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Why Pay Big Bucks for PDF Software: Consider Your Options

By Merle
Posted Saturday, July 17, 2004

If you've ever downloaded a document or purchased an ebook online, odds are it was created in something called "Portable Document Format" (PDF). PDF was initially created by Adobe and is the standard for online documents, as they can be viewed on a variety of platforms and computers.

To read PDF documents, a computer must have "Adobe Acrobat Reader" installed, which comes at no charge. If you don't already have it on your system, you can download it here: (

Now if you want to create a PDF document, you could go out and spend a few hundred dollars on Adobe Acrobat Software. But there are other, lower cost (even free) options. If you plan on creating reports or ebooks, or any other document to add to your website, you'll want to take a look at what's available in the PDF creation department.

1) ( : A Web publishing system that converts documents you create in any Windows application into PDF. They offer several different versions, so pricing varies, but they do offer a free version that is limited to 50 documents.

2) ( : Free software that allows you to create PDF documents as easily as hitting the "print" key from within any application. The free version has an advertising splash page that comes up everytime you run the program but you can purchase "keys" for .95 each to remove them if they bother you.

3) ( : Txt2PDF Shareware that is actually a Perl 5 program that converts your old text docs to PDF format. Runs on any platform that supports Perl. The personal edition is only 9.00

4) (

Gymnast is a text to PDF creator for Windows. This downloadable software is actually freeware. Very powerful and easy to use and it's loaded with features. Just open the software, select the document and convert it.

5) ( : CutePDF Printer is totally free. This software has no annoying ads or banners. Choose print from within any application to create a PDF instantly.

6) ( : This software creates PDF files from any Windows NT, Win 2000 or XP application. Price ranges from 5.00 to 9.00, depending on which version you wish to purchase. Installs as a print driver so all you do is click print from any software app you're using and you're done.

As you can see, you have plenty to choose from when it comes to software packages, but what if you just have an occasional need to create PDF's? There are some websites that will allow you to create documents right online at their sites.

Here are a few to get you started:

1) Adobe: (
Look in the left hand column for the button that says "create PDF online." You can create up to five documents free; after that you'll need to pay .99 a month or 9.00 per year for unlimited usage.

2) Create Your Own PDF: (

Just paste your text into the box and hit the button. Presto, you're done.

3) GoBlc: (

Free online conversion service that allows you to upload any document. They do the PDF conversion and email you back with the file.

One of the biggest problems with PDF documents, especially when it comes to ebooks, is that they're not easily modified for use by affiliates /associates. Many .exe ebooks allow you to download them and easily customize them with your own affiliate links. When it comes to viral marketing, rebranding ability is of the utmost importance. This gives others the incentive to freely give away your ebook if they can insert their own affiliate links. This was a problem with PDF, but not anymore.

1) Viral PDF: (

With this software, you can easily rebrand your PDF ebooks. It's actually a set of two Windows files. Once you create your material you can give it to your affiliates along with a small software application that allows them to rebrand the links in the ebook with their own. Only 7.00

2) Custom PDF Maker :(

A script that allows your visitors to enter their links into a webpage, press a button and the PDF is created with their links in it. Only 9.95

3) PDF Link Changer: (

Software that searches through a PDF file, displays all url's and email links and allows you to easily change them. If you create marketing materials for your affiliates, this one's for you. Purchase without resale rights for only 9.00

No matter how you choose to create your own PDF's -- with software, on the fly online, or rebrandable -- by taking the time to check out these resources, you'll save yourself a lot of time and money. Remember, when it comes to PDF creation, Adobe's not the only game in town.

About the Author
Merle is an internet marketer, promotion consultant and ezine publisher. Visit her sites at (, (? and (


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