How to print anything to PDF using virtual PDF printer

Icon PDFCreatorThe Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) is the most used open standard document presentation format that is independent on operating systems, hardware and software. A *.pdf file stores a complete description of the document including, texts, fonts, graphics etc.

Microsoft added support for the PDF format to its Microsoft Office suite since version 2007. However, Microsoft Windows still does not natively support PDF, only Microsoft's alternative document format known as XPS or OpenXPS.


If you want to be able to export any printable file to PDF on Windows, you have to install a virtual PDF printer.

Mac users do not need to worry about this problem, because OS X supports printing/saving to PDF.

Print to PDF using PDFCreator virtual printer

PDFCreator is easy to use software for Windows that allows you to create PDF documents. The basic version is available for free download. It is also available in paid Pro version without advertising through installation process and with faster updates of the app.

Through installation process, PDFCretor installs a virtual PDF printer to your Windows.

After the installation is completed you can customize the PDFCreator settings.

PDFCreator settings dialog

In Application Settings you can set preferred language, virtual printer settings, update checks etc.

PDFCreator application settings
PDFCreator app settings

In Profile Settings you are able to change document information settings, image format settings, PDF settings etc. Some profiles are included with PDFCreator after installation.

PDFCreator profiles
PDFCreator profile settings

How to print PDF with PDFCreator

Now you can create document, or graphics in any application installed in Windows, for example even in the Wordpad text processor.

Click on File menu → Print option (or Ctrl+P shortcut).

WordPad printing

Printing in WordPad

Select PDFCreator from printer list → Click on Print button.

PDFCreator printer
Windows Print settings

Fill the Title box of the document and other metadata information and select Profile.

PDFCreator save PDF
Printing to PDF

Click on Save button → Select destination for new PDF and click on Save button.

PDFCreator select destination for PDF file

Select destination for PDF file

PDFCreator is able to save document to JPG, TIFF and PNG picture formats. Select Save as type option and change the format.

And that's it! Now you can open your new PDF document in any PDF viewer, like Adobe Reader, PDF Architect (included as custom software with PDFCreator), send it by e-mail etc.

Related software and links:

Adobe Acrobat icon

Adobe Acrobat    Microsoft Windows platform
A dedicated software for handling PDF documents

Adobe Acrobat Reader icon

Adobe Acrobat Reader    Microsoft Windows platform
Free reader for viewing PDF files

PDFCreator icon

PDFCreator    Microsoft Windows platform
Virtual PDF printer for Microsoft Windows


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