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Online PDF conversion service - fishy?

by DaveC426913
Tags: conversion, fishy, service
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DaveC426913
#1
Dec6-06, 01:07 PM
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I've been asked for my opinion on online PDF conversion sites.

This is what I was sent:
http://www.pdfonline.com/index.htm#free

My spidey-sense is tingling. I jsut wonder what they're getting out of it that they're not telling me.

Can anyone advise me about online PDF converiosn in general? Is it cost-effective to just buy Acrobat Distller?
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chroot
#2
Dec6-06, 01:12 PM
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There are several free PDF generation tools; just use one of them. They show up as virtual printers on Windows computers.

- Warren
berkeman
#3
Dec6-06, 01:34 PM
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This is the free PDF writer that I've used for about a year now, and I'm satisfied with it:

PrimoPDF http://www.primopdf.com/

DaveC426913
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Dec6-06, 01:42 PM
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Online PDF conversion service - fishy?

Quote Quote by berkeman View Post
This is the free PDF writer that I've used for about a year now, and I'm satisfied with it:

PrimoPDF http://www.primopdf.com/
OK, well I gave it a test-run. It seems OK.

Problem is: it didn't preserve my fonts.


I'm now trying PrimoPDF. After installing it, what do I do next? Does it just show up as a printer all by itself? I opended its little control panel but that seems of little use. (And what is "button 2" anyway? Looks like a sloppy programmer to me.)
AlephZero
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Dec6-06, 05:43 PM
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Quote Quote by DaveC426913 View Post
OK, well I gave it a test-run. It seems OK.

Problem is: it didn't preserve my fonts.

I'm now trying PrimoPDF. After installing it, what do I do next? Does it just show up as a printer all by itself? I opended its little control panel but that seems of little use.)
Print your document and select Primo as the printer. There may be a panel of options to play with, but the defaults should be OK to get started.

It should be possible to get it to embed fonts. I know people who use Primo for apps with special fonts which would need to be embedded when they email the PDFs to other people. You may need to open the Windows Printers control panel, select Primo, and go to the "font substitution" options there. With luck you have a help file somewhere...

Personally I use a different package called PDF995 (shareware - costs $9.95, hence the name) but AFAIK all these PDF creators work more or less the same way, and they all use the GNU ghostscript engine to do the hard work.
FrogPad
#6
Dec6-06, 05:58 PM
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I've used cutePDF, it seems good. I don't know much about it though.
FredGarvin
#7
Dec6-06, 06:48 PM
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I use PDF995 and it has worked great for every application I have ever used it on, including CAD packages (where I use it a lot).
DaveC426913
#8
Dec6-06, 08:29 PM
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I got PrimoPDF running and creating PDFs.

But it doesn't seem to be preserving the document size - my document is 4.18"x6.88" but it ends up in the PDF as 8.5x11.

I found the PrimoPDF Edit Page Size dialogue and have set it correctly, but it doesn't print that way.
DaveC426913
#9
Dec6-06, 08:40 PM
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Same tihng with PDF995 - doesn't preserve document dimensions.
Anttech
#10
Dec7-06, 03:37 AM
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Quote Quote by DaveC426913 View Post
My spidey-sense is tingling. I jsut wonder what they're getting out of it that they're not telling me.
hits on their site, and marketing driven revenue.
dextercioby
#11
Dec7-06, 04:00 AM
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I've had Adobe Acrobat Distiller and was satisfied with it. I turned to free software now and, yes, LaTex fonts don't look so good anymore.

Daniel.
FredGarvin
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Dec7-06, 02:26 PM
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Quote Quote by DaveC426913 View Post
Same tihng with PDF995 - doesn't preserve document dimensions.
I have never had that problem with it.
AlephZero
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Dec7-06, 06:36 PM
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There is a limitation with PDF995 - it has many predefined paper sizes but it doesn't support a "custom" size where you can type in the paper dimensions at print time. You select the paper size with the the "properties" button on the Windows print dialog.

You should be able to get your image at actual size on a larger piece of "paper", if you switch off all the "fit to page" options in the program you are printing from, if that's a good enough workround.

If you want to add a new paper size, you can edit the .PPD file (PostScript Page/Paper Definition?) that defines the sizes. The .PPD file format is in a document on the Adobe website somewhere. But that's not a replacement for a genuine "custom" size. If you need that, you probably need to buy Adobe Distiller or whatever.
DaveC426913
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Dec8-06, 09:19 AM
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Quote Quote by AlephZero View Post
There is a limitation with PDF995 - it has many predefined paper sizes but it doesn't support a "custom" size where you can type in the paper dimensions at print time.
Well, yes it does. You can choose 'Post Script custom size' in the PDF995 print properties, and set your values there.

It just doesn't stick.


I tried some of the other size papers (A3, etc), to see if it was simply the custom size that was buggered up, but none of them worked. My PDF doc came out 8.5x11.
AlephZero
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Dec8-06, 03:41 PM
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OK, we must have different versions of PDF995. I can definitely use the predefined paper sizes, I do it all the time, and I don't have a custom size.

I can't find a version number but mine is several years old. It ain't broke for me, so I've never checked for upgrades.

Sorry, I dunno what else to suggest, except to email their tech support.
-Job-
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Dec12-06, 07:39 AM
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If you write your docs in Latex you can use latex.exe to convert to .dvi and then dvi2pdfmx.exe to convert to .pdf. The web based latex editor i'm working on, www.latexlab.org, uses this process when you select to export as pdf.
robphy
#17
Dec12-06, 07:49 AM
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Here's my vote: PDFCreator http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/

Since it seems that some of the others mentioned have some interesting features (like table of contents generation), I might take a look at those.
russ_watters
#18
Dec12-06, 07:51 PM
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Sorry I missed this thread....
Quote Quote by DaveC426913 View Post
Same tihng with PDF995 - doesn't preserve document dimensions.
It does for me. Just make sure you select the paper size when you print. What program are you printing from?


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