5 Free PDF Converters for Windows Users

Wouldn’t it be great if Windows comes with its own PDF converter? Unfortuately, it does not. With PDF being one of the preferred ways of protecting and sending documentation to others, we need a way to convert any document format into PDF. In case you are searching for such tool, here are five of the best free PDF converters for Windows users:

1. PrimoPDF

PrimoPDF (featured in our 2007 Best 101 Free Computer Software For Your Daily Use) is a Windows-only PDF Creator that provides many features for you to make any kind of documentation into a PDF. As with many PDF Creators, when you have a file that you need to PDF, you go to Print option, and PrimoPDF will be listed.


After you hit the Print button, you are given five options that you can choose from: Screen, eBook, Print, Prepress, and Custom. One thing that I like is that it gives a quick and useful description of the five PDF-creation options. It was also nice that they put them in chronological order from which option is best for smallest file to the biggest file.


The Custom option allows you to create a profile where you can customize the PDF settings to the way you prefer. In Document Properties, you are able to enter a title, description, and keywords for your new PDF. I am thinking that keywords is an option if you choose the Screen or eBook options.


Another great feature of PrimoPDF is the levels of PDF security that you are given. You can have password protection for viewing and modifying the PDF. If you password protect the modification part, then you can even get to granular level of what kind of printing is allowed and what changes.


Overall, PrimoPDF provides flexibility and tons of features that make it a great PDF creator.

2. PDF995


PDF995 is a PDF Creator that is very easy to use, but is supported by ads, which can be a bit much. It is also Windows only. The PDF995 printer driver and converter are separated in two EXE files. Having to download and install two different EXE files is a little tedious. It would be easier if it were in one zip file. You are given a notification after installing one of the files that lets you know that in order for the PDF creator to work, you need to install the second file. Like PrimoPDF, PDF995 is very easy to use because you just go to your Print options, and it’s there. The only frustrating thing is that the free version has a lot of ads, which I guess is the way they are able to keep the tool free. If you want to remove the ads, then you can pay to upgrade.


Also, you don’t have many options to customize your PDFs properties and privacy settings. It just basically creates the PDFs and that’s it. PDF995 gets the job done, but the ads might make you not even attempt to use it.

3. CutePDF


CutePDF is quick and easy, but it has a major flaw. One thing that CutePDF did that I liked was that it had a zipped package, so you didn’t have to download two individual EXE files. However, if you wanted, you also were given that option. During installation, you are given the option to install Ask.com and make it the default search provider. As with the others, you select CutePDF from your printer list, and press the Print button. After choosing a name for your file, and then the file dialog box disappears, and you wonder if the conversion occurred. I had to search for it to find out if it did create the PDF and where it placed it on my local drive. A prompt should be given so that you are aware if the conversion was successful or not. It’s something that the developers should think about. CutePDF does the installation in a better way than PDF995, but it needs to notify you if the PDF conversion was successful or not.

4. DoPDF


DoPDF is a multilanguage PDF converter. After selecting a document to print, DoPDF opens up a window for you to select the file destination and if you want to open it in the reader after it’s been converted. The reader is actually your default PDF reader that you currently are using. DoPDF is very simple and easy to use.  It has a way for you to know that the file has actually converted to PDF, so you aren’t keep wondering if it has or not. It doesn’t have an built-in reader, so if you currently do not have a PDF reader installed on your machine, you will have to download one.

5. PDFCreator


PDFCreator has tons of features that will aid you in converting your files. It isn’t just a PDF converter, like the others. PDFCreator provides the capability of converting your file into numerous formats.


The PDF security settings are very similar to PrimoPDF. It provides different layers of security by allowing you password-protect the PDF from being viewed and/or modified. PDFCreator has two types of encryptions, so you can encrypt your PDF to protect it even more from unwanted eyes. When converting your file to PDF, you are able to create a title and keywords. You can save it right away, or email it to whomever you choose, using your default email application.


Which is your favorite PDF creator?


Shevonne Polastre authors ChicWriter, a blog filled with writing tips and articles . She loves social media, technology, art, wine, music, movies, traveling, books, education, biking, and the great outdoors.


  1. Great article – thanks for posting it. I’ll definitely have to try those PDF tools.

    I find that I mostly use OpenOffice.Org’s built in PDF creator. Although it doesn’t do as much as the ones you listed above, it is very convenient and easy to use. If your source document is in a format accepted by OpenOffice.Org (such as .doc or .odt) then it is a breeze to save it to a .pdf file after you get it looking just the way you want.

    Anyway, just my 2 cents.


    1. Rusty, thank you! Usually you want a PDF creator that is quick and painless to use, and I’m glad that more and more apps are starting to have built-in ones. My favorite for that is doPDF. Super quick and easy.

  2. This reads as if the author just downloaded the software, but didn’t really do much beyond creating a PDF for screenshot purposes. That’s too bad, because there’s a lot more about each of these that people should know. Just off the top of my head:

    Tip 1: If you are only converting 8.5 x 11 pages, then these do in a pinch. If you’re like me and need a daily use application that can convert 11 x 17 to poster sized files into a PDF that can been printed off at standard letter size; these are awful. I’d suggest just getting Acrobat, PDFCreator can do it, it’s just a PITA to go into 3 different windows to change your settings. At least Adobe’s is just one click.

    Tip 2: Most of these have really crap output quality, while PrimoPDF & PDFCreator is again tops in that department, your PDF still will look like crap. If you have small type on your page, make sure that it will not bleed or feather when using PDF.

    Tip 3.And lastly, one thing that I really need these to do is to merge PDF pages. I miss that from my old copy of Acrobat; being able to insert other PDFs into the file. None of these let you do that, or if they do, that feature is well hidden. It seems like such a basic feature to have & yet they don’t have it,

    1. Well this article seems aimed at simple users, people who just need a quick conversion. For people who need more advanced features or need more than a standard sized output on a regular basis you’re better off buying Acrobat.

    2. @Anika: This article is meant to help simple users who need to do quick conversion to PDF, it is not meant to be for advanced users. Indeed, Acrobat is a much much better software. For advanced users, I strongly recommend them to purchase Acrobat.

  3. MakeTechEasier is a to help all kinds of users, regardless of how tech savvy they are, to know what open source and/or free tools they can use to simplify their lives. These were reviews of the PDF converters; not in-depth analysis of each one, which would have resulted in a 2000-word post.

  4. Word 2007 likewise has a built in PDF and XPS creator. The document identification can be added to Word via a program called StampIt for Word. Then you can mark the document AND create the PDF at the same time — with much greater versatility. Try it at http://www.stampit4word.com

  5. @Lindsey, you’re right but I think this article is perfectly targeted. Buying Acrobat is a straightforward option, the problem for simple users is to find this kind of inexpensive solutions.
    My favorite one is PDFCreator.

  6. Does anybody know free programs similar to Atomic PDF Password Recovery? I’d like to remove restrictions from a couple of pdf files. They give a discount now and the price is quite reasonable but, certainly, there must be free similar programs

  7. And I found this one. it word better:
    “Tweak PDF To Word 3.0 is a little program to convert PDF to Word doc for easier editing. The converter enjoys an exact conversion with the output Word retaining intact of all the original features of the PDF, including layout, image positioning, text font, graphics, hyperlinks, etc.It batch converts PDF to doc format at a task, saving time. Password-protected PDF files can also be successfully convert to Word,
    Encrypted PDF files can be converted to Word, too.
    free download and free trial PDF to word at http://www.tweakpdf.com

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