PDF-making software? (LEGAL, free/cheapish)

NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade UsernameRegistered User regular
edited May 2016 in Help / Advice Forum
I'm looking for an alternative to having to pay Adobe money via a subscription every single month to use Adobe Acrobat a handful of times every year. If there's even an alternative to using Acrobat, I'm fine with that too. I'm running Windows 7.

I know that sometimes you can get legal full versions of older software for a MUCH reduced price point....I'm trying to find a way to spend ~$100 or less. I don't need anything super fancy, just something that can basically do the following tasks. Here's what I need to do:
  • NICE TO HAVE: Create a PDF with selectable text from a Photoshop file (able to do this with Adobe Acrobat DC).
  • REQUIRED: Create a PDF from an image, and add printer's marks (trim marks).
Anything additional to that like optimizing images or setting DPI would be great.

NightDragon on

Posts

  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    edited May 2016
    Install a printer driver that prints to a PDF file.
    http://www.howtogeek.com/150891/how-to-print-to-pdf-in-windows-4-tips-and-tricks/

    Edit: my company requires expense reports in PDF format, where you need to tag an image of each receipt with a corresponding line item on a standardized form, all in one PDF. So I create a MS Word doc, paste all the photos of my (resized) receipts that I took via my cellphone camera, insert the standardized form (which I redid as a MS Word doc), put stylized numbers over each receipt image to match up the line items on the form, print out the whole thing to a PDF file, and email that PDF to the finance department.

    hsu on
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  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    My company uses something called Peernet to print to a tiff, then we convert them to PDFS in a jiffy with something called Irfanview. Irfanview is a pretty good utility and it's free. Peernet is rougher but technically does most of what you're asking.

  • LostNinjaLostNinja Registered User regular
    edited May 2016
    My work computer had something called "primo pdf" on it before they realized I would be doing that sort of thing daily and got the full acrobat.

    I never really played with it that much, but It might suit your needs.

    LostNinja on
  • JohnnyCacheJohnnyCache Starting Defense Registered User regular
    it's probably also not cost effective if you're not into the monthly, but you technically still can buy a licensee for a single fee, I think it's either 249 or 299.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    If you've got Windows 10 there's a Microsoft PDF printer that works really well for that stuff as well. Not sure about the trim marks though.

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • SiskaSiska Shorty Registered User regular
    I use Foxit Reader for all my PDF needs. But I don't really do advanced stuff with so not sure if it meets all your requirements. But it is FREE and you can edit PDF files with it.

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    Lovely
  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    I feel like an idiot for asking this but why is creating a word/open office document and saving it as a PDF cost prohibitive?

  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    If you don't mind putting PDFs into the Internet, I've used pdfescape in the past which is a free online pdf editor. Works ok.

    http://www.pdfescape.com

  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    NICE TO HAVE: Create a PDF with selectable text from a Photoshop file (able to do this with Adobe Acrobat DC).
    Just noticed this. Adobe Photoshop has an option to let you save as a PDF. Both the old CS and current CC versions of Photoshop let you do this.

    iTNdmYl.png
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    edited May 2016
    hsu wrote: »
    NICE TO HAVE: Create a PDF with selectable text from a Photoshop file (able to do this with Adobe Acrobat DC).
    Just noticed this. Adobe Photoshop has an option to let you save as a PDF. Both the old CS and current CC versions of Photoshop let you do this.

    You'd think, right? The funny thing is, I had this ability initially....and then once my trial of Acrobat ran its course and I uninstalled it, it ended up removing all PDF ability from Photoshop. When before even downloading Acrobat at all, it worked perfectly. Now I get to the end of the saving dialogue and it gives me an error that I 'no longer have that functionality'. Thanks, Adobe! >: (


    In other news, I discovered "CutePDF" and "Soda PDF" both seem to offer their Pro versions for only $50 right now. CutePDF even has a free version that gives me the Photoshop print-to-PDF functionality back! So that's good. They both seem to offer trials as well, so I think I'll just try going with one of those options.

