*FREE* Ultimate PDF Convertor! This is IT - the Very Best!

26 replies
Doesn't it seem like almost everyday someone on the Warrior Forum will ask "where to get best free software to make PDF ebooks?"

*Warning* – major rant begins here – I spill my guts!

Most of the free PDF conversion programs are limited on purpose. So, you are forced into $$$ upgrading or just put up with less features. Trade-offs include: Hyperlinks don’t work (especially anchored text), there’s no security for copy and/or password protection, & no compression for image quality. (why force people to download a 32 Mb eBook with images that’s 62 pgs long when it could easily be 3.8 Mb without any apparent loss in quality?)

Well, I have received many great tips and ideas on the Warrior Forum and I wanted to give something back. I recently discovered 7-PDF Maker which has got to be the most brilliant FREE PDF app out there!

7-PDF Maker is very best free PDF creator that "you never heard of" and "that money can't buy" - (website is German but this link should translate to English)

Google Translate

(For the record I'm not an affiliate in any way, shape or form)

Also, if you Google "7-PDF Maker" you will find copies at both CNET & Softpedia freeware websites.(But I always get mine from the creator's home website)

7-PDF Maker is a fast, free, and easy-to-use PDF creator. It has no restrictions, no watermarks, no spyware, no adware, and no pop-up advertisements.

Features include: preserves all links (urls, anchored text, and table of contents), encryption / password security, quality levels (compression) and auto PDF preview. Even batch processing!

This program is amazing - it even converts any one of 84 different doc / image files without even having to open them first!

You probably won't need it - but get the 7-PDF Help Manual: (Actually the manual does come in handy because the 84 different file types are listed in the back!)
7-PDF Manual EN - PDF erstellen | PDF Creator | PDF Converter kostenlos | 7-PDF Maker

What about OpenOffice?

OK, before I get in big trouble with the OpenOffice crowd, I should say that OpenOffice is still the best solution for PDF creation. In fact, I think OpenOffice is the gold standard that every other program must be compared to!

So how does 7-PDF Maker compare to Open Office? Well, they are very close - the PDF settings screens are very similar. And the PDF files that are output are identical. Yes, Identical.

7-PDF Maker & OpenOffice are cousins. Sure enough 7-PDF Maker & OpenOffice are both using the same source code; the 7-PDF log screen shows credits to the OpenOffice.org community and Sun Microsystems. Another hint: While viewing file properties in Acobat Reader the description of the PDF Producer is OpenOffice.org 3.2 (No wonder both OpenOffice and 7-PDF Maker are the same!)

Why you want it:

You’ve tried many of the so-called "Virtual Printers" and found that if you are lucky you might get the hyperlinks to work. (I’m talking about PDF Creator, Primo PDF, Cute PDF Writer, DoPDF, PDF995, PDFill Writer, Bullzip PDF Printer, etc.) Half of these programs require you to download and install Ghostscript or Convertor.exe. (Ghostscript is known to be buggy and a resource hog that doesn’t always play well with other programs on your computer!)

I've tried all of these "Fake Printer" programs and unfortunately, NONE can preserve links like anchored text, bookmarks, and table of contents.

Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t embedded text seem to be nicer and more clickable? I know that I have more of a tendency to click “More Details Here” than the traditional http://www.mywebsite dot com. I haven’t tested this so meanwhile maybe you should hedge your bets and use both!

MS Word has “Save as PDF” which is a free download from Microsoft. This works for Office 2007 and 2010, but not Office 2003. “Save as PDF” does allow all links to go through but there are no quality choices or copy protection. (So, one out three features isn’t too bad, huh?)

For MS Office Word users I usually recommend OpenOffice for PDF conversion to get all 3 of these important features – all links, security, and quality choices. But why download and install another office suite when all you want is PDF conversion? It doesn’t make any sense now. OpenOffice is a 150 Mb download and installed with Java takes up 750 Mb on your HD.

