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Printing to PDF Without Acrobat

October 20, 2006

If you have ever wanted to "Print to PDF" but do not have the full version of Adobe Acrobat installed, there is a networked "virtual printer" that is available. This option does not have all of the functionality of Adobe Acrobat, such as merging pages from multiple files, but is a handy tool that is available when you need a quick PDF version of a file, such as a Microsoft Word document

To use the virtual printer, map it just like a Uniprint printer, but with the printername being "pdf"

  1. Go to the Start Menu -> Run
  2. Enter "\\\pdf" without quotes into the "Open:" field in the Run dialog and click "OK."
  3. You will then see the PDF printer queue, and the printer is added to your list of printers.
  4. After adding the PDF printer, to create a PDF file, you would go to File->Print or the print command in your program that you wish to print from. Then instead of your regular printer, select the "PrintToPDF" printer.


If you normally use the "Print" button, you may need to use "File->Print" instead, to ensure that the file will print to PDF rather than your default printer.

  1. The file is output to your "My Documents" folder as "job_####name.pdf" where a number is assigned to the print job, followed by the name of the program or a similar descriptor. For example, a Microsoft Word document printed to PDF might be called "job_2020-Microsoft_Word_-_Document1.pdf"
  2. You can then rename the file to something meaningful, and move it to another folder if needed.

Printing to PDF is a useful option that can be used to share a document with someone who does not have the source application, such as a brochure created in Microsoft Publisher, or is helpful when you need to keep a copy of something temporarily but do not want to print it on paper, such as the receipt from a web order.

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Last modified: Dec 12, 2007, 15:07 EST
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