7 Best Tools to Print to PDF

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What’s the best PDF printer for Windows? We checked 7 of the most popular options to find out.

It’s kind of shocking that printing in Windows 8 doesn’t come with a PDF option Printing Has Changed In Windows 8: Here's What You Need To Know Printing Has Changed In Windows 8: Here's What You Need To Know Printing has changed in Windows 8 – there’s now a standard way of printing in every Modern app. However, like many things about Microsoft’s new Modern interface, printing is not immediately intuitive for many users,... Read More ; Mac and Linux users have had this by default for years. Windows users still need dedicated software, like Adobe Acrobat Pro, and it’s all of varying quality.

PDF printers let you save any file you can print as a PDF, meaning that any computer on Earth can open it without much trouble. Because these programs disguise themselves as regular printers, you can use them to create a PDF file in any program that lets you print. We’ve shown you how to print to PDF on Windows 8 How to Print to PDF From Windows 8 Desktop & Modern Apps How to Print to PDF From Windows 8 Desktop & Modern Apps It's the digital age and you should stop printing to paper! Print to PDF instead. This article briefly discusses the advantages of PDF over paper and demonstrates how to print to PDF in Windows 8. Read More , but such software is by no means new: you can use it on any version of Windows.


As you can see, I installed a bunch of these programs – for science. My results are below. I’ll show you you their dialogues and what the files they output look like.

I decided to use Chris Koentges’ excellent article The Oracle of Ice Hockey as my example document, because it’s fantastic (and because summer is a depressing season, void of hockey and filled with heat).

CutePDF: Simple And Effective

With an easy-to-remember name and a simple interface, CutePDF is a solid option. When it’s time to print, all you’ll be asked is where you’d like to save your PDF. It’s simple, sure, but it’s probably all that most people want.


The resulting files looks exactly the way I expected, complete with embedded fonts.


CutePDF is easy to use – just install it and use it when you need it.

The Downside: Crapware.

So what are the down sides? There’s a small ad in the save dialogue, as shown above. It’s not a big deal, but some might prefer to not see it.

The bigger problem, though, is the crapware CutePDF tries to install during installation.


Be careful where you click or you might end up using Ask.com.

doPDF: A Touch More Control

If you intend to a print a PDF later, you’re going to want high-quality images – if not, you might favour a smaller file. Free app doPDF gives you an easy way to control the PDF size, and you can also toggle font embeds.


The resulting file is going to look a little off if you opt to not embed fonts, of course, but if you wanted to have the options doPDF is your go-to choice.


The Downsides: Not Much.

There’s not a lot to complain about here. There’s a tiny ad in the options box, as you can see above. This program also defaults to not embedding fonts, which might result in some funny-looking PDFs – but this can be fixed by clicking a checkbox.

PDFCreator: With Metadata Control

The above programs let you create a PDF, but what if you want control over the metadata of that file? This is the key strength offered by PDFCreator, an open source PDF printer. When you print you have the option to add author and other information.


There’s also a button for quickly attaching your file to an email, if you happen to use a desktop email client. The files themselves look just as you’d expect.


The Downside: Yet More Crapware

Despite being open source, PDFCreator has a nasty adware habit. You can read the long history on Wikipedia, and be sure to pay attention during the installation process.


It’s also worth noting that PDFCreator uses Ghostscript to output files.

FreePDF: German Website, Effective Software

FreePDF, offered by a German website, works just as well for English users. Use it and you’ll see this dialogue box:


As with doPDF, you can control the quality. You can also export to email, if you like, or save to your desktop. The files look great.


Like some of the other programs here, FreePDF requires Ghostscript to run – but there aren’t really any other major downsides to this one.

GreenCloud Printer: Great Interface, Sadly Not Free

And now for something completely different. GreenCloud isn’t just a PDF printer: it’s a program meant to change how you print completely. The idea is for you to see this window every time you’re intending to print something:


From here, you can easily save to PDF, and even upload directly to Dropbox or Minus.