7-PDF Maker is only 107 Mb – and the PDF files are perfect – same as OpenOffice!

What about Online Conversion?

Some web services do a decent job of converting word docs to PDF. But, some web services limit the file size to 1 Mb or 5 Mb. I say no thanks – I don’t trust letting my source doc out of my sight – sorry I worked hard on this d*#@ book! And, I can’t tell you how much fun it is waiting around for my new ebook to show up in my email so I can download it to myself! Wow, there’s got to be a better way! Besides, I like to try different things – like different quality settings to strike a compromise between download size and print quality. And, don’t these free sites keep shutting down – sorry, I like to be more in control of my destiny.

I haven’t used it but, here’s 7-PDF Maker Online Conversion:
7-PDF WEB PORTAL - PDF erstellen | PDF Creator | PDF Converter kostenlos | 7-PDF Maker


What about Automation?

PDF Factory. anyone? Yes, it’s true that 7-PDF Maker does come with batch processing. The command line version of 7-PDF Maker will auto-process any number of docs or images into PDF all at once. This is great if you want convert a ton of PLR docs. First do your rewrite/cleanup, add all your links, then dump them all into a folder. Run 7-PDF Maker and presto out comes your new PDF ebooks all-at-once!

So, I hope this RANT helps my fellow warriors with their PDF Conversion needs.

Good luck!


Sparky
#convertor #free #pdf #ultimate
  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Thanks Sparky...This should help a lot of folks just starting out. And if you have a slow connection it can be just about impossible to download Open Office, so this let's those folks get in the game.
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  • Profile picture of the author femraven
    Hi Sparky, i thank you for this great piece of software,this will make my online adventures much easier.
    thank you
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  • Profile picture of the author MarkAnderson
    Originally Posted by sparky.ebiz View Post

    Doesn't it seem like almost everyday someone on the Warrior Forum will ask "where to get best free software to make PDF ebooks?
    You're right.Few moments ago, I replied for a question about free PDF creators.
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  • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
    Okay, so I downloaded the 52 meg program (yeah, this should make people on slow connections REAL happy) and tried it out on a report I just converted earlier today.

    Code:
     
    Converting starts...
    Information: An conversion error occurs! 
    Check your application settings and retry!
    Error: com.sun.star.lang.IllegalArgumentException: URL seems to be an unsupported one
    WTF does that mean? It doesn't give me any indication whatsoever of which URL in the document might be the problem. What am I supposed to do, go through the whole thing and look for any weird URL that I might happen to see? But none of them are weird. They all work. I tested them.
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    • Profile picture of the author sparky.ebiz
      Originally Posted by CDarklock;.....and tried it out on a report I just converted earlier today.
      [code

      Converting starts...
      Information: An conversion error occurs!
      Check your application settings and retry!
      Error: com.sun.star.lang.IllegalArgumentException: URL seems to be an unsupported one
      [/code]WTF does that mean? It doesn't give me any indication whatsoever of which URL in the document might be the problem. What am I supposed to do, go through the whole thing and look for any weird URL that I might happen to see? But none of them are weird. They all work. I tested them.
      CDarklock - That's too weird. Can you PM the file to me? I will figure this out and let you know. I can sign something if you like - that is if you are concerned about anything...

      Sparky
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      • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
        Originally Posted by sparky.ebiz View Post

        CDarklock - That's too weird. Can you PM the file to me?
        Since that first series of attempts, I've modified the file and converted it with another utility. When I went back to verify that the problem still existed before sending you the file, 7-PDF converted it just fine. Haven't a clue what was going on with it before.
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        "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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  • Profile picture of the author Hviews
    Thanks for sharing the software. Saves me the hassle of trying to find a good pdf maker.
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  • Profile picture of the author Increaser
    Hi Sparky,

    Thanks for the information.

    Many IMarketers have become addicted to Open Office, and I guess, old habits die hard.
    Unless we encounter a major problem while using a piece of software, we don't want to change and try something else.

