Posted on Apr 8, 2006

PDF creation tools

I love PDF documents. They give excellent print reproduction and are very convenient to distribute.

I have been using a free PDF writing tool called PDF995 for converting documents to PDF. It installs as a printer and can be selected from the Print dialog. It then asks for the file name to be used for saving the pdf doc, converts the postscript to PDF and writes the PDF file.

Sponsored version of PDF995 pops up a dialog box and a couple of web pages which connect to their web site to display promos. This is a little irritating, but I do not complain, the tool being free.

Yesterday, I came across another free tool that does the same without the pop-ups – CutePDF. It also needs GhostScript to be installed for PS to PDF conversion.

I did a quick test to compare PDF995 to CutePDF using a Powerpoint slide with some text and vector graphics. The size of the output documents was largely the same, PDF995 output being slightly larger. Output quality was also comparable – at smaller font sizes, PDF995 gave slightly better output, especially if the text was bold. For now, I am sticking with PDF995 – I create PDF docs only once in a while and I can bear with a couple of pop-ups for slightly better quality.