One of our technology clients needed a quick and inexpensive way for their software and hardware developers to make PDF files from Word sources. I Googled and found a number of free PDF converters. In my opinion, the best pick is PrimoPDF.
PrimoPDF is fast and easy to use. After downloading and installing the program, here's all you do:
- Open the Word file you want to PDF.
- Select Print > PrimoPDF.
- Wait for PrimoPDF to load the file.
- Click Create.
These are my findings after some basic testing:
- The PrimoPDF load process can be a bit slow, but PDFing is fast! A single chapter file of ~450K took 30 second to load and 5 seconds to PDF. A complete Word book file of ~3MB took > 1 minute to load, but < 1 minute to PDF. By comparison, creating a PDF using PDFMaker.dot took 2.5 minutes and 5 minutes respectively.
- PrimoPDF produces a PDF 1.3 (Acrobat 4.x) file and does not inherit file properties by default. You can change these items and others (like security and colors) using the PrimoPDF Custom Settings.
- The PDF file does not contain bookmarks and is not enabled for Fast Web Page View.
Bottom line: Would I recommend PrimoPDF? Absolutely! It's free, fast, easy-to-use, and creates simple PDF files without the need to purchase Adobe Acrobat.
P.S. You can also use PrimoOnline for PDF conversion on the web. It's fast and easy too but the resulting PDF is sent via email as an attachment. Without basic security measures in place, such as those in YouSendIt, I cannot recommend PrimoOnline.