The software makes some changes to your documents so they’ll take up less ink – at least, that’s the theory. Perhaps because of this, the article I printed didn’t look as crisp as others – the font was replaced with something thinner.


The Downside: Limited Printing, Plus Crapware

I wanted to like GreenCloud, I really did. But the installer for this program just couldn’t take a hint: it tried to install so much crapware I couldn’t believe it. Turn down one offer; see another.


This wouldn’t be a big deal, but it turns out the free version of the software is limited to 10 pages. This is a huge downside to me, and I’d suggest you skip it for this reason alone.

Still, the interface is quite nice – unlike anything else I tried. For this reason, I thought I’d point it out, but be prepared for a crap experience, unless you’re willing to pay up.

PrimoPDF: Lots of Options

Clean and simple this one isn’t: try to print a file to PDF and you’ll see this mess of an interface.


There’s a lot of wasted space, but what is utilized well is giving you all sorts of options. There are presets for varying levels of quality, and you can change the metadata. You can also password-protect your document, something no other program here offers – this might prove useful if you regularly print invoices or other secure information.

So yeah, I complained a lot about the interface, but the fact is it gives you a lot of options. The output also looks great.


The Downside: Requires .NET, Is Ugly

This isn’t a huge deal, but you’ll need to install .NET to install this program. This and the cluttered user dialogue were turn-offs for me, but might not matter to you.

TinyPDF: Simple, but Outdated

TinyPDF is aptly named: the download is only half a megabyte, meaning it’s small. Many users swear by this software to this day, and if you use a 32-bit machine you might want to try it out. I, however, couldn’t.

The Downside: Won’t Work On Newer Computers


I wasn’t able to try this one out, because my computer runs a 64-bit version of Windows – and TinyPDF doesn’t support such computers. This means that, if you bought your computer in the past few years, you probably can’t use it. Don’t be fooled by the app’s website: if you try to install on a 64-bit machine, you’ll be redirected to the website of a commercial program. The free version of TinyPDF doesn’t work on new computers.

So What’s the Best?

You might be wondering: what’s the best choice here? I’d love to know which you prefer, so leave your thoughts in the comments below – particularly if I’ve forgotten something that’s both free and useable.

But if you want me to tell you what’s best, I’ve got to say: it really depends on what you’re looking for. I want a simple way to create a PDF file, so low-frills options like CutePDF and doPDF work best for me. If you want support for PDF security, use PrimoPDF; if you want metadata control, use PDF Creator. If you hate crapware, use doPDF or FreePDF – both are clean. It’s a shame so many of the other apps include crapware, but pay attention during installation and you should be fine.

Oh, and if you’re trying to print a web page, consider using bookmarklets that remove web craplets 3 Easy Bookmarklets to Print Nice Looking Web Pages Without Craplets 3 Easy Bookmarklets to Print Nice Looking Web Pages Without Craplets Printing information from the web is often a challenge because websites are plastered with sidebars, images, advertisements, and other unprintable elements. What makes a website look fantastic is a real drag when printing because all... Read More for a cleaner print. Sidebars don’t look great in PDF files.

Explore more about: PDF, Printing, Windows 7, Windows 8.

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  1. Jass Jano
    September 3, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    doPDF - Needs Microsoft .NET! ("Is Ugly")

  2. badbob001
    July 2, 2018 at 6:57 pm

    Windows 10 comes with printer "Microsoft Print to PDF". I used it to print a 11-page form to a 7MB file. I wanted to see if I can get the PDF to be smaller but the Microsoft pdf printer has almost no options to adjust. So I installed doPDF, chose the smallest file size option, and the file was 12MB! So if you have Windows 10, the built-in pdf printer is pretty efficient.

  3. Bill Lee
    August 17, 2017 at 8:19 pm

    I've been using DoroServer print-to-pdf for years. It came in a software CDrom from a British computer magazine.
    Works well, but lately with Win10 64 bit seems to skip some pages.

  4. Rakesh
    March 10, 2017 at 5:47 am

    Does anyone knows pdf print driver that can support generating multiple pdf's in parallel ?
    Thanks in advance.

