Convert files to PDFs with PrimoPDF

Create PDFs by dropping or printing with this easy-to-use freeware.

Nitro PDF's PrimoPDF is a free tool that converts all kinds of files into PDFs that you can open, edit, and manage with your usual PDF application (Nitro has a free reader, too, if you don't already have one). Some free PDF converters are more like print drivers and only create documents from the Print command. But PrimoPDF also has a handy desktop icon you can drag and drop files into for rapid automatic conversion. Whichever method you prefer, PrimoPDF gives you the choice.

Clicking PrimoPDF's Drop Files icon opens the main interface, which is where you configure the program's settings and options. This compact console is simple enough, though not the most intuitive in its layout or design, though you only need to access it when you want to change your settings. Clicking the blue info button opened a pop-up linking to an online manual, or so we hoped, though what we got was a 404 page, and the Web site wasn't much better. PrimoPDF isn't challenging to learn or use, though, and we had no trouble setting the program's options, including Document Properties and PDF Security (which includes password protection). PrimoPDF can generate PDFs optimized for various displays: Screen, eBook, Print, Prepress, and Custom. The program offers three Post Process options, too: Open PDF, Email PDF, and Do Nothing. You can even designate a specific PDF reader to open documents created with PrimoPDF, or use your default reader. To create PDFs from the Print command, simply press your app or document's Print button and choose PrimoPDF from the Printer list, just like you were printing a page.

If you regularly convert documents into PDFs for a specific use, it's hard to imagine an easier solution than PrimoPDF's drag-and-drop feature, which automatically creates PDFs to your specifications and (optionally) displays them in your usual PDF viewer with one motion. We converted files using both the drop box and print tool, including text, rich text, and image files. PrimoPDF takes care of business without taking a bite out of your bottom line, whether it's your main PDF app or a handy auxiliary.

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