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PDF Writers -which one?

Discussion in 'Talking technology' started by TSH-SR, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. TSH-SR

    TSH-SR Member

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    Hi everyone,
    I am having a few problems emailing quotes to customers in the last 2 months that they cannot read. My quotes are getting involved, with drawings, photos, text and soon colour selections.
    3 years ago? I tried one of the free or cheap PDF writers without much success.
    Do I splash out on the Adobe product or is there something else that anyone can suggest that is very good, yet easy enough to use.

    Thanks - Tony
  2. ray_223

    ray_223 Active Member

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    I use PDFCreator from http://www.pdfforge.org/

    I don't use it every day but each time I have used it, it has worked without problem.

    What problems did customers report?
  3. Heidi Price

    Heidi Price Member

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    We have been quite happy with the free version of PDF995.
    There is a sponsor add during the conversion process BUT clients NEVER see it - only us :)

    It's as easy as create the doc in word and then print - making sure you choose PDF995 from the printer list. Easy as!

    Have a look at it: http://www.pdf995.com/download.html

    May not be what you are looking for, but worth a sqiz at.


    Heidi
  4. TSH-SR

    TSH-SR Member

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    Hi Ray, thanks for the info.
    The customers are saying that the drawings of screen doors in the E-mail quote (OE) are not lining up with the relevant part of the quote, There are also some other page/paragraph layout problems as well.
    If I send the quote as a word attachment lots of people can't open that properly or at all. Yet I send them to myself as well and it is all OK.

    PDF would (should) overcome all these issues I beleive.

    Regards Tony
  5. KarenC

    KarenC Well-Known Member

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    Dear Tony, as a designer I use Adobe Acrobat Pro 9 (part of the Adobe CS4 suites).
    I would like to check your current PDF for you before you decide to purchase anything.
    Can you please email to karen (at) unicorngraphics.com.au with your contact details and I'll get back to you asap. - Karen
  6. competitions

    competitions Member

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    Star Office (and Open Office) have Export as PDF functionality as standard.

    This means you could create the document, text and images etc. in one document then Export it as a PDF from the one application, without any additional learning curves.

    Being open source, it's also free. I prefer it to Micro$oft Office as it has many other options (including saving as Word file for those stuck on Bill's products).
  7. Jexley

    Jexley Active Member

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    I stumbled across Primo PDF sometime last year and it's a dream for small stuff, Word Docs, Excel and such. May not go for bigger, more extravagant jobs, but it works for li'l ol' me.
  8. LeelaCosgrove

    LeelaCosgrove Member

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    I have a Mac so all the PDF stuff is all built in. I simply hit print, save as pdf.

    I know that doesn't help.

    I'm just gloating ...

    I have a Mac ... :p
  9. KarenC

    KarenC Well-Known Member

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    Tony - please see my post above about sending me your pdf to check.

    Many of the pdf makers that are inbuilt or otherwise do not embed fonts. There are also very strict specs required for commercial print to adhere to if preparing for print. Web pdfs rely on the installed fonts on the reader's computer and although they list the fonts used, do not embed them.

    I would like to check your pdf before commenting more on them.
    Cheers.
  10. Sally McIntyre

    Sally McIntyre New Member

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    Tony - just a couple of things to consider. You may be using a different version of Word to your customer, i.e. if you are using Word 07 and they are using an earlier version and you haven't saved it as a Word 03 doc they will have difficulty opening.

    Inserting images into tables and text boxes in Word can be a good way to stop them moving on the page (it's look better if you don't show the borders of the table or box)

    I use the Professional version of Nitro PDF and from memory it was under $200and I haven't had any issues yet.

    Just a couple of thoughts!
    thanks, Sally
  11. TSH-SR

    TSH-SR Member

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    Thanks alot Leela !!

    I am happy for you to have a gloat, gave me a laugh anyway. Now I will get back to trying to work out what I do about my PDF problem.

    Regards Tony
  12. LeelaCosgrove

    LeelaCosgrove Member

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    Anything to help a fellow soloist, Tony ... *bats eyelashes in an innocent fashion*
  13. ray_223

    ray_223 Active Member

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    I did forget to mention PDF Creator is Free and Open Source.

    It "may" not be print production quality (it may be I don't know) ??
    But I assume it will do 99% of what most people require.

    ... and did I mention it's free! ;)
  14. KarenC

    KarenC Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for emailing Tony and for the quick chat.

    We have realised that:

    (a) Tony was sending out Word 2003 files that are converted to just plain text with attachments for customers that now have the Office Suite 2007 including Outlook 2007. Also, that it is best to send PDFs, preferably locked versions for quotes unless you want the reader to fill in the form electronically and return it.

    (The new Office 2007 Suite and many of the email client readers now reject a lot of formatting and automatically convert to text. This is a frustrating problem to resolve finding that email newsletters and formatted emails do not show in the latest email client readers.)

    (b) A builder colleague uses http://www.pdffactory.com.au/ to create quotes. He uses the Pro version that can convert and allow text entry too.

    (c) For print designers, Adobe Acrobat Professional is the best one to use. For more information on the various Acrobat versions see link here
    http://www.adobe.com/ap/products/acrobat/matrix.html

    A NOTE ABOUT GENERAL PDFS
    If you make a PDF and you do not embed the fonts, but use fancy ones that are not normally available to both PC and Mac users, then the PDF will use default fonts on the other person's machine and the PDF will not look anything like you intended. Word does not automatically embed fonts - you have to choose those properties when making a PDF.

    (All the print PDFs I make have to cross both PC and Mac platforms, but the specs are detailed and not what is needed here.)

    Hope you find what you need whether it's one of the free PDF writer or the commercial ones. Cheers, Karen C.
  15. local

    local New Member

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    Hi Tony,

    I have been using PrimoPDF (free) for about 2 years and it has worked a treat. I have used it to PDF many files without anyone ever having a problem opening one. This includes have many images (screenshots, graphs from excel etc).

    Regards,

    Andrew
  16. TSH-SR

    TSH-SR Member

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    Hi everyone,
    Thank you all for your input, ideas and experiences, I will try a couple of those mentioned over the next few weeks and choose from there.
    This forum has been a terrific help to sort through the idea without having to make a decision based purely on the sales blurbs from the companies.

    Regards Tony
  17. TSH-SR

    TSH-SR Member

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    Hi everyone,
    Follow up on my search for a reasonable (quality and price) PDF writer to send out quotes for my trade/home improvement business.

    Most of the free PDF writers I tried did a reasonable job, no real problems except when I started adding in my multiple graphics and quite detailed photos that need to be clearly viewed by the client.
    A lot of my clients are regional/rural and have various types of "Broadband" service (that is another issue), getting photos that are viewable and at a reasonable file size for variable internet services is difficult work and some of the writers struggled a bit with the balance.

    To be fair to all, I am probably expecting a little too much from all of the programs I looked at. (Top shelf taste - bottom shelf budget)

    I have elected to run with pdffactory ($75.00) which has been consistent at doing what I wanted without to much compromise from me.
    The other bonus was that I could secure the file from most attempts to modify it.
    http://www.avalanche.com.au/
    The Australian agents were also great on the phone when I needed to clarify a couple of issues. Customer service received a big tick.

    I would suggest that in making your decision you look at running quite a few of your documents through the pdf writers you shortlist, teach yourself how to make adjustments and tweak each programs settings to see which will give you the best result.

    Thanks to all the other soloists for their thoughts and suggestions, it certainly helped with creating the shortlist.

    Regards Tony

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