PrimoPDF makeover small but useful

PrimoPDF has become one of the better PDF-creation programs, getting the job done right the first time and with a minimum of fuss. PrimoPDF 5 introduces some small but important changes to the utility.

There's little that's sexy or even slightly interesting about PDF creation, which is why PrimoPDF has become one of the better PDF-creation programs. In the past, it's done the job of casual PDF creation right the first time you use it, and with a minimum of fuss. It hasn't been without its drawbacks, but the latest version--PrimoPDF 5--addresses most of those.

PrimoPDF 5 looks a lot like PrimoPDF 4, but that's not a bad thing.

(Credit: Screenshot by Seth Rosenblatt/CNET)

If you're unfamiliar with the program, it installs itself as a "PDF printer" so that you can use any program's print function to convert the document into a PDF. Version 5 comes with desktop icon that you can drag and drop files onto for quick conversion, as well as performance improvements and minor changes throughout the program. It also addresses another problem that Primo has had: visibility. In the past, you could only access Primo from your Start menu or by creating a PDF, but the icon allows you to easily jump in and adjust Primo's settings.

Users can now set a default folder to save PDFs to, or opt to choose a new folder for each new PDF. You can also Append or Overwrite an already-existing PDF, and more easily create and edit document properties and PDF security from the main PrimoPDF interface. According to Primo's publisher, NitroPDF, the program starts faster and converts faster, and we did notice that it launched quicker than before--note that this was an empirical judgment, though.

Primo's size has been reduced slightly from 7.49MB to 7.38MB. The four conversion quality settings are still exposed up-front, too, so you can easily toggle quality settings from Screen to eBook to Print to Prepress. There's a Custom setting, as well.

Other features include a password protection feature that can be used for restricting reading, editing, or printing the PDF. However, trying to create a PDF while the interface was already open resulted in neither a new PDF nor a warning that there had been a failure. The interface also sports an ad for other PDF-related software made by Nitro that takes up half the interface.

Those hitches aside, PrimoPDF is an effective tool for quick and casual PDF creation, and that doesn't change with the latest version.

Correction: PrimoPDF's file size has not been reduced to 1.1MB. It has been reduced to 7.38MB.

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