you have to register for the service and pay a monthly fee.
- There may be a risk that the free service gets overloaded and
will not deliver (i.e. if several hundred CHI submitters try
to convert their files at the same time).
How to Convert Your File
- Step 2.1 - Go to the Adobe Website
- Step 2.2 - Register for the free trial; you will receive email instructions for how to access the service.
- Step 2.3 - Select "Convert a file"
- Step 2.4 - Enter the name of the file you want to convert, and under "Optimization Settings", chose "print", and the security options and delivery method of your choice.
- Step 2.5 - Once you have received the PDF file by email, check that it prints and iscorrect.
- Option 3: Converting Without External Service
This path is more complicated, but means you do not have
to rely on an external service.
How to Convert Your File
- You have to produce a Postscript (.ps or .prn) file first. (If you are using LaTeX or another tool that outputs ps, go to 2 below)
If you use Word,
- select the "Print" option
- check the "print to file" box
- make sure the printer selected is a Postscript printer (check with your system manager if you are not sure)
- name the file ("mychipaper.ps")
- Download, install and use OPTION A or B
- OPTION A: Ghostview - this is a free product
- Go to http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~ghost
- Download "GSView 4.0" and "AFPL Ghostscript 7.00" and the user manual, making sure you select the right version for the machine/operating system you are using.
- Read the user manual (Readme.htm) for installation and use of the program.
- OPTION B: Pstill - you need to buy a license to use this, but you can try a free download version.
- Go to http://www.wizards.de/~frank/pstill.html
- Download the appropriate version for your operating system.
- Read the user manual for installation and use of the product.
- Creating FastLane PDF Files [NSF]
- Ghostscript, Ghostview and GSview
- Appligent Code Examples, Instructions and Samples
Creating PDF Files
Using Only Available Free Software
- How To Create PDF Files For Free Under Windows 2000/XP
- Search Engines and PDF (Acrobat) Files: SearchTools Report
- Searching the Contents of PDF Files on a Web Site
- Acrobat version 6 now incorporates the Onix search engine for searching PDF content on local disks and networks.
- PDF files: A Quick Guide for Economists
- Online conversion tools for Adobe PDF documents
- Adobe PDF Conversion by Simple Form [Adobe online]
- A Guide to PDF for Scholars Using the bepress System FAQ: PDF
- Simplified Requirements for Creating PDF Files for IEEE Xplore [PDF]
- txt2pdf: to convert txt, text, textual report, spool into pdf
- Jaws PDF Creator, Editor and Server Software
- Creating and Using PDF Files [Case Western Reserve University- 08/25/99] [PDF]
- Making PDF Files Accessible.
What to Do When PDF Files Do Not Open
- Universal Design Education Online
- Frequently Asked Questions About PDF Files
- Adobe Reader Speed-Up
- FREE SVG - Free PDF to SVG Conversion
- Form tools [PDF Zone]
- PDF Viewers
- PDF viewers [PDF Zone]
PDFgo.com: Java PDF Document Viewer
- Ansyr Primer 3.1 PDF Viewer [
Windows CE and Pocket PC
- WinCE PDF Viewer For Mobile Devices
- Enterprise PDF Creation, Conversion and Manipulation Tools - activePDF Incorporated
PDF Resource Links
The links below are for non-NSF sites that specialize in PDF information and instructions.
NOTE: All the links will open a new browser window.
- Pdftk - the PDF Toolkit (
If PDF is electronic paper , then pdftk is an electronic staple-remover, hole-punch, binder, secret-decoder-ring, and X-Ray-glasses. Pdftk is a command-line tool for doing everyday things with PDF documents
- pdf995 (
The free versions display a sponsor page in your web browser each time you run the software
- FreeDist (
The Freeware equivalent of Adobe distiller.
- Mulps21PDF (Combine multiple printjobs into one PDF)
- HTMLDOC (Converts
HTML files to PDF or PS--suggested by WhiteThunder)
Printer (Suggested by Antonio)
- PDF reDirect (Free, No popups, Can save to hard drive or network -- Suggested by Michel of EXP Systems)
- WinPDF (document info, content encryption and live hyperlink support -- Suggested by Alain of PDFDesk Informatique)
- Go2PDF (document info, content encryption support -- Suggested by Alain of PDFDesk Informatique)
- PDF4Free (document info support -- Suggested by Alain of PDFDesk Informatique)
- PrimoPDF (a free PDF creation tool that allows you to 'print' to PDF from virtually any Windows application -- Suggested by Doug S. of ActivePDF.)
- Adobe's online PDF
Converter will convert PDF to HTML, for free, one file at a time.
is free open source converter that runs on the Unix command line, it is
sometimes incorporated by search engines as part of the indexing process.
- Xpdf is free open
source software, includes a viewer and components for parsing PDF documents.
- Adobe recommendsBCL
Magellan which converts PDF files to HTML, preserving the structure
of the page, graphics, lines, hyperlinks and so on.
- Clickcat-P2H is another converter
program, which offers a downloadable trial version and various special features.
- Very PDF.com's PDF2HTML
application can do on-the-fly or batch conversions, also has a free trial
version, and source code available.
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David J. Hark
P. O. Box 201 Shepherdstown, WV 25443-0201
Last updated: 2 January 2005
© 2004, 2005 David J. Hark