PDF creation alternatives

Do you only occasionally need to convert a single document to PDF? Try a program such as PdfEdit995, which is available free (with banner ads) from www.pdf995.com.

If you regularly send files that need to be viewable on any kind of system, however, you’ll benefit from the added functionality of Xelerate’s $US49.95 PowerPDF 2 or Leadtools’ $199 EPrint 3.

After installation, these programs appear as a printer option in any application that supports printing; simply choose the option from the drop-down list in the application’s Print dialogue box. You can save your file in PDF form, send it by e-mail, or (of course) just print it (see here for a screenshot).

PowerPDF gives you far greater control than EPrint over the PDF files you create, but EPrint provides a lot more options for printing and file conversion. With PowerPDF, you can preview the document and e-mail it with a single click. The program lets you create custom watermarks to protect your work from unauthorised copying, and it provides five different image-compression settings. EPrint permits you to save files in hundreds of other formats, including Photoshop (.psd), Windows Metafile Formats (.wmf and .emf) and WordPerfect Graphics (.wpg). EPrint is much clunkier to use than PowerPDF, however, as you have to set its e-mail options manually, and the lack of a preview option means that, to check how a file looks, you have to open it in the target application before you print or transmit it.

PowerPDF 2
Price: $US49.95
URL: www.xelerate.biz
EPrint 3
Price: $199
Distributor: MicroWay
Phone: (03) 9580 1333
URL: www.microway.com.au

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