5 Free Ways to Convert Blog Posts & Documents to PDF

This is a guest post by Jamie Harrop. Jamie is a writer for Cogniview, the leading producer of PDF to excel conversion tools. He can also be found at his personal blog, discussing blogging, business and customer service.

From sharing PDF versions of blog posts via email, to ebooks and plugin documentation, PDF’s are widely used throughout the blogosphere. They provide a “Read Me” only interface that can be easily downloaded or viewed within a browser, viewed on smart phones, or even printed for offline reading. It’s this versatility that gives PDF’s the power they have today.

It’s only right, then, that we find out how to create PDF’s to aid in our blog promotion and management. Here are five ways to easily create PDF ebooks and documents.

PDF24 – WordPress Plugin – Convert Blog Posts

PDF24 is an excellent WordPress plugin that allows your readers to email a PDF version of your blog post to their own email address or to a friend. This is an fantastic take on the ‘Send to a Friend’ plugins.

The plugin places a short email address form below all your blog posts. Find out more about this plugin.

Bullzip PDF Printer – Convert Microsoft Documents

Bullzip is tailored to convert Microsoft applications to PDF. Like many PDF converters, it acts as a printer on your computer, so to convert a document all you have to do is go to File > Print and choose the PDF converter from your list of possible printers.

Bullzip comes complete with a wide range of features, including the ability to choose different quality settings for different uses (ebook, screen or print), add and edit watermark text and password protect the PDF. Find out more.

CutePDF – Create PDF Forms for Digital Completion

Another free option that installs itself as a printer on your Windows PC, CutePDF is recommended by many. Whereas many free PDF converters add watermarks to your final file, and bombard you with adverts upon conversion, CutePDF doesn’t. No adverts. No mess. Just one very simple and easy to use PDF converter. Find out more.

Primo PDF

Primo PDF is one of the oldest PDF converters, and is able to convert over 300 different file types. Just like other converters, this program sets itself up as a printer on your PC.

Creating PDF’s on a Mac

Of course, I can’t forget the Apple fan boys (I know plenty of you are reading). For those not aware, Mac’s have a built in PDF converter (they’re always more advanced than us Windows folk!). To convert a file to PDF using a Mac:

In OS X 10.4 or later:

  • Choose File -> Print.
  • Click on the PDF button in the bottom left of the “Print” Screen.
  • Select the option Save as PDF…

In OS X 10.3 or earlier:

  • Open the document you want to convert to PDF in the native Mac OS X application.
  • Choose File -> Print, and continues as follows:
    • Choose Save As PDF (Mac OS X v10.2.x), or click Preview and do one of the following (Mac OS X v10.1.x):
    • If Acrobat opens the preview, choose File -> Save As, and then choose Adobe PDF Files from the Format pop-up menu.
    • If Preview opens the preview, choose File -> Save As PDF.
    • Specify a filename and location, and then click Save.

PDF files really are a useful asset for bloggers. I’ve seen a huge explosion in recent months from people downloading audio podcast versions of my text blog posts so they can listen and learn from them while offline and away from the computer. PDF’s are a great alternative to audio, to allow your readers to learn and experience your brand while away from the office.

How often do you use PDF’s? Do you provide a way for your readers to convert your blog posts to PDF? Let us know in the comments!


46 thoughts on “5 Free Ways to Convert Blog Posts & Documents to PDF”

  1. I was never even aware there was such a big market for this type of method!

    1. Kristijan says:

      It’s big in terms of competition but small in terms of money.

      1. Ryan McLean says:

        Yeh Doesn’t seem like there is a lot of money in this.
        Much more in internet marketing 😉

        1. I am about ready to create an ebook for my blog, so to give it away for free with newsletter sign up. This post will be a great tool to use. As far as money goes haven’t you read John post’s on creating an Aweber account and how he does this exact thing in order to make $4000 in one day? Anyway kudos… great post…

      2. Kendall says:

        I’m in agreement with Taris–how many people actually go to the trouble to convert PDFs on their own? Why don’t we, as bloggers, have our own PDFs available–even if only in the form of a comprehensive ebook–like Chow’s?

  2. Never knew this was possible. Thank you!

    1. You never knew it was possible to convert to PDF?

      1. It is an irony i was thinking of doing the opposite today itself. Converting PDF files into others 🙂

      2. Will says:

        Do not attack individual leprechauns.

  3. Juan says:

    John,

    Which one of those tools do you use in your blog??