    • Sherry Rodriguez
      November 30, 2018 at 6:22 pm

      I just posted the same question! Did you get an answer?

  5. iggy
    July 22, 2016 at 12:41 am

    Stay away from CutePDF & PDF995!!! These are now total & absolute garbage, they used to be very reliable & the ads were very manageable. But now, no way! PDF995 wouldn't install & almost crashed my system twice. CutePDF, does install & does work, but you can't print to the desktop & it doesn't open to confirm the print-job, which makes it worthless to me. Additionally, you MUST choose Teoma in 1 way or the other to just install & then it dumps GPLGS or Ghost-Scirpt on your system. I cleared everything off immediately, even in the registry & I still feel filthy.

  6. Tony Patriarche
    June 29, 2016 at 4:03 am

    You don't comment on the ability to merge multiple print jobs into one PDF file. I use this feature in PdfCreator a lot. PdfCreator got bloated in the last couple of years and ran very slow on XP, but I like the features. Agree about the crapware - despite unclicking "Install PDFArchitect" it goes ahead & installs it anyway!

  7. Anonymous
    September 19, 2015 at 6:41 pm

    I have not seen all the comments, but I am surprised that the main article did not cover "Bullzip Free PDF Printer". The free version has worked great for me for years now.

    • Justin Pot
      September 21, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      I tried almost 20 different programs before writing this...there are a lot of them out there. I don't remember if I tried Bullzip or not, but it might be great.

  8. Anonymous
    August 23, 2015 at 6:32 am

    Print to PDF from Free PDF solution is the best for me - small, simple, no additional software, no ads or anything - just correctly prints to PDF.

  9. Anonymous
    August 18, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    You're literally recommending that your readers install malware. Shame on you.

    • Justin Pot
      August 18, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      Which one of these? As of when I wrote this everything was clean, so far as my scans showed me...

  10. Anonymous
    June 22, 2015 at 11:45 am

    PrimoPDF contains adware. So, rather not run that thanks very much.

  11. Compstuff
    May 18, 2015 at 2:50 pm

    Thanks for the article... I installed doPDF and its works perfectly for the simple take of printing my invoices from a website

  12. Michael
    March 19, 2015 at 4:23 am

    CutePDF occasionally fails to print web pages.
    I was printing my credit report recently and it failed miserably. It was only able to print a small portion of the report. I'll still continue to use it but I need an alternative installed for the times when it fails.

    • Justin Pot
      March 19, 2015 at 3:24 pm

      Part of this is sites aren't designed with printing in mind, at all, anymore – I wonder if printing to paper would have had the same results.

  13. Bruce van H
    February 20, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    I loaded 3 ... Cutepdf , bullzip and PDF 24 and will work with each and choose the best suited to the task

    • Tina
      March 29, 2015 at 10:14 am

      Hey Bruce! Have you made up your mind, yet? Which one did you like best so far?

  14. Bruce van H
    February 20, 2015 at 10:23 am

    Thank you to everyone who has contributed ... this has been brilliant I have struggled with my pdf995 now for months as I have been their ageold super fan, but it is struggling in 8.1

    • Justin Pot
      February 20, 2015 at 3:44 pm

      Sorry you had to leave behind a program you like so much! What did you end up switching to?

  15. Tom
    February 6, 2015 at 1:24 am

    Thank you so much for your time to write this.. Great job, and very helpful!

    • Justin Pot
      February 6, 2015 at 1:25 am

      Glad to have helped! Which did you end up going with?

  16. Hank Friedman
    October 26, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    I have evaluated many PDF printing utilities myself and am very surprised that the author of this article missed the best one:

    PriPrinter is incredibly powerful and versatile, with a huge range of options and picture perfect PDF file saving and printing.

    The best utility for capturing printing from both software and the web and creating PDF output by far!

    • Jim
      March 1, 2015 at 8:16 am

      You neglected to mention that PriPrinter is not free.