    I personally don't like Open Office because I don't want to install another full Word Processor, when I already have MS Office.

    For PDF creation, I use PDF Printer and MS Office PDF add-in, and am happy with them.

    » PDF Printer - Free PDF Converter » PdfPrinter.com

    Download details: 2007 Microsoft Office Add-in: Microsoft Save as PDF or XPS

    I guess it all depends on whatever everyone considers easy and practical from their point of view.

    But I will try 7-PDF Maker at some point in the future.
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by Increaser View Post

      For PDF creation, I use PDF Printer and MS Office PDF add-in, and am happy with them.
      PDF Printer is excellent. Thanks for the referral.
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      "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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  • Profile picture of the author Ryan Shaw
    Has anyone used Open Office?? There's a simple PDF converter that works great. It's free as well
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  • Profile picture of the author paulie888
    Thanks for sharing, Sparky. I have been searching for a long time now for a (relatively) lightweight PDF converter that would work in place of OpenOffice, and now I've found it! It's very reassuring that you mention it uses the same source code as OpenOffice, since I've converted many documents into PDF with it and have been very pleased with the conversion process! OpenOffice has transmogrified into a hulking chunk of software that takes far longer to load than MS Office, and that is just unacceptable - they need to stop the bloating and streamline this thing!
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    • Profile picture of the author sparky.ebiz
      Originally Posted by paulie888 View Post

      Thanks for sharing, Sparky. I have been searching for a long time now for a (relatively) lightweight PDF converter that would work in place of OpenOffice, and now I've found it! It's very reassuring that you mention it uses the same source code as OpenOffice, since I've converted many documents into PDF with it and have been very pleased with the conversion process! OpenOffice has transmogrified into a hulking chunk of software that takes far longer to load than MS Office, and that is just unacceptable - they need to stop the bloating and streamline this thing!
      UPDATE: To be fair I have tried shrinking Open Office. The newest version of OpenOffice 3.2 allows for a "Custom Install" so I tried deselecting everything except Writer. I still ended up with 300 MB and by the time I added Java (with is required for Wizards & Extensions (plug-ins)) I was at 400 MB! :confused:

      Next, I downloaded the portable version of OpenOffice 3.2 from the Portable Apps website. Once installed you end up with about 265MB. If you then delete the mini exe's for Calc, Impress, Math, etc and just leave the OpenOfficeportable and WriterPortable you are at 250MB. But once you add the portable version of Java back on top then you end up back at 360MB! (only 40MB smaller than the regular version - hardly worth the trouble) :rolleyes:

      So, 7-PDF Maker still looks pretty good at only 107MB installed while using the same OpenOffice source code.

      Sparky

      PS- So far every doc that I've tried in OpenOffice also converts correctly in 7-PDF Maker.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sean Kelly
    I've tried all of these "Fake Printer" programs and unfortunately, NONE can preserve links like anchored text, bookmarks, and table of contents.
    Total bullcrap.
    I'll say no more.

    Sean
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  • Profile picture of the author FrankieTP2
    Thanks for the share! However, I tested it and it doesn't keep the format and design of pictures within text. 7-PDF Maker removes all picture styles from Word in the pdf.

    On a side note, I'm quite happy with what the ms add-in can do. It maintains the format and design, plus picture quality while the pdf file is considerably smaller.
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  • Profile picture of the author radiotiger
    All these will be extinct - newer MS office has ablity to export as PDF with all links etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author CDarklock
      Originally Posted by radiotiger View Post

      All these will be extinct - newer MS office has ablity to export as PDF with all links etc.
      But desktop Linux is going to take over any day now!

