Producing PDF Files for Free Without Using Adobe Acrobat
by Rich Deem

If you are on a shoestring budget like myself and would like to create PDF files, but can't afford Adobe Acrobat, then you have come to the right place. Here is what you will need to produce PDF files on a budget:

  1. A word processor or page layout program.
  2. GhostScript Viewer (freeware)
  3. A PostScript or laser printer driver (freeware)

First you need to format your file in a word processor or page layout program. Once this is done, print the file to disk, using a PostScript or color laser printer driver (Figure 1). Make sure the "Print to file" option is checked and give the file a name. It will have the ".prn" suffix, although it is a PostScript file (can be renamed to ".ps").

Windows Print Dialog Box
Figure 1. Standard Windows Print Dialog Box

Open the PostScript file in GhostScript Viewer and select "Print" from the "File" menu. For "Device", select "pdfwrite" with a "Resolution" of 300 (Figure 2). Make sure that the "Print to File" button is selected and give the file a name when prompted. When the file is "printed" you now have a PDF file that is readable in Adobe Acrobat Reader. Congatulations! You have now made a formatted document that will print the same on any platform or printer.

Settings for PDF file creation
Figure 2. GhostScript Viewer Print Dialog Box


Download GhostScript Viewer/Adobe Acrobat Reader here:

Resource: windows Windows mac Macintosh
PostScript Viewer/Printer: GhostScript gv GhostScript Viewer gv (Freeware) GhostScript Viewer gv (Freeware)
PDF Viewer: acrobat Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0
Acrobat Reader 5.0 + Search acrobat (Freeware)
Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 acrobat
Adobe PostScript Printer Driver AdobePS for Windows AdobePS 8.7.3 - English

Free PDF Creator:
 - check it out! (Windows only)

Not currently working:

Inexpensive Shareware PDF Creator:
PrintToPDF - check it out! (Macintosh only)

Free Saint Creator:
Jesus Christ
Last updated March 31, 2008


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