    • Tina
      March 29, 2015 at 10:17 am

      Thanks for pointing that out, Jim. We do try to focus on free solutions. No need to mention a paid one if the free ones do the job, which clearly is the case here.

      Of course for some professional settings, it might be necessary to turn to a paid app, which can handle more complex projects.

    • Justin Pot
      March 30, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      Hank pointed out PriPrinter, Tina, not us. :)

  17. john b
    August 30, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    DoPDF is free for business and commercial use.

  18. Phil Nolan
    August 28, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    These could be really handy. I have a time clock app I use for my freelance work and it's great but it saves out the invoices in HTM format and I have a heck of a time converting it to PDF and saving the nice formatting. Maybe one of these will be able to do it. One thing I don't want is to upload the files somewhere and have it sitting on some server. Some of my clients are very particular about privacy.

  19. pankaj
    August 25, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Cute PDF Writer.

  20. intelligencia
    August 24, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    The FREE Nitro Reader is a Class Act!

    Here is what the website says about the product:
    “Nitro Reader does more by default than any free PDF reader currently available”

    The Reader is SO good that I purchased Nitro PDF Pro which has additional features you will love!
    (I also enjoyed doPDF for a number of years but as stated at the Top of the page USE the latest version of 7 only!)


  21. Féfé
    August 23, 2014 at 9:12 am

    You said about Primo pdf "You can also password-protect your document, something no other program here offers". In fact, PDFCreator does this too very well. You can define several profiles for your documents (Options button) and here, you have a very extensive control on your documents, including password protecting.

    • Justin P
      August 25, 2014 at 12:20 am

      Good point, that app offers a lot of advanced options.

  22. Jorge
    August 23, 2014 at 12:38 am

    I use Foxit Reader. Nice interface (Office 2013 style) and many functions.


  23. Bob
    August 22, 2014 at 6:03 am

    I do use doPDF quite often when I want a "what you see is what you get" type PDF. I find it straight forward and simple. I have not tried every one listed here, but of those I tried, I tend to find cumbersome and occasionally erratic compared to doPDF.

    However, when I do my club newsletter, I need more than one of those PDF writers. I use LibreOffice Writer (like MS Word). After tailoring my document (text, graphics, links, etc.), I can click on the "Export to PDF" icon and create my PDF. I can also choose to save the "word" document for future modification. The one nice advantage is LibreOffice runs on both Windows and Linux. I don't recall specifically, but I believe that I have run doPDF under Linux using WINE.

  24. Marc Cohen
    August 22, 2014 at 2:25 am

    I have used PDFcreator for years. It offers a lot of options, the one i use the most is Wait-Collect (see image above). This allows you to print multiple items into one pdf file, it collects all pdf print jobs until you tell it to stop. You can even rearrange the page order before creating the final pdf.

    Also offers good control over picture resolution and color (cmyk, rgb and grayscale). Many other features. Yes it tries to install crapware, but many programs do that.

  25. Nathan Davis
    August 22, 2014 at 1:18 am

    Pdf995 works and is free.

  26. Mike
    August 21, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    The real question is: Why doesn't Windows come with a built-in PDF printer? MacOS and Linux both do. It's such an incredibly common thing for people to want to do. It's stupid not to include one, in my opinion.

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 11:21 pm

      This is a really good question, and I'd love to hear Microsoft answer it. I have to believe this will happen in Windows 9, but I might be too optimistic.

  27. Barry
    August 21, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    CutePDF is great for normal work, but it battles with AutoCAD larger sizes A0 and A1. I use the Foxit PDF software for CAD and it works a treat.

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 11:22 pm

      I never would have tried this with CAD files, but now I know FoxIt is better for that. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mir Mujtaba
      February 6, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      Adobe Acrobat XI Pro is very much good for printing CAD files and others and it is also work great in all programs

  28. Linda
    August 21, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    I've been using Nitro Pro (is that the same as NitroPDF?) and I am thrilled with its versatility, especially being able to combine various documents into one PDF and its integration with the Microsoft products.

