Free Driver Lets You Print From Any Program to a PDF File


Primo PDF driverIf you ever read PDF files on your computer and you don't have the official (free but huge) Adobe program installed, it's a fair bet that you're using Nitro PDF instead. This free program, loved by tens of millions of people around the world, opens PDF files quickly and efficiently but doesn't suffer from the unnecessary bloat that the Adobe product does.

But what about if you want to create a PDF file, rather than simply read one? How easy is that? And what would it cost? The answers turn out to be "very" and "nothing".

Primo PDF, from the people behind the Nitro PDF reader, is a Windows printer driver. Install it on your PC and then open any program. Create some data and then, from the File menu, choose Print. Alongside your normal printer, you'll see a new option. You can now "print" to a PDF file. Which means that, instead of your output appearing on paper, you'll end up with a PDF file that looks just like the paper-based version would have.

This means that you can now use almost any program on your PC to create PDF files.

Primo PDF is free, and is a 7 MB download from The program is malware-free according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust.

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i use sumatra , "advanced pdf utilities" and bullzip...excellent...

I don't use Foxit anymore, having switched to the much leaner and better-behaved Sumatra, but the PDF creator included with it is still pretty useful.

Before that I relied on PDFill (which I am happy to see has finally dispensed with its obnoxious Java dependency), and before that I used PDF995, but the Foxit PDF creator is easily the least problematic one I've seen so far.

The only thing I could ask for is decent OCR support. (I use the full version of Adobe at work, and OCR support is pretty darn sweet.)

Also, Win10 has the basic print-to-pdf function built in.

You can open, edit, and print PDF files in LibreOffice. Then export back to PDF if need be.

Thank you. I used to use this application, but then I moved to Bullzip (freeware for personal use). There was nothing wrong with it. Just the support of more options and unattended silent printing. After that, I switched to PDFcreator which is completely free so far (be aware of the ads in setup though).
There is also a new feature at PDF Exchange Editor for free printing (free for personal use), but I haven't tested it.

I agree with the others: nothing exciting here.
Even more, it's not even accurate: Nitro PDF Reader is ALREADY a PDF printer!

what is the difference between the suggested programs and the qutePDF for example?
it produce PDF files as well

This isn't a PDF Reader or other program, it's a printer driver, as it were. The difference is that you can print to PDF from Windows programs that don't have print to PDF features, such as Notepad, Wordpad, etc.

Libreoffice & MS Office have both exported to pdf for some time now?

If you need to alter a pdf, I'd recommend uploading to "" online. Registration is free & once you get the hang of the editing side of it, it works quite well for a freebie. You can also simply give it the URL of a form you need to fill (aka a mygov, centrelink, ato form) & it imports it- ready for you to amend & then either print, save, or download.


This is great for any time you don't have internet access or aren't connected. Great offline utility, thanks Robert.

"If ... you don't have the official (free but huge) Adobe program installed, it's a fair bet that you're using Nitro PDF instead."
Or you might be using Sumatra PDF (which I used to use long ago but quit because it consistently couldn't read some PDFs), or perhaps Soda PDF (which I currently use). Too bad I couldn't accept your bet, Rob.

Some other apps also have the option to install a "PDF" print device. The income tax software I use AND the home finance program I use (mainstream apps, not free) each will do this. Some software that comes with a printer purchase will do this, too. So for instance, if you see a PDF995 print device on your PC, that might have been installed from other, paid software you already own. If that's the case, that virtual print device ought to be usable from other apps, not just from within the commercial app that installed it.

Pdf995 itself has a free standalone version which you can install from their website, but their free version will show you a "sponsor" page each time you use it. So, probably too naggy for most people.

...and more of the same kind of programs here: