Posted Thursday, November 11, 2004
Do you want to create your PDF ebooks? PDF is the industry publishing standard, and most of ebook authors are using PDF as their ebooks publishing format. But the problem is - the commercial tools, which can be used to create PDF documents, are very expensive, and this is a heavy burden for most ebook authoring starters.
Now good news is - there are a few ways to create Adobe Acrobat PDF files without having to spend a lot of money…
Cheap PDF tools
Microsoft Office doesn’t come with built-in PDF support, so if you want to convert an Office document into PDF you have to purchase Adobe Acrobat, use an online conversion site, or download and install a special program or printer driver. You can learn more about this at
Unlike Microsoft Office, Corel’s Word Perfect Office DOES support PDF creation straight out of the box. You can download a 30 day evaluation copy of Word Perfect at
Of course, what started this whole journey into PDF-land was a desire on my part to create PDFs cheaply. So buying a whole new office suite, even if that suite doesn’t carry the Microsoft logo, kind of defeats the purpose. There is a different suggestion: use OpenOffice. OpenOffice comes with a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation manager, and a drawing program. The latest version of OpenOffice – OpenOffice 1.1 – even comes with PDF and Macromedia Flash export.
Oh, and OpenOffice is completely free. You can download it at
If downloading and installing a whole new office suite doesn’t sound too appetizing, fear not. There are many other PDF tools we recommend!
For online document conversion (a la Adobe’s createpdf.adobe.com), we recommend goBCL at
and an entirely different Carnegie Mellon’s TOM Server at
Both services appear to be free, but Carnegie Mellon’s can be a bit flaky at times.
If you have Postscript files that you would like to convert to PDFs online, we recommend PS2PDF at
If you’d rather download and install a PDF converter on your computer, you have a BUNCH of options. There is a free converter called “Gymnast” at
The registration code is in the yellow box at the top of the page.
And, if you’re willing to ditch Windows together [or partition your computer so that you can run multiple operating systems], you can try Mandrake Linux 9.1, it comes with a built-in PDF printer driver. Other flavors of *nix may offer the same features. Check around.
Links to PDF Resources:
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