  29. Todd C
    August 21, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    Do they really print a different quality from one to the next? I have used various ones over the years and never noticed any difference from one to the next. Just the other day I did a Foxit vs PDF24 compare they looked identical.

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 9:52 pm

      In my tests they all look the same, the only exception being GreenCloud, which changes the font, and any time I left font embedding off.

  30. msorens
    August 21, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    Long-time user of the free version of pdf Redirect (http://www.exp-systems.com/). It just works!

  31. Avijit
    August 21, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    @Justin You forgot Foxit Reader. A Effective PDF Printer Comes with the latest Version. Again it comes with some advertisement toolbar also!!!

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 5:53 pm

      Someone else pointed this out, I didn't realize they had a PDF printer! I've loved their reader for a long time, great alternative to Adobe. I'm learning so much from these comments, I wish you guys were all around when I was writing the article...

  32. bruce
    August 21, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Nitropdfreader is the limited version of its big brother Nitropdfpro.
    It has a splash screen on launch and let's you know which features require an upgrade but that's it.
    Simple to use with a Window's print and explorer menu view; you can easily separate and combine PDFs as well as use it in place of a physical print device for your printing needs.
    One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is it's ability to store images of signatures (which can be passworded) to electronically sign documents without ever having to print them.
    I love programs that prevent killing trees and burning ink :)

  33. Manojkumar J
    August 21, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    BullZip Free PDF Printer works great, have been using it for years now, and no complaints at all!

  34. Mike
    August 21, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    I have been using PDF redirect (the free version) for years.
    variable resolution (if file size matters), multi page, combine/re-arrange pages
    They also have a nice paid version.

    • Gary Mugford
      August 21, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      Big thumbs up to PDF reDirect. It's the default printer at home and at many of my clients' offices. If the stated aim is printing PDF's, then it's spot on. The right tool for that particular job.

      PDF995 was the choice for years, and a paid choice at that for the whole suite. It's run into some conflict with other software out there and it's faded away from my lists of recommended software because of it. But if you aren't running any of the programs it fights with, it's a very, very solid piece of software.

    • John P
      August 21, 2014 at 7:18 pm

      A second for PDF reDirect, my goto choice. On the rare occasion where it doesn't seem to render pages well, my alternate is Bullzip.

  35. Rick Stanley
    August 21, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    I would highly reccomend PDF-Creator. Some Court systems actually reccomend PDF-Creator over the full Adobe Acrobat commercial product. As for Crapware, there are options to NOT install the crapware! It's presence is not enough reason to NOT install the product. Please be careful, as I have seen other products calling themselves the same name. Get it only from http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/ or http://www.pdfforge.org/ . You should also be awareof another product, pdftk. https://www.pdflabs.com/tools/pdftk-the-pdf-toolkit/ Available for Windows on the Website, and for Linux through the Distro's package manager. Very powerful tool for working with PDF files.

  36. Dave
    August 21, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    I can't say enough good about http://www.PriPrinter.com - the program and the support are excellent. Many advanced features, and is always adding more.

  37. Bob
    August 21, 2014 at 2:19 pm

    "With an easy-to-remember name and a simplistic interface,..."
    I think that you meant to say "simple". Simplistic is negative. It does not mean simple.

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 3:24 pm

      Really good point, just fixed this. Thanks.

  38. Josh Kim
    August 21, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    PDFill is the best hands down. It's the Swiss army knife of PDF. Coupled with Free PDF Converter foe image extraction, you will have all the tools you need, period.

    • Manny R
      August 21, 2014 at 3:03 pm


      Awesome. Lots of tools. Lightweight. Free.

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 5:52 pm

      This seems like a great tool, does it let you print to PDF from other programs?

    • Manny R
      August 24, 2014 at 3:50 am

      It does, from MS Office and Firefox at least.

    • Manny R
      August 24, 2014 at 3:52 am

      Actually I'm using Pale Moon.