    CutePDF does seem to save veeeeeeeeeeery slooooooooowly from Photoshop though, which is a bit sad. Was hoping to find a way to batch-process a lot of files, but it might be lag-prohibitive if I use this. I'll experiment a bit.

    NightDragon on
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    ImageMagick might work for that stuff, it's command line based, you could probably batch stuff to it:

    http://stackoverflow.com/questions/30397782/command-line-imagemagick-gutter-and-crop-marks
    http://imagemagick.org/discourse-server/viewtopic.php?t=17211

    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
    NightDragon
  • baudattitudebaudattitude Registered User regular
    I strongly recommend against the "it's cheap because it's an old version!" resellers, particularly from eBay. I did a couple of months in Adobe customer service several years back and I had to break a lot of hearts with the "I'm sorry, but that serial number has been invalidated due to abuse. If you can fax me a proof of purchase from an Adobe authorized reseller, I can issue you a new serial number..." line.

    If you can get a brand-new shrink wrapped box copy it might be safer? But there are some really dodgy resellers out there.

    bowenTofystedethNightDragon
  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    I've used CutePDF, never heard of Soda. I don't remember if those do selectable text or just do the PDF as an image.
    A lot of them are based on Ghostscript, which you can get all by itself. Just save the PhotoShop file as a PostScript file and use GhostScript to do the conversion.

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    NightDragon
  • NightDragonNightDragon 6th Grade Username Registered User regular
    I strongly recommend against the "it's cheap because it's an old version!" resellers, particularly from eBay. I did a couple of months in Adobe customer service several years back and I had to break a lot of hearts with the "I'm sorry, but that serial number has been invalidated due to abuse. If you can fax me a proof of purchase from an Adobe authorized reseller, I can issue you a new serial number..." line.

    If you can get a brand-new shrink wrapped box copy it might be safer? But there are some really dodgy resellers out there.

    Oh yeah for sure, I 100% would only buy software if it was shrink-wrapped in the original box. And then I'd only go through something like Amazon proper, not individual sellers or Ebay.
    I've used CutePDF, never heard of Soda. I don't remember if those do selectable text or just do the PDF as an image.
    A lot of them are based on Ghostscript, which you can get all by itself. Just save the PhotoShop file as a PostScript file and use GhostScript to do the conversion.

    Ah yeah, I have GhostScript installed for a thumbnail-displayer that gives me previews of all my file types that Windows doesn't innately know what to do with. I wasn't aware I could use GhostScript as a standalone...thing though.

  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    Yeah, in the GhostScript install folder there should be a bunch of executables with names like ps2pdf that do various conversions. There's like a billion and a half flags and parameters you can pass to them, so you'll have to fiddle a while to find one that gives a result you like, then make a batch script or something to do it automatically, or just copy paste the parameters into a text file you can look up when you need to run it.

    steam_sig.png
    NightDragon
  • DerrickDerrick Registered User regular
    hsu wrote: »
    NICE TO HAVE: Create a PDF with selectable text from a Photoshop file (able to do this with Adobe Acrobat DC).
    Just noticed this. Adobe Photoshop has an option to let you save as a PDF. Both the old CS and current CC versions of Photoshop let you do this.

    You'd think, right? The funny thing is, I had this ability initially....and then once my trial of Acrobat ran its course and I uninstalled it, it ended up removing all PDF ability from Photoshop. When before even downloading Acrobat at all, it worked perfectly. Now I get to the end of the saving dialogue and it gives me an error that I 'no longer have that functionality'. Thanks, Adobe! >: (

    .

    Wow. That's very weird. Maybe try uninstalling, clear any misc Adobe folders and reinstall? I've worked with ancient versions of Photoshop and they can all save to pdf.

    Other than that, you can probably save your file from photoshop in either a tiff or eps format and insert it into a program that can save to pdfs. Open Office is free and can save to pdf for example, but I have no idea if it compresses the images.

    Steam and CFN: Enexemander
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