I came across this open source project called PDFCreator. This application acts as a virtual print driver that can be installed onto a local machine or installed in “server mode” to run on a network.
You can view the project here at http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/
It also comes with a COM wrapper that initializes the printer and sends documents to it for processing (just like a normal print driver, but this driver converts the document to PDF and you can specify an output directory for the converted file).
Consider this product if you have a similar problem:
- Our users want to be able to covert word documents into a PDF format so we can email these documents to external customers.
- We don’t want to get individual licences on each client machine just to convert documents to PDF!
- Install PDFCreator onto a server as a network printer.
- Configure PDFCreator to your organisations requirements, for example, you can create scripts to email the user who sent the document the output PDF file, or maybe put the output PDF file into a shared folder for collection.
- Install the printer on each client machine so they can choose the PDF printer from their print options when printing a document (e.g. from MS Word, Excel, Notepad, Outlook, or practically any application)
- No Cost
- Easy to setup
- Customisable to requirements
- Limited Support
- The conversion is great for simple documents, but highly complex documents might not covert well