  39. Josh Kim
    August 21, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Nobody mentions PDFill, the Swiss army knife of PDF? I've been using it for years now and can't imagine a life without it at work. Sure, the GUI is little outdated but it works wonders. Especially useful on batch tasks. http://www.pdfill.com

  40. Pampam L
    August 21, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    The best? It's still the MS Word PDF converter. haha!

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      It's a good option, but is only offered in Microsoft Word. Still, that might be all a lot of people really need, so good point.

    • Stewie
      August 22, 2014 at 10:57 am

      "...but is only offered in Microsoft Word"
      Not correct. You can "Save As PDF" in most Office 2010 products including Word, Excel and Powerpoint. I used to use a PDF creator program but have found I don't actually need it any more.

    • Stewie
      August 22, 2014 at 11:04 am

      "...but is only offered in Microsoft Word"
      Not correct. You can "Save As PDF" in most Office 2010 products including Word, Excel and Powerpoint. I used to use a PDF creator program but have found I don't actually need it any more.

    • Justin P
      August 22, 2014 at 3:22 pm

      You're right, I meant to say "Office" but typed "Word" instead. My point is you can't use this in any application outside of Office.

  41. msavino
    August 21, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Geez... you mention some of these tools require Ghostscript, but fail to say that an interested reader could just ... install Ghostscript and not deal with any of these downsides? Totally and permanently ad-free, and cost-free to boot? I agree with bjohanson, you should rethink this article.

    You need three free software products for Windows: Ghostscript, Ghostview and GSview, plus a single colour Postscript printer driver. The first 3 are available from ghostscript.com/download, and the PS driver is readily available as well. Moreover, this basic method works well with all versions of Windows, and is essentially unchanged from the days of Windows 95.

    Ten minutes' research and anyone moderately computer-capable could do it. And no, I don't mean you have to compile from source or any nonsense like that. Just straightforward reading comprehension, a few minutes downloading, and another couple more minutes to install.

    You guys can do better than this.

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      I'm going to admit, I didn't even realize this was an option. Thanks for pointing it out, I'll try to follow up with a straight-forward tutorial on this.

    • msavino
      August 21, 2014 at 4:58 pm

      Thanks for following up.

      There are a few caveats, of course:
      - I'm pretty sure there's no forms support [but could be wrong, it's been a while since I've had to generate a form-capable PDF on Windows];
      - I believe on Windows it also allows combining PDFs together: I know it works on Linux and Mac though
      - I know you *can* encrypt PDFs generated by Ghostscript with passwords but have never needed to, myself;
      - Many of the online instructions degenerate into extensive PS mucking around with configuration files -- having done this method for over 10 years, I believe that 9 out of 10 users will _never_ need to do this directly;
      - The flip side of configuration is that you get a lot of fine-grained control over how it ends up: you can pick the version of PS, choose the fonts, even set the resolution in DPI. All of these are available as GUI options in one or another of the utilities
      - It can be difficult to know which PS driver to load up. You want one compatible with Win 7/8, with colour output. Adobe _should_ have a reference PS driver available.
      - Depending on your setup, you may end up generating PDFs in a two-step process: first you print to Postscript (ie *.ps), then use GSview to shovel it out as a PDF
      - For some obscure reason no one seems to have a single, lightweight tutorial on how to install this setup correctly anymore. I used an older version of this page (which now suggests using a tool called RedMon to redirect the printer port) : [Broken Link Removed] ; you will have to adapt it to Win 7/8

      Hope this helps.

  42. bnjohanson
    August 21, 2014 at 11:12 am

    You forgot to add this Disclosure at the beginning you dishonest silly goose, you: "The rating/ranking literally have zero to do with the actual quality/features of the subsequent candidates. The one and only reason I have listed these is purely based upon a personal benefit that I receive from the following software companies."

    You have literally failed to even name the top-3 that are universally understood as being the best and this is per the most recognized and credible sources in the world.

    How do you do this when you know it is just a matter of time until you get busted....

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 5:51 pm

      Dude, if a company was paying for the article they wouldn't let us put these other companys' products beside it. If there are obvious things I missed, it's because I missed them – not because someone is paying me.

