Online PDF conversion service - fishy?

  • Thread starter DaveC426913
  • Start date
  • Tags
    Pdf
In summary, PDF995 does not preserve the dimensions of a document when printing, and PrimoPDF does not preserve fonts.
  • #1
DaveC426913
Gold Member
22,480
6,146
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 just 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?
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Computer science news on Phys.org
  • #2
There are several free PDF generation tools; just use one of them. They show up as virtual printers on Windows computers.

- Warren
 
  • #3
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/
 
  • #4
berkeman said:
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.)
 
Last edited:
  • #5
DaveC426913 said:
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.
 
  • #6
I've used http://www.cutepdf.com/" , it seems good. I don't know much about it though.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #7
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).
 
  • #8
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.
 
  • #9
Same tihng with PDF995 - doesn't preserve document dimensions.
 
  • #10
DaveC426913 said:
My spidey-sense is tingling. I just wonder what they're getting out of it that they're not telling me.

hits on their site, and marketing driven revenue.
 
  • #11
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.
 
  • #12
DaveC426913 said:
Same tihng with PDF995 - doesn't preserve document dimensions.
I have never had that problem with it.
 
  • #13
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.
 
  • #14
AlephZero said:
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.
 
  • #15
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 don't know what else to suggest, except to email their tech support.
 
  • #16
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[/URL], uses this process when you select to export as pdf.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #18
Sorry I missed this thread...
DaveC426913 said:
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?
 
  • #19
russ_watters said:
Sorry I missed this thread... It does for me. Just make sure you select the paper size when you print. What program are you printing from?

MS Word.

And the place where you select the paper size is the print driver for the PDF writer.
 
  • #20
DaveC426913 said:
MS Word.

And the place where you select the paper size is the print driver for the PDF writer.
Right... so I don't understand the problem. When you select letter size paper in the PDF995 driver, what happens?
 
  • #21
I set my paper size as required: 4.18x6.88 and then print the document ... and I get a PDF that's 8.5x11, with my little document page in the upper centre of a big blank page.
 
  • #22
MF to TTF or MF to Adobe type 1 font?

-Job- said:
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[/URL], uses this process when you select to export as pdf.[/QUOTE]

[quote="dextercioby, post: 1182188"]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.[/QUOTE]

In [PLAIN]http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-ph/0703001" I have used some special symbols. Currently I am designing new TeX fonts for these symbols with the use of METAFONT. When converting such fonts to PS and PDF they are represented as BitMap fonts. These fonts are not good-looking when scaled. So, please, I need a font-converting utility for converting MF to TTF or MF to Adobe type 1 fonts. Also, please, do you know any free TTF font-editor?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

1. Why is the PDF conversion service considered "fishy"?

The term "fishy" in this context refers to something that seems suspicious or questionable. The online PDF conversion service may be considered "fishy" if it has a poor reputation, lacks transparency in its processes, or has been reported for fraudulent activities.

2. Are there any potential risks associated with using an online PDF conversion service?

As with any online service, there are potential risks that come with using an online PDF conversion service. These may include the possibility of malware or viruses being attached to the file, loss of data during the conversion process, or the service being a scam and not providing the promised results.

3. How can I ensure the safety and security of my files when using an online PDF conversion service?

To ensure the safety and security of your files, it is important to research the reputation of the PDF conversion service before using it. Look for reviews and feedback from previous users, and make sure the website has proper security measures in place, such as SSL encryption. It is also recommended to use a strong and unique password for your account on the service.

4. Are there any alternatives to using an online PDF conversion service?

Yes, there are alternatives to using an online PDF conversion service. You can use a desktop application specifically designed for PDF conversions, or you can use a trusted and reputable online file conversion tool that offers a variety of file formats.

5. Is it legal to use an online PDF conversion service?

Yes, it is legal to use an online PDF conversion service as long as you have the rights to the file and are not violating any copyright laws. It is important to read the terms and conditions of the service to ensure you are not using it for any illegal purposes.

Similar threads

  • Computing and Technology
Replies
10
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
9
Views
439
  • Feedback and Announcements
Replies
1
Views
381
  • General Discussion
Replies
5
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
14
Views
1K
  • Sci-Fi Writing and World Building
Replies
6
Views
630
Replies
16
Views
1K
  • General Discussion
Replies
4
Views
650
Back
Top