PDF Creation Software

How to create a PDF file from any software package

How to create a PDF file from any software package

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After printing millions of pages for customers we’ve found many things that work and don’t work

Our Favorite

Adobe Acrobat is the gold standard for PDF creation, since the PDF spec was invented by Adobe. If you have it, use it. If not, we’ve found the programs listed below to have reliable output in most cases. They’ve been tested by our creators and printers and have been put through rigorous tests to make sure that the PDF created will be print ready. Programs that aren’t included on this list (such as open source or small, independent creators) can create digital PDFs perfect for viewing on a computer screen - but only for that. When sent through production on an industrial print floor they are unreliable and can print in a way that is unexpected (and unwanted!)

Avoid Disaster

Like all on-demand printers, we're not able to review everything about your file before printing. This is why if you find concerns that were caused by the files you uploaded then we aren’t able to reprint or refund those orders. It's also why we try to provide you with as much information as possible to optimize your PDF!

Known cases for printing woes are special effects, such as drop shadows, text outlines, photo frames, and complex vector artwork. If you use such effects in your book, we strongly recommend you use Acrobat. It is expensive, but works and not nearly as costly as failed printing output. Some known programs that we’ve seen issues with are: Microsoft Publisher 2003, Microsoft Word 2010 or earlier, and PDFs below version 1.5.

Helpful Reminders

Our PDF Specs page does an amazing job going further into detail, but here are some helpful tips!

  1. Use the Print or Press settings for the maximum printing quality.
  2. Make sure all fonts are embedded
  3. Make sure you use sRGB colorspace
  4. Two page spreads should begin with page 2 since our pages start on the right
  5. Keep in mind the Cropping And Bleed for your project

PDF Creation Tools

Price: Varies

Adobe Acrobat 7.0 Standard software is the simple way to create and share more secure and reliable Adobe PDF documents. Generate Adobe PDF files that accurately represent the original document, and take advantage of robust tools for sharing information and commenting on electronic files.

Adobe Acrobat Standard

Price: Varies

Adobe InDesign is an industry-leading design software that lets you create beautiful and fully customized layouts and PDFs. It's one of our favorites here at Presto! We even have some great information on creating InDesign PDFs for printing with us.

Adobe InDesign

Price: Free

Over 325 Million Users use Foxit as a small, fast,Free PDF Creation / PDF Conversion. Protects Against Security Vulnerabilities

Foxit PDF Converter

Price: Free

Pdf995 is a printer driver that works with any Postscript to PDF converter. The pdf995 printer driver and a free Converter are available for easy download." Distributed with a version of ghostscript that may cause printing problems.


Price: Free

Canva is a free online designer with multiple templates and easy PDF export.


Price: $69

Convert your documents to Adobe PDF format quickly and easily. AcroPDF installs as a virtual printer and is accessible from any program that offers a Print option. It allows you to create PDF files from any printable document (.doc, .xls, .ppt, .vsd, images, text, web pages etc.)


Mac users can easily save out PDFs from their computer. Simply select File —> Print —> Save as PDF. The new Apple program “Pages” also offers an option to export your file as a PDF. Mac OS X creates a PDF 1.3 version, and has limited support for effects like drop shadows. See the warning above, and use Acrobat if your document makes use of special effects.


Free pdf creator

by Wojciech, 24 Apr 2013 (21:48 UTC)
There is a free software used mostly by mathematicians. It is called TeX (or LaTeX) and it creates PDF 1.5. With a bit of learning, one can include pictures, text and all sorts of graphics. There is plenty of online tutorials on how to create documents using that software. I used it for one of the books printed in viovio.

My Memories Suite

by Micayle, 30 Jan 2013 (03:20 UTC)
Hello, this program also will convert your scrapbook to PDF directly from the program. It's a great program for personal digital scrapbooking.

Re: My Memories Suite

by Micayle, 28 Jun 2017 (17:55 UTC)
I haven't had the best quality prints when I export directly from MMS. You cannot control the dpi or pdf version output when exporting. I have asked MMS about this issue to see if their is a more customizable way to export pdf from with in their program. But as far as I know in order to get best quality you still need to export as highest quality png files then recompile as a 1.5 pdf with 300dpi.

Re: My Memories Suite

by PrestoPhoto Support, 30 Jan 2013 (15:16 UTC)

Greetings from PrestoPhoto! Thank you for your excellent feedback!!

PrestoPhoto support

Where is your tutorial video to convert .PSD to .PDF ?

by solinka, 21 Mar 2010 (12:33 UTC)
Some time ago, I found here a video explaining how to convert the .PSD to .PDF using a word procesing software and I can't find it anymore. I've designed some photobooks that I'd like to share in PrestoPhoto Book designer but I have no idea how to do the conversion. There is a way I could watch your video it was very ilustrative.



Re: Where is your tutorial video to convert .PSD to .PDF ?

by Christian, 23 Mar 2010 (02:38 UTC)
Hi Solinka,

You can see the video to create template PDF's at Advanced Template Creation.
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