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Improving on WORD to PDF coversion

Few weeks ago I made an entry on converting WORD (or any other proprietary format) to PDF using opensource tools. This worked but was quite time-consuming, especially if you wanted to convert multiple documents. Another drawback was that you needed a PostScript printer (an implicit assumption).

Yesterday, while trying to convert a PPT slideset to PDF, I discovered a simpler method. The two steps (i)genrate a PS file (.PRN Printer file for PostScript printer); and (ii)convert the PS file to PDF; are still there but the second step can be greatly simplified by using commandline utlity ps2pdf of GhostScript (I used GS8.00). It cuts a good number of mouse-clicks and significantly reduces the conversion time. In addition, you can use this command in a script, furhter simplifying the process.

The first step in the original entry assumed that you have a PS printer. While working on an offline laptop running Windows2000, I discovered that you can "Add a Printer" with "FILE:" as the output port! So, you don't really need a PS printer. Here are the detailed steps:
1. Goto Start --> Settings --> Printers. Click on "Add Printer".
2. On "Local or Network Printer" screen, Select Local Printer and uncheck "automatic detection and plug&play printer.
3. On "Select the Printer Port" screen, Select "FILE: Print to File".
4. In Manufacturers dropdown list, choose "HP", in Printers dropdown list, choose "HP Deskjet 1200C/PS". Other combinations including a PS printer should also work.
5. Select default/obvious values for other screens.

You are now ready to go!

Comments (3)


hello pankaj where are you from?



Thanks so much for the tip. It worked!



Thanks Pankaj.. Great trick and it works really well



This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 5, 2003 2:24 PM.

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