Create and Edit PDF files – free!

Do you get frustrated with the limited control you have over PDF files when you use acrobat reader, the default PDF document viewer installed on most computers? There’s two nice programs that can edit and create PDF files.

Read a PDF file.

Foxit Reader is an excellent alternative reader. It loads much faster than Adobe Reader, lets you highlight and copy text and images, open multiple documents at once, search one or all open documents, annotate pages, create and edit a chapter list of bookmarks, and attach  files to the document. In short it does almost everything you’d want to do with an already created file. The only note of caution is to make sure you read the screens when the program is being installed – it will default to installing an extra Toolbar (Ask) on the browser unless you untick the box agreeing to install it.  The extra toolbar is not that troublesome – you may even like it – and it can be removed without a great deal of hassle, but unnecessary if you are careful when running the installation program.

Create a PDF file

PDFill’s free PDF Writer takes care of PDF file creation. Like most PDF creation tools, the program installs itself as a another printer driver on the computer. To create a PDF document from a non-pdf source, print the document (any document with a print command can be converted to a PDF file) using the PDFill printer instead of the normal printer.  Instead of the document printing, a dialog box appears prompting for the filename and location of the newly created PDF document, which is then saved as a PDF document.  PDFill comes with PDF Tools, a collection of goodies for managing pdf files, including merging or splitting existing pdf documents.

If you use Firefox as your internet browser then PrintPDF is available as an Add-on. Once installed, saving the web page as a PDF file is a simple as File> PrinfPDF, and then nominating the file name and location in the provided dialog box.  A PDF page identical to the display provided in Print Preview is then generated and saved.

PDF to word (or HTML)

Sometimes you want to convert the pdf documenet back into Word or HTML.  Freeware Genius has done a comparative test of various available methods and reached the unexpected conclusion that the best result could be obtained by using the online tool at  This site sells various pdf tools, but the online converter is free. Simply upload the file and wait for the converted file to be created. It works like a charm (provided the original pdf document isn’t security protected), although you do need to be patient and wait for the result.

With these pdf tools in your arsenal you’ll have all the benefits of pdf documents, without forfitting the ability to create and edit the documents. All are  free, virus free, and there are no nag screens or advertising screens (though watch out you don’t install the Ask toolbar when installing Foxit reader unless you really want it or want to try it out). Try them out and it won’t be long before you wonder how you managed without them.

PDF Editing & Creation: 50+ open source/free alternatives to Adobe Acrobat : Codswallop (

How to Create and Edit PDF Files Using Open Source Software (

How to convert PDF to Word DOC for free: a comparative test(

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