Software

Printing to non-native formats


All of the Office applications have a familiar and easy-to-use print feature. Still, many of us use Adobe's Acrobat Reader for its advanced features. None of the Office applications support Acrobat Reader's PDF format. If you need to share Office data in PDF format, one solution is Acro Software's CutePDF Writer.

CutePDF is useful for several reasons:

It's free.

It's easy to install, but be sure to use the Administrator account to do so.

It works with all Office applications (Windows 98 and later and 64-bit editions)

Once installed, CutePDF acts as a printer. There's no need to learn new tricks. Simply print the document as you normally would. Instead of choosing an actual printer, choose CutePDF Writer. The utility then exports and saves the data to a PDF file.

To download CutePDF Writer, visit http://www.acrosoftware.com/products/cutepdf/printer.asp and click the Free Download link. This 1.54 MB download took just a moment over DSL. If you're still on dial-up, you can expect the download to take about five minutes. The license is flexible, but be sure to review it, just in case.

Before installing CutePDF, turn off any virus protection software you're running in the background. Then, simply double-click the downloaded file (cuteprinter.exe). An installation wizard will walk you through the process. Don't forget to turn your virus protection back on once you've installed CutePDF. (You might need to download a conversion file, but the installation wizard will prompt you. This addition file took twelve minutes over dialup.)

Once you install CutePDF Writer, your work's done. CutePDF Writer is as easy to use as a built-in feature. Open any Office document, such as an Access report, an Excel worksheet, a Word document, a PowerPoint presentation, or even an Outlook e-mail message. Then, choose Print from the File menu, as you normally would to print. View the available printeres from the Name control's dropdown list, select CutePDF Writer from the list, and click OK. In the resulting Save As dialog box, give the file a name and click Save. That's all there is to it.

CutePDF Writer is available to most Windows-based applications. A quick test found it available in InfoPath, Publisher, and FrontPage.

I’ve found CutePDF Writer flawless. What’s everyone else using?

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

8 comments
shinerwright50
shinerwright50

Excellent Application - have used it extensively for over 12 months. Have not experienced any printing problms.

NeoLine
NeoLine

I use the free PrimoPDF: http://www.primopdf.com/ Have had no problems with it. Like it better than pdf995 because the free version of pdf995 has pop-up ads appear when you print to it.

fj47rsm
fj47rsm

Is there any advantage in this Cute PDF Writer over PDF995 ? Also free, used in the an identical way.

tihara
tihara

In regards to the PDF creator in Microsoft, it looks like it can be used for MS apps only. In regards to what we are using, we use Adobe Acrobat Professional, so we can create PDFs and also edit them. For users who only want to create PDFs, we have been using PDFCreator, which is free. http://www.pdfforge.org/ PDFCreator does not allow you to delete an unwanted page; you can with Adobe Acrobat Professional. We also had to uninstall the PDFCreator toolbar, because Internet Explorer would not work. So after installing PDF Creator, we uninstalled the PDF Creator toolbar. Can CutePDF Writer be used in non-Microsoft applications? You can with PDFCreator.

pdelee
pdelee

We have PrimoPDF deployed everywhere and love it but it requires you to type in a file name in a popup window. The free version of pdf995 allows you to use the command line to create a pdf so we can incorporate it into programs that run automatically at night so a pdf document is ready and waiting when we arrive in the morning.

ssharkins
ssharkins

I'm not familiar with PDF995, so I can't provide a comparison of the two products. I know that I really like CutePDF Writer because it's so easy to implement and use.

ssharkins
ssharkins

Does CutePDF Writer work with non-Microsoft applications? That's an excellent question. I don't have many non-MS products to test, but CutePDF Writer is available in Macromedia's Dreamweaver MX, so yes. However, of course, I can't guarantee it will show up everywhere.