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  1. #1
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    Need tool for creating and merging PDF files

    Can anyone recommend a capable, but not particularly expensive, Windows based, PDF creation tool? As an absolute minimum, I need it to be able to create PDFs from:
    - Doc and docx
    - JPGs
    - Other PDFs

    I know there are some online tools available, but I would prefer to use a utility installed on my own hardware.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    You need to use PDF creator, in which you can convert your documents to PDF, JPG, PNG, TIF and more.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, but do you mean the Adobe product? I was rather hoping for something less expensive. ;-)

  4. #4
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    For doc and docx, use either Word 2010 onwards (which allows creation of PDF's using File > SaveAs...) or Writer from the (free) LibreOffice suite which, by default, has a handy 'Create PDF' button in the standard toolbar.

    Alternatively, for doc and docx plus JPGs, use a 'PDF pseudo-printer' like Foxit Reader to 'Print to PDF' from within other apps.

    I don't understand the bit about creating PDFs from other PDFs but for merging PDFs I use a free PDF toolkit. This lets me use something like D:\pdf_input\ as the source folder and D:\pdf_output\ for the target folder. By issuing the command pdftk D:\pdf_input\*.pdf cat output D:\pdf_output\combined.pdf all the PDFs in the source folder are combined into a single PDF in the target folder. I've used it at work to automate converting nearly 1200 PDFs into one mega-PDF on a daily basis. Using Autohotkey, I even put a little GUI front-end on it and compiled it to an executable to make it easier to deploy to other staff. It works great!

    If it's of any use to you, here's my Autohotkey script:
    Code:
    Gui, Add, Text, x25 y10 w170 h20 , Select INPUT folder
    Gui, Add, Button, x12 y30 w120 h30 , INPUT
    Gui, Add, Button, x22 y65 w100 h30 , Cancel
    Gui -SysMenu
    Gui, Show, w140 h110, PDFMerge
    return
    
    ButtonINPUT:
    FileSelectFolder, InputVar, , 4 ;Select a source folder
    
    ;Count and display the number of files in the source folder for info
    count=0
    Loop,%InputVar%\*.pdf,0,1
       files:=(files ? "`n" : "") . A_LoopFileFullPath,count:=count+1
    MsgBox % "Found " count " PDF files`nNow select the OUTPUT folder."     
        
    FileSelectFolder, OutputVar, , 4 ;Select a destination folder
    
    Gui, submit ;Save the selected folders to their associated variables
    ;MsgBox pdftk %InputVar%\*.pdf cat output %OutputVar%\combined.pdf ;Use MsgBox to test output to commandline
    Run %comspec% /c pdftk %InputVar%\*.pdf cat output %OutputVar%\combined.pdf, , hide ;Pass the parameters to pdftk and hide the commandline window on completion
    
    Gui, Destroy ;Close the first GUI so it doesn't muck up the progress bar
    
    ;~ ;Create a second GUI showing looping progress bar
    ;~ ;('cos merging 800 to 2000 PDF's can take several minutes)
    ;~ ;Credit to polyethene for the progress bar routine
    ;~ ;http://www.autohotkey.com/community/viewtopic.php?t=13469)
    Gui, Add, Progress, vlvl -Smooth 0x8 w350 h18 ; PBS_MARQUEE = 0x8
    Gui, Show, , Merging PDF's...    Please wait...
    SetTimer, Merging, 45
    Return
    
    Merging:
    GuiControl, , lvl, 1
    Process, Exist, pdftk.exe, ;Check for pdftk
    If Errorlevel 
       Return   
    SetTimer, Merging, Off ;turn off process timer
    Gui, Destroy ;close the second GUI
    MsgBox, 64, PDFMerge, Finished! Your merged file is in %OutputVar% ;Inform user that merge process has finished
    Run, %OutputVar% ;Open the destination folder to show file
    ExitApp
    
    ButtonCancel:
    ExitApp
    
    Esc::ExitApp ;Use the Esc key to exit app
    which produces this simple GUI:
    pdf1.jpg

    pdf2.jpg

    pdf3.jpg

    pdf4.jpg

    pdf5.jpg

    Alternatively, just buy PDFtk Pro for $3.99 for a GUI version of the toolkit.

    Hope this helps...

    [Update - When I created my utility for work 2 years ago, PDFtk was at v1.41 and the GUI version wasn't free. I've just noticed that a GUI has now been included in PDFtk Free and it's at v2.02... so this may be all you need!]
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2014-11-26 at 08:58.

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to Rick Corbett For This Useful Post:

    bonalba (2014-12-04)

  6. #5
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    Thanks Rick for your very comprehensive reply.
    Dave

  7. #6
    2 Star Lounger Calimanco's Avatar
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    I use the free version of Primo PDF Converter, which has a useful set of tools including one for creating pre press PDFs.

    http://www.primopdf.com/

    Always check for bundled unwanted extras when downloading and installing any new software and be sure to decline them. Use custom install when it’s available.

  8. #7
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    I use Nitro Pro 9 available for $140 from https://www.gonitro.com/au/
    It's a full-featured alternative to Adobe Acrobat for a fraction of the price. OK, so $140 isn't particularly cheap but neither is it particularly expensive considering its capabilities.

    Geo.

  9. #8
    New Lounger
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    PDF Creator

    Quote Originally Posted by dc696969 View Post
    Thanks, but do you mean the Adobe product? I was rather hoping for something less expensive. ;-)
    I think he means PDF Creator http://www.pdfforge.org/ which is brilliant and Open Source

    RV

  10. The Following User Says Thank You to robV For This Useful Post:

    bonalba (2014-12-04)

  11. #9
    Star Lounger WildcatRay's Avatar
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    Actually, you can use "File>Save As..." in Office 2007 to create PDF files from Word, Excel, et al files.

  12. #10
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    You can use Bullzip which creates another printer driver which builds your PDF. Free and it works great. http://www.bullzip.com/

  13. #11
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    No one has suggested FREE Adobe Acrobat yet? Adobe made version 8 available for free a couple of years ago. That's what I used when I started using it at work. Here's one place to download it: http://www.techspot.com/downloads/46...acrobat-8.html but you can search for adobe acrobat 8 free if you want to look for other locations.

    A big benefit of it is that if you have scanned PDF images it will do OCR.
    Last edited by poolmwv; 2014-12-04 at 08:48.

  14. #12
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    I use CutePdf, which installs as a windows printer. Then, any windows program that allows you to choose from a list of printer, cutepdf will be one of them. Select it, a dialog box opens, you give it a file name and location and your printing is saved as a pdf. This also works when you open an existing PDF in acrobat reader, then print it. Use the Cutepdf printer and you will create a new pdf file in your preferred location that can use as you wish. I have not tried merging pdf files, it may not be able to do that.

  15. #13
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    PrimoPDF also features "PrimoPDF-DropFiles" as a desktop icon. Drag any closed file icon over and plop it on the DropFiles icon and a fully executed .pdf file will appear. Couldn't be easier!

  16. #14
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    Not free... requires serial number

    Downloaded and started to install but it asked me for a serial number.... Didn't have one so installation stopped.

    :-(



    Quote Originally Posted by poolmwv View Post
    No one has suggested FREE Adobe Acrobat yet? Adobe made version 8 available for free a couple of years ago. That's what I used when I started using it at work. Here's one place to download it: http://www.techspot.com/downloads/46...acrobat-8.html but you can search for adobe acrobat 8 free if you want to look for other locations.

    A big benefit of it is that if you have scanned PDF images it will do OCR.
    Gary

  17. #15
    2 Star Lounger Calimanco's Avatar
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    The serial number is on the download page under Publishers Description.

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