Create PDFs for Free – a List of Free PDF Creation and PDF Generation Software
UPDATE 27 November 2009: Looking to find out more about free PDF creators and generation software? We’ve just launched a new question and answer site for all of your PDF questions.
This is a list of all the really free PDF creation and PDF generation software that we could find on the web. We tried to make the list as comprehensive as possible — but we’re only human — so if we’ve missed a product that you think should be included in this list, please add a comment.
The criteria for this list is simple: the application must be free (definitely no hideous watermarks on printed pages allowed), work on the client-side and include a PDF printer driver (i.e. so you can go to File > Print and print to PDF). So here goes (ranked in order of popularity at Download.com):
- PrimoPDF (15,339,680 downloads) — PrimoPDF comes with pre-configured settings for creating PDF files optimized for print, screen, ebook, or prepress. Requirements: Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista.
- doPDF Free PDF Converter (1,673,788 downloads) – Transform any printable document into PDF format. Requirements: Windows 2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista.
- PDF ReDirect (1,180,731 downloads) – Create, encrypt, and append PDF files. Requirements: Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista.
- CutePDF Writer (1,057,537 downloads) – Create Adobe PDF files with the push of a button. Requirements: Windows 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista.
- PDF995 Printer Driver 8.4 (491,461 downloads) – Create professional-quality documents in PDF file format. Requirements: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/Vista.
- Bullzip PDF Printer (118,508 downloads) – Use any MS Windows application for writing PDF documents. Requirements: Windows 2000/XP/2003 Server.
- Solid PDF Creator (119,939 downloads) – Create PDF and PDF/A documents from any Windows program. Requirements: Windows 2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista.
- PDFCreator (91,461 downloads) – Render PDF files within applications that support the print function. Requirements: Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista.
If we have missed a PDF printer driver that fits the criteria mentioned at the top of the post, then please leave a comment and we’ll gladly add it. Or if you have any problems with any of these ask a question at 4xPDF help.
Updated #1 (16/10/08): added Solid PDF Creator and PDF ReDirect.
Updated #2 (21/10/08): removed Go2PDF because it adds a watermark to all PDFs that it creates.
Updated #3 (3/11/08): updated download stats from Download.com.
Updated #4 (4/12/08): updated download stats from Download.com. Moved Bullzip PDF Printer to the bottom of the list due to stat change.
Updated #5 (5/01/09): updated download stats from Download.com. Moved Bullzip PDF Printer to number 8th due to stat change.
Updated #6 (14/02/09): updated download stats from Download.com. Moved Solid PDF Creator above PDFCreator.
Updated #6 (6/06/09): updated download stats from Download.com.
Updated #7 (25/08/09): updated download stats from Download.com.
Updated #8 (2/12/09): updated download stats from Download.com.