I have found three FREE utilities that can convert any file format to PDF format. They are BullZip PDF Printer, CutePDF Writer, and PrimoPDF. They are not actual software because all they do is to create a virtual printer in you Windows system, and when you select the virtual printer to print a file, it will automatically convert the file to PDF format. I have tried all of them and found PrimoPDF the best for me. Here are some highlights of each utility to help you choose the best for yourself.
- The installation of all three utilities is very simple and straight-forward.
- Both BullZip PDF Printer and CutePDF Writer require GPL GhostScript 8.15. So user has to manually download and install GPL GhostScript 8.15 before installing the utilities. Both websites provide download link to GPL GhostScript 8.15. PrimoPDF, however, does not ask user to install GhostScript because it includes GS in its installation file. (I like this.)
- BullZip PDF Printer and CutePDF Writer can only convert a file to PDF format, and nothing more. PrimoPDF, however, has more features. For instance, it lets you to configure the security of the converted PDF file, such as setting password for opening the PDF file, setting password for modifying the PDF file, disabling printing, disabling editing, etc. It is very helpful if your file is security sensitive and you don’t want anyone to modify it but only to view it.
- BullZip PDF Printer and PrimoPDF can open the converted PDF file automatically after conversion by loading Adobe Acrobat Reader if you have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed. CutePDF Writer does not have this feature.
- BullZip PDF Printer has the smallest conversion size, and PrimoPDF has the largest conversion size (about 4-5 times larger than BullZip PDF Printer). I guess the reason is that PrimoPDF has big overhead for the security options.
BTW, none of them will put any watermark in the converted PDF file, and they are totally FREE.
Hopefully, you will find one of them suitable for you.