How to Create a PDF Printer

Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF) simplifies the distribution of fixed-layout documents, such as brochures and forms. As long as the end user has a PDF viewing application installed on his machine, the files can be viewed and printed using the precise formatting defined by the author, without requiring the program used to create them. If you want to create PDFs of your own, download and install one of several freely available PDF creation programs. The installation process adds a PDF option to your list of printers, allowing you to create files of your own with just a few clicks.

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Download PDF creation software to establish a PDF printer driver on your computer.

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Open a Web browser window and log on to the Download page of the website for doPDF, CutePDF Writer or PDF995 (see Resource section). All three options allow you to create PDF files on your own computer for free.

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Click the "Download" or "Free Download" link and save the resulting program file to your computer when prompted. Click the download link associated with the "Printer Driver" if you want to install PDF995.

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Close all open programs.

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Launch the installer program you downloaded in Step 2 by double-clicking its icon.

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Follow the on-screen prompts to install the selected PDF creation application on your computer.

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Confirm the installation by opening a program with printing capabilities, such as your Web browser or a word processing program. Press the "Ctrl" and "P" keys simultaneously to bring up the print dialog box, and then view the list of available printers. The name of the program you installed in the previous step (e.g., "CutePDF Writer," "PDF995") appears in the list.