      What are these top 3 choices? I spent a lot of time looking into this and apparently missed them, but am perfectly willing to admit when I made a mistake. Fill me in.

  43. Yeti
    August 21, 2014 at 9:50 am

    Pdf24. Probably the best pdf printer out there. Also gives you the option to print to image and can be network installed.
    Business class pdf for free :)

  44. Andrew R
    August 21, 2014 at 8:59 am

    Use PDF creator as one could control image resolution etc. But it is used infrequently now as chrome can save pages to PDF, Word and Open office have built in PDF and we have PDF Nitro which does nearly everything we need.

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 5:49 pm

      You're right, those built-in options should cover most of the times most people need to print. I just wish there was also a system-wide option, by default – like Mac and Linux users have had for years.

  45. Charley R
    August 21, 2014 at 6:33 am

    For CutePDF download via ninite.com, all the ninite software is silently installed and no "bundled" (read adware) software.. Highly Recommended

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 5:48 pm

      I love Ninite, practically mandatory for new Windows setups. It's the main reason I've used CutePDF in the past.

  46. socrat
    August 21, 2014 at 6:32 am

    I would recommend PDF-XChange. They also have a Lite version absolutely free for personal use

    • Robert Tipping
      August 22, 2014 at 12:14 am

      No doubt PDF -XChange is brilliant however is not one of the restrictions a watermark on free versions ?
      Actually this software is inexpensive and well worth the bucks - if you feel like spending $300 plus Bluebeam revu is the cats ass of pdf manipulation as far as I can tell.

  47. edith
    August 21, 2014 at 5:42 am

    bullzip pdf printer ????

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 5:48 pm

      You're right, I missed this one. Thanks for pointing it out.

  48. Carlo O
    August 21, 2014 at 4:45 am

    How about NItroPDF? it also works great and you can also combine PDFs

    • Roger C
      August 21, 2014 at 10:46 am

      Free and it clips directly to Evernote.

    • John
      August 21, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      Also, with NitroPDF, you can extract text and image from the PDF documents.

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      I love these comments, I'm learning about so many other tools for the job. Maybe I'll have to do a follow-up article...

  49. Alexis C
    August 21, 2014 at 2:45 am

    I really like the PDF printer from ABBY (not free) but right now I'm using Bullzip PDF

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 5:47 pm

      What makes the ABBY printer stand out, Alexis?

    • Alexis C
      August 22, 2014 at 2:00 am

      It let me open the file with a specific program after conversion was finished and let me add page numbers directly or any other header/footer I like.

  50. Ed
    August 20, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    Been using cutePDF for years. Simple and gets the job done.

    Not surprised Windows doesn't include print to pdf. They would rather try to shove their proprietary standards no one uses like XPS in an attempt to make everyone reliant on their OS.

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      I think Windows 9 will be the version to include print to PDF. Microsoft's been humbled in a variety of ways lately, and is learning they need to focus more on cross-platform compatibility. This is a natural step.

      I could be wrong, though. Come back and tell me so. :)

  51. Mathew P
    August 20, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    You can "print" to PDF in any app using the Google Cloud Print driver for Windows.

    Simply retrieve the PDF file from Google Drive.

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 5:45 pm

      I had no idea Cloud Print came with a PDF export option, that's awesome.

    • Jim
      August 22, 2014 at 12:09 am

      Problem here is it only works with Google Chrome and I use Firefox which isn't supported!

    • Mathew P
      August 22, 2014 at 9:39 pm


      Yeah, Google Chrome is handling the authentication to your Google account for the drive. You could still have Google Chrome installed for the driver to work, but you wouldn't have to actually use it as your web browser.

  52. S-P
    August 20, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Google Chrome works really well and you don't need to download any other extensions.

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      That's true, but I tried to focus on system-wide options this time. Thanks for pointing this out, though.

    • Pat Price
      May 12, 2015 at 4:21 pm

      Printing from Outlook doesn't work through Google Chrome. MS can be stoically stubborn in trying to push its proprietary 'one note' that no one in the industry supports, but that doesn't work for me. Trying Doro.

