Although distributing images among platforms is easy thanks to GIF and JPEG, styled documents created with a word processor are more problematic. Some programs work across Mac and PC, but what about other platforms? Fortunately, Adobe created the PDF (Portable Document Format) specification. There is a free reader available for Mac, PC, UNIX and OS/2. But creating a PDF documents is a different story...
The Adobe Acrobat software, used to create PDF documents, goes for a few hundred dollars. The Acrobat feature set is impressive, but is overkill if you just want to do basic text and graphic conversions. There is where PrintToPDF can help.
Drag the PrintToPDF icon on your System Folder. The next time you open the Chooser, you will notice a new PrintToPDF device, in addition to others which may already be present. This is because the PDF creation process is actually selected from the Print menu of an application.
Once you are ready to create a PDF document, you may want to select the Page Setup dialog from the application you are using. It will let you select several options, such as paper size, bookmark and font settings, image bit depth, and page orientation.
The bookmark feature allows you to use certain fonts as heading and subheading markers, allowing quick navigation through the PDF document. PrintToPDF can also detect Internet URLs, and embed them in your document so that a click will launch the proper viewer, browser or otherwise. Internet Config 2.0 or later (included with recent versions of Mac OS) is required for this URL feature.
PrintToPDF is a great tool for those that need to create basic PDF documents that need to be shared with as wide an audience, and be as close to the original, as possible.
Have any other printing gadgets you'd like us to look at? Let us know via the Mac Gadget Forum, or send John an e-mail.
Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you with those cool things that we all just have to have on our Macs. Shareware, Freeware, Postcardware, Emailware, and even commercial apps, Monday's Mac Gadget is here to help you find and use the best of these programs.
John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at