      I mean, they promised.
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      "The Golden Town is the Golden Town no longer. They have sold their pillars for brass and their temples for money, they have made coins out of their golden doors. It is become a dark town full of trouble, there is no ease in its streets, beauty has left it and the old songs are gone." - Lord Dunsany, The Messengers
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    • Profile picture of the author sparky.ebiz
      Originally Posted by radiotiger View Post

      All these will be extinct - newer MS office has ablity to export as PDF with all links etc.
      Well, yeah sorta. Good news is M$ Office 2010 now has "Save as PDF" built-in. But, actually Office 2007 was supposed to be that way until Adobe threatened to sue Microsoft.
      2006 News Story:
      Microsoft to Drop PDF Support in Office | Betanews

      So, Microsoft ended up pulling this feature and adding the "Save as PDF" as a FREE separate download. So, this is actually no big deal because the "Save as PDF" plug-in for Office 07 only takes 5 minutes to download and install.

      So, I guess I'm supposed to fork over $150 to have this "advanced feature" in Office 2010?

      Oh, and does anybody know if Office 2010 PDF output has any way to password protect, copy / edit restrictions, or image quality (file size) settings "on-the-fly" during output like Open Office has? :confused:

      Just wondering because getting all the links to work is only half the battle.

      Sparky
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  • Profile picture of the author moneyneed
    Thanks so much. I have been looking for a free pdf coverter
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  • Profile picture of the author dv8domainsDotCom
    Hell of a writeup, but you had me at "*FREE*" LoL! Great find and actually glad to read your post b/c I was unaware openoffice had pdf, and VERY interesting 7-pdf uses same core. VERY cool. Love opensource and rabid supporter Thanks again!
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  • Profile picture of the author tonyalves
    Thank you Sparky.

    I spent most part of the day looking for a PDF converter that could convert not only the URLs inside of an MS Word document, but also keep the table of contents and hyperlinked anchor text clickable.

    Tried several, but found that some don't retain the hyperlinks when converting, others only retain URLs starting with "http".

    Finally found this thread and tried "7-PDF Maker" and it works great. The only thing that I don't really like is that it makes the table of contents look like a bunch of hyperlinks (all in blue) and it only converts the main bookmarks (those pointing to each page) but not the sub-bookmarks that are indented under each bookmark and point to paragraphs inside pages.

    I also tried "PDF Creator Plus 5.0" and I like this one better because it keeps the table of contents in black and retains the hyperlinked bookmarks (and sub-bookmarks). The only problem is that it is not free and the trial version adds a watermark across every page.
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrea Wilson
    This is something new to me. I have been fond of using openoffice.org never had a problem with it. Well that was after the installation because downloading the whole thing is a real pain. It has a big file size, and yeah I 'did' download the whole thing. No unchecking or anything.

    Andrea
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  • Profile picture of the author rockyonfire
    Thank you very much. I was looking for this.
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  • Profile picture of the author chubbsky
    This is very helpful, thanks. I was using Open Office before but then it started hanging up on me. So I transferred to Cute PDF. But it is annoying how it becomes the default printer when I try to print something.

    I downloaded both the pdfprinter and msoffice add-in (since they're in English). They worked fantastic. I don't think though the MSoffice add in has security features.
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    • Profile picture of the author tonyalves
      Originally Posted by chubbsky View Post

      This is very helpful, thanks. I was using Open Office before but then it started hanging up on me. So I transferred to Cute PDF. But it is annoying how it becomes the default printer when I try to print something.

      I downloaded both the pdfprinter and msoffice add-in (since they're in English). They worked fantastic. I don't think though the MSoffice add in has security features.
      You should be able to change your default printer easily.

      What is your OS?

      If it is Vista, follow these steps:

      1. Click on the start button (bottom left of your screen)
      2. Click on "Control Panel"
      3. Click on "Hardware and Sound -> Printer" (You should see all your printers listed)
      4. Right click on the printer that you want to set as default (dialog box opens) and click on "Set as default Printer"

      You are done.

      If you have other Windows version, it shouldn't be much different.

      I hope that this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author eresources
    Thanks Sparky for this tip!

    I was going to post this exact same question on the
    forum this morning but when I got here your post was
    right here. Guess it was meant to be so I'm getting to
    work!

    Audra
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