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How To Convert Any Printable Document To PDF Format With CutePDF

Updated on January 20, 2012

Converting File Types

There are a ton of programs and online services out there that will convert documents between different formats. Some are free, some are quite expensive. Some convert between many different file formats, others specialize in just one. I get a lot of requests from coworkers and family to convert documents to PDF format, so I thought I'd share a free and easy way to do it.

Installing a PDF Printer

A lot of software that converts files to .pdf format can be overly complicated. It can be a multi-step process, and it's often enough to confuse people. A PDF Printer, on the other hand, is incredibly simple to use.

To begin, you'll need the proper software. I use (and recommend) CutePDF Writer. Please note that the link goes straight to the software download. CutePDF Writer is free, doesn't contain ads, and it also doesn't add any watermarks to your PDF files like many similar programs do.

Download and install the software. At the end it will prompt you with a box stating that it needs to download another component from the website. Click OK on that, and the setup will finish. If you take a look at the printers installed on your computer (You can find the "Printers" folder in the Windows Control Panel,) you'll notice that there is a new printer named "CutePDF Writer." This isn't a printer that prints out to paper. Instead, it "prints" a new file on your computer.

Converting Your Documents To PDF

Now that the software is installed, you can convert any document to PDF format. Simply open the document that you'd like to convert. You will open the document as you normally would...for example, use Microsoft Office to open a Word document that you'd like to convert. Select "Print" from the file menu. Now all you have to do is select "CutePDF Writer" as the printer and click "OK" to print.

A status bar will pop up briefly as the document is converted from its current format to PDF. When the progress bar reaches 100% it will ask you where you'd like to save your new document. Simply select the location (Your desktop, My Documents folder, etc.) and change the file name as you see fit. Click "Save" and you will now have a copy of your document, in PDF format, waiting in the folder you specified.

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