Printing to a PDF file is a very quick and easy method of converting a document to PDF format for free. This should work in many applications, such as Word, Power Point, Excel etc... and is a great way to send documents via e-mail.

Unfortunately, Windows Vista doesn't include a tool to do this by default, but there are several free addons that you can download to accomplish this.

Our recommendation is an application called Cute PDF, which you can download for free. This is one of the most popular and easiest to use options, and seems very stable during testing. Follow the instructions on the download page to install the software.

Once you have it installed there will be a new virtual printer added to your system, allowing you to select it from an application print menu. For example, to convert a Word document into a PDF file click on File > Print to bring up the print dialog box. Then, select the CutePDF Writer printer and click OK:

pdfprint1.jpg

After a few seconds a new window will pop us, asking you to choose a filename and location to save the PDF file:

pdfprint2.jpg

Once you click Save, the file is saved to a location of your choice and ready for use.
 
Ian, Mar 12, 2008
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