  53. Gee Deezy
    August 20, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    I use PDF24. Free. No crapware, great output with lots of options if you want them.

  54. Jerry
    August 20, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Try Bullzip free & the best

    • Chris
      August 21, 2014 at 3:46 am

      Agreed!!! Bullzip works great

    • Abhineet
      August 21, 2014 at 8:07 am

      +1 for Bullzip. I faced lots of issues with CutePDF and PDF Creator on Windows 7+ OS. I tried Bullzip and I am a satisfied customer even on Win 8.

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 5:42 pm

      Bullzip was supposed to be on this list, you'll have to forgive the oversight – I got lost in the testing. It's another great option.

  55. Robert
    August 20, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    PDF995 -- we use it at our company -- doesn' t try to install crapware, very simple, doesn't crash. Their suite is good too (Software995). You have ads if you install the free version, or you can pay a license fee for ten bucks or so. Anyway, I've used PDF995 for a long time, and I'm happy with it.

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 5:41 pm

      Thanks for listing another alternative, Robert. Very useful.

    • Robert Tipping
      August 22, 2014 at 12:08 am

      I will second Pdf 995 a little awkward to download some silliness with the free version -however be patient this is easily the best free writer - has some advanced features if you print mixed size architect drawings and is a perfect marriage for other apps that don't print well enough for pro sizes PHOTOSHOP ,MEASURE SQUARE TO NAME BUT A FEW.

    • Jim A.
      August 22, 2014 at 2:40 am

      I have also used the PDF995 suite for about 6-7 years using Windows Vista, first the free version, then the inexpensive paid version. I love it, because it is so versatile. I especially like PDFedit, which lets me split a document and insert other documents between the pages, such as a flyer, before printing. PDF995 is straight forward and fast, too.

  56. Brandon B
    August 20, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    In the past I used PrimoPDF and really liked the options it gives. Now I use Foxit Reader to view PDFs and it includes a PDF printer, so I use that and it works for me.

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      I'm just now learning that Foxit, which is a program I really like, comes with a PDF printer. Thanks for pointing it out.

  57. bob
    August 20, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    Greencloud just unchecked the box before you download... Saves lots of paper for me. I even paid for it.

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      That's awesome to hear. I hardly ever print anything, or I'd keep Greencloud installed just for the paper saving features.

  58. Paul R
    August 20, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    I've used CutePDF for years. I don't worry about crapware. You install it once per OS installation and never have to worry about it again. I emailed their customer service once to ask about updates, and they replied back saying these would be rare to never, as the function is pretty simple. I honestly didn't even recall seeing that "ad" that was mentioned. When that dialog comes up I just click Save and I'm done.

    I started using MS Office' print to PDF function, but found some people had a hard time displaying my PDFs in their browsers, so I went back to CutePDF. I've never had that problem with CutePDF so I'll stick with them.

    The article did mention eliminating crud before printing or saving. I have tried several solutions, but the best one for me by far is Evernote's Clearly, which lets you adjust font and font size in the "cleaned up" file. It is quick and easy to use.

    • jimates
      August 21, 2014 at 3:03 pm

      I also have used CutePDF for many many years. I never even knew that add was in the save dialog box.

      I have a very old version of the install file and I don't think it opts to install any crapware.

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      Yeah, the ad is a minor downside to be sure. Cute is a great choice, I think.

  59. franz dibbler
    August 20, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    I've used doPDF for years and had no complaints. Stick the the latest version of version 7 and avoid the version 8 series with installs a service.

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 5:40 pm

      Thanks for the tip, is there a specific place you found the latest of version 7?

    • franz dibbler
      August 21, 2014 at 5:54 pm

      http://www.oldversion.com/windows/dopdf/ has older versions of doPDF. The main page has old versions of lots of applications.

  60. Marilyn French
    August 20, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    I`ve always used Doro.


    Simple and easy and gets the job done.

    • Justin P
      August 21, 2014 at 5:39 pm

      This looks pretty great, thanks for sharing.