I'm not looking for a browser extension. Windows already has that ability with "Print to PDF". But it only seems to work in the browser, or in say MS Office. So, when I need to print something to PDF in another application that doesn't natively have this option, Windows print dialog doesn't provide it seemingly. Or at least, if it does, I can't find it anywhere. The closest I could find was "Print to File", but as far as I'm aware that's not quite the same thing.

I'm currently using PDFCreator, which although it is pretty good for my needs it has also grown in size in recent months, and I prefer a lightweight one. After all, I'm not going to be editing anything, just printing something to PDF, that's it.

I know alternatives exist, such as doPDF, CutePDF, Win2PDF, and Print to PDF. However, the first two I've heard some negative things about, such as low PDF quality or watermark inserts, and the last two I've not heard anything about.

I'm also aware, thanks to How-To Geek, that I can print it to an XPS file (not sure if that's the same as "Print to File"), then print it to PDF from another computer. But I don't have another computer that can do that for this particular file.

TDLR – I need a print-to-PDF programme that

  • Works on Win7,
  • Is lightweight,
  • Produces files of reasonable quality,
  • Doesn't impose watermarks on your files, and
  • Is gratis.
  • 2
    I'm not a Windows guy, but I know there are a bunch of "printer drivers" out there doing that, i.e. PDF converters plugging into the system as "printer drivers" – which is what you might look for while waiting for answers. And btw, that's what ships with almost all Linux distros, where each app that can print can produce PDFs that way. Just free google for windows-7 pdf driver while waiting for good recommendations here ;)
    – Izzy
    Commented Jul 23, 2015 at 23:11
  • @Izzy: Thanks. That's actually how PDFCreator works. It shows up as an available "printer". Lol. Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 0:04
  • Also, I already pretty extensively Google-searched before I posted. Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 0:05
  • 4
    @SarahofGaia FYI, Windows (by itself) does not already have the ability with "Print to PDF", it's just that browsers like chrome and applications like Microsoft word already have a "print to pdf" built into their software, it technically does not have anything to do with Microsoft's print drivers.
    – Tom
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 0:08
  • 1
    @Tom: Good point. I didn't know that. Thanks for teaching me something today! Commented Jul 27, 2015 at 20:33

2 Answers 2


I would use PrimoPDF,

PrimoPDF (Free)

PrimoPDF is a handy and lightweight utility that converts just about any file type to a PDF by using the source program that created the file and its Print command. The conversion process is quick and efficient, bolstered by a clean, simple interface. The included security features allow you to wrap your PDF in 40-bit or 128-bit encryption, and there's PDF merging and password protection, too. The user also can restrict editing to basic interactions such as comment-making.

PrimoPDF is currently CNET's #1 PDF Software

PrimoPDF's User Interface

  • 2
    Your reply popped up just before I was going to suggest PrimoPDF as well. I have it installed on six Windows 7 systems and think it works just fine. No watermarks, free, and (IMHO) simple to use.
    – user15812
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 0:23
  • I tried PrimoPDF shortly after you I posted that comment, and I've been meaning to comment this but I kept forgetting. It's really really slow on my computer. I thought you said it was lightweight. Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 21:50
  • Hmm, it runs quite fast on mine, I would try uninstalling and reinstalling it, with the most updated version of course. What are the specs on your computer?
    – Tom
    Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 23:00

PDF24 Creator

This one works perfect for me. I'm mot sure if it's faster/lighter than analogues. I find particularly useful that you may change the order of pages in a pdf. Also, you can save a pdf as multiple images with any resolution.

  • That's really cool. And how lightweight is it? Commented Oct 22, 2015 at 21:51

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.