Author Topic: Print PDF creation tools  (Read 332 times)  

Offline kdiem

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 453
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Print PDF creation tools
« on: April 20, 2017, 07:53:10 PM »
Can anyone recommend a free or low-cost program for making a print-ready PDF file? For a Windows 7 machine.

The original document is a docx file, and I've got it formatted, etc. I just need a final PDF I can use on CreateSpace and Ingram Spark. If I could get a PDF distiller-type program that I could use with Word, that'd be ideal.

I'm not willing to pay Adobe's crazy subscription prices. I don't publish often enough at this juncture to make it worth it. Same goes for InDesign. I hate subscription models.

Calibre messes up the margins, header, and footer.

I tried PDF Forge, but my virus program went nuts and stopped parts of it from working, so I uninstalled.

Author. Bibliophile. Fangirl.
Karen Diem | website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

Offline Dan C. Rinnert

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1723
  • Unposts: 39
  • ⚠ Run! ⚠
    • View Profile
    • Dan C. Rinnert
Re: Print PDF creation tools
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 08:00:53 PM »
What version of Word?  For older versions, there was a plugin or add-on from Microsoft that would let you export to a PDF.  I thought I had the link, but it's not on this computer apparently.  I think newer versions have PDF export built-in under the Save As... command.

Offline Anma Natsu

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2522
  • Gender: Female
  • Texas
    • View Profile
    • Anma Natsu
Re: Print PDF creation tools
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 10:36:30 PM »
If you have Word 2007 or higher, then its built in one should work fine, at least for CreateSpace.  I think it will also work with Ingram, just make sure to check the print version box (otherwise it will do a web-ready once which will not work).  It does PDF/A instead of X-1a, but it is still a print-quality version.

You can also still buy the full Adobe Acrobat (non-subscription), but its $299 so alas not low-cost.  :-/

Online Sleeping Cat Books

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 353
  • Gender: Female
  • Helping you reach your publishing goals since 2006
    • View Profile
    • Sleeping Cat Books
Re: Print PDF creation tools
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2017, 10:45:25 PM »
As others noted, Word's built-in PDF function should be fine, if you don't have any images in your book. There are also several other free applications that install as a virtual printer and allow you to use Word's Print function. Some of them include Cute PDF, PDF995, DoPDF, etc. (I've never used any of them, but those are the names I see the most in the CreateSpace forum.)
Providing editing and book design services to independent authors
Sarah Holroyd | Sleeping Cat Books | Sleeping Cat Press | discussion

Offline nikkykaye

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 119
  • Frisky. Funny. Fearless.
    • View Profile
    • Nikky Kaye
Re: Print PDF creation tools
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2017, 11:47:08 PM »
For all my CS versions, I've just used Word, then when I got to Print, I "save as PDF". That's been absolutely fine for me.

Online Doglover

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3954
  • Gender: Female
  • Huntingdon, United Kingdom
  • If you want real love, buy a dog.
    • View Profile
    • Margaret Brazear Author
Re: Print PDF creation tools
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 12:08:26 AM »
Can anyone recommend a free or low-cost program for making a print-ready PDF file? For a Windows 7 machine.

The original document is a docx file, and I've got it formatted, etc. I just need a final PDF I can use on CreateSpace and Ingram Spark. If I could get a PDF distiller-type program that I could use with Word, that'd be ideal.

I'm not willing to pay Adobe's crazy subscription prices. I don't publish often enough at this juncture to make it worth it. Same goes for InDesign. I hate subscription models.

Calibre messes up the margins, header, and footer.

I tried PDF Forge, but my virus program went nuts and stopped parts of it from working, so I uninstalled.
Calibre will convert your Word file to pdf. It's free. But you don't need it. You can download a template from CS for Word and upload that. Or, as said, Word will save as pdf.


The past is another country; they do things differently there
Margaret Brazear | Website | Blog | Facebook | Readers Group | Comic Covers

Offline brkingsolver

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3714
  • Baltimore, MD
    • View Profile
Re: Print PDF creation tools
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 03:27:14 AM »
I take the Word file, change the margins to match my print size (6x9), then add page numbers and a ToC with page numbers, go through and ensure page 1 is on the right, and that my scene breaks and chapter breaks look ok, then save it as a pdf using Word's own translator. No problems.

BR Kingsolver | Author website

Offline Mark Gardner

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1577
  • Gender: Male
  • Arizona, USA
    • View Profile
    • Article 94
Re: Print PDF creation tools
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2017, 05:47:32 AM »
Chalk another one up for "printing" to PDFs. I've done all my paperbacks for both CS and IS that way. It's built into mac, but there are several plug-ins for Windows that do the same thing. Back in the day, I used cutePDF to do that.

« Last Edit: April 21, 2017, 05:55:03 AM by Mark Gardner »

Offline Edward M. Grant

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3156
  • Gender: Male
  • Canada (moved from UK)
    • View Profile
    • Edward M. Grant
Re: Print PDF creation tools
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2017, 08:18:30 AM »
I just export to PDF from LibreOffice. But, in my experience, it's not great at importing .docx files.

Offline kdiem

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 453
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
Re: Print PDF creation tools
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2017, 09:33:52 AM »
My sincere thanks to everyone who replied.

Word 2016 won't embed my .otf fonts in the file (yes, I have the right embed fonts option selected), plus the Ingram Spark PDF checklist states specifically they do not accept PDFs using Word's Save As function. Sadly, Word doesn't appear to have the distiller plugin by default, which is why I was asking here, since I'd prefer not to end up with malware or something that creates unacceptable files.

I tried CutePDF since three people mentioned it. Installed OK though their attempts to include Weatherbug and search engine stuff were annoying. CreateSpace accepted the PDF made with it. Have to get far enough through the process to see if IngramSpark will.

Thanks again.



Author. Bibliophile. Fangirl.
Karen Diem | website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads