Print To Pdf

Written by Kevin Tavolaro
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One of the most popular methods for converting a document into a PDF file is to use a "print-to-PDF" application. There are several types of these applications available, ranging from small plug-ins for existing software to more elaborate stand-alone programs. The basic purpose of this type of application is to create a PDF file from another type of document, without any PDF editing or authoring.

There are many reasons for converting documents to PDF. Because it was created as a universal file type, PDF is a cross-platform media. This means that you can create a PDF file and be sure that anyone can view it, whether they use Windows, Unix, Mac, or any other operating system. If you plan on distributing electronic documents, such as invoices created using Excel, your recipients may not all be able to access the files if they are in Excel format. Even if the party in question can access the Excel files, the integrity of the data can still be in question. The most popular document formats can be easily edited or altered from within their associated application.

Using Print to PDF Utilities

In addition, variations in screen size, window size, and resolution can cause your invoice to take on a different appearance, even if the recipient is able to access the file. A PDF document retains the same appearance regardless of external conditions, as the size, font, layout, and alignment information is embedded in the file itself. It can also be viewed on any computer equipped with a PDF reader. Adobe Acrobat Reader, the most popular PDF viewing application, is available as a freeware application.

You can take advantage of the security and accessibility offered by PDF without having to invest in expensive PDF authoring software. Instead, a virtual PDF print driver can be used to easily transform your files from one format to another, without requiring any complicated input. When a PDF print driver is installed in your system, it creates a virtual printer that can be selected from the print dialog in an application. For example, after you finish writing a MS Word document, you can send it to a printer from an option on the File menu. When a virtual PDF printer is installed, the print menu will allow you to choose between your printer, and the virtual PDF printer. If the virtual printer is selected, the document "prints" to a file, rather than paper. This means that the appearance of the document is recreated as another a PDF file. Plug-ins that allow your existing word processing, spreadsheet, and image editing programs to print-to-PDF from their "File" menus are usually sufficient for creating PDF versions of basic text-and-image documents. However, HTML-to-PDF conversion, as well as other layout-intensive formats, can be better handled by a stand-alone PDF conversion utility. Solo PDF converters are usually equipped with a number of features that allow you to manage, adjust, and fine tune the result of a print-to-PDF conversion.

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