The Easiest

The first and most obvious option for creating PDF’s with Open Source is the excellent suite, where creating a PDF is just a quick click on the Export to PDF icon away. You can always print from FireFox and other apps on a Linux system and convert the resulting .ps file to a PDF with the instructions on this page, or this page and for a whole suite of .ps to PDF and vice versa check out PStill. An online source for .ps to PDF conversion is located here.

An excellent source for PDF-creation tools is the Wikipedia List of PDF Software page. The sections are broken up into Multi-platform Free and Open Source and then Multi-platform Proprietary, Linux/Unix, Mac OS X and Windows. Someone wrote an informative article that you might find useful, here.

Printer Driver Capture

After, a popular method is to put in a different printer driver, one that captures print jobs to a PDF, much like the driver that Adobe Acrobat installs on Windows machines. The first option I recommend is PDF Creator, which is a direct competitor to the Acrobat printer driver, and runs only on Windows.

Another possibility in the print driver replacement side of things is CUPS (Common Unix Printing System), and in particular the CUPS-PDF module that effectively gives you a network printer that produces PDF’s on demand. Here is a link to the documentation that explains how this all works. Someone blogged about this too, nice helpful post.

Standalone Apps

Standalone apps to create PDF’s include CutePDF, which has both free and for pay editions, and is probably the most popular free PDF-creation tool for Windows users. Another standalone app option is Foxit PDF Creator which is available for free, and they have a load of other apps that look very useful, including Foxit Reader for Linux Desktop Linux, Embedded Linux and an interesting search tool called Foxit PDF Ifilter.

For-Pay PDF-creation tools include PDF-Creator, which is free to try, but costs money to unlock all the features. Another options is Vista PDF Creator, which has a reasonable set of features in comparison to others. Go2PDF is the smallest freeware tool to create PDF’s but you’ll find if you want advanced features that you’ll have to go elsewhere. PrimoPDF is an example of a great free app, good feature set, including the ability to merge and append PDF’s.

Online PDF Tools

Finally some online PDF-creation tools exist, one of which is PDF Online, which has a free PDF Creator tool online, along with a for-pay EasyPDF tool. Check out the PDF Online blog, very informative.

Hopefully this is helpful, leave a comment if you know of anything that I have missed. (Update: I missed something, a Cool Solutions article that andysp brought to my attention, thanks!)

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