  4. mike b. says:

    everytime I come her i leave with something else to implement in my own blog. Thanks

    @bookerx3

  5. Marko says:

    Nice, a WordPress plugin to convert posts to PDF. Thanks for pointing this out.

  6. Terry Krysak says:

    Open Office, the free alternative to Microsoft Office now has a create PDF option from it’s word processing portion of the software. Open Office is free to download.

    I have used PDF Creator for a couple of years now and it is excellent and free.
    http://www-pdfcreator.com/?hop=clkbnkr

  7. Kevan says:

    An awesome home-grown application built by Vancouver’s own Frank Worsley is called zinepal (check it out at zinepal.com). It’s a super-easy service that lets you pick-and-choose what entries to send to the PDF, plus you can schedule the service to automatically create a printable PDF “zine” from your blog.

  8. Rafiki says:

    I used to love Open Office but I become a Mac user. How come a great blogger like you, Jaime, don’t use a Mac?? (if I understood right, you don’t use it).

    Thank You.

    1. Jake Stone says:

      I might be stretching here, but could it actually be so that great bloggers are great despite the tools they use to blog? Then I think, nah, the stuff that I write with my Mac is so much better than the stuff I used to write with PC.

  9. Ryan McLean says:

    Yeh Mac with its automatic method of creating PDF’s. Though I noticed with Mac is made PDF’s that were like 65 MB
    I prefer to use NeoOffice for Mac which is a free Open Source software that creates PDF but in a smaller size. Instead of 65MB it becomes like 400KB

  10. Allan Ward says:

    Good post Jamie,

    I had no idea a WordPress plugin like PDF24 existed. It’s a great idea.

    I’ve been using Nitro PDF to create my pdfs.

  11. I used to use Nitro PDF for my creations, but it didn’t have too many functions, but now I simply create them from what’s built into Word, since I only need .pdf’s for some e-books and that’s it nowadays.

  12. Andrew Wong says:

    Hello

    Do you know of any ways to split up a PDF file of lets say 20 pages, into 20 individual PDFs?

    I know this is a weird question, but I found a use for this.

  13. Hey John,

    I am with Juan….which one of these tools do you personally use? This is great information, I been searching for something like this. This really saves me time to research it myself. Also, can you do the same using Google documents as well?

  14. hmgfiae says:

    what would be really great is a wordpress and blogger widget to export a blog’s post to PDF on the fly, with pre-configured layout options.

    Anyone knowds anything doing this?

  15. Excellent Info!! I’m gonna check this out 🙂

  16. I’m looking for some level of PDF integration for jobsite and I was wondering if there’s anything you guys recommend? Essentially, I want jobseekers to be able to view the job postings in PDF format, be able to email to their friend and/or print.

    Any recommendations?

    Best,
    Eugene, mployr.com

  17. Great post, I never knew there’s a wp plugin to convert posts to pdf.

  18. OpenOffice has a built in feature of export to PDF.
    Very convenient, I’ve been using it for years.

  19. venkat says:

    All are ver useful tools to convert documents to PDF files,but one free tool is also missing here is dopdf is ver useful in converting any page to PDF.and have no compatability problems with fonts either with dopdf.Using dopdf since some long time for now ver satisfied with it.

  20. I wonder how necessary it is though. Has anyone really used this method?

  21. Rahul says:

    Thanks for this post man… bookmarked it too.

  22. SEO Tips says:

    It seems a lot of people didn’t realise this was possible, thats quite suprising. I thought it was widely known that you could do this.

    I have been using Open Office and cute PDF to convert my files to PDF it works great.

  23. Steven Roddy says:

    I have a Mac but I had no idea that it could convert docs into PDF. I am just finishing up my first ebook and that will save me some money and time. Thank you so very much.

  24. How much memory does the plugin take up?

  25. Agent 001 says:

    I already use PrimoPDF and it is very good at converting anything that can be printed into PDF.

  26. loy says:

    I might use a WordPress plugin that converts blog posts to PDF documents, but my blog is still new and has few visitors, so it’s not an option for the moment.

  27. I’ve never found the need to convert any of my blog posts to pdf – at the moment. But I guess this tool might come in handy when I decided to write my first ebook. Thanks for sharing this post.

    Peter Lee

    1. Ben Pei says:

      I mean unless you want to turn them into your ebook!

  28. This will be great for creating ebooks.

  29. Steve Jate says:

    I’m still new in this topic. But, thanks to let me know, John.

  30. Gagan says:

    cute pdf is one of my favorite !! Thanks 🙂

  31. Jade says:

    Hi John, I just wanted to say thanks for that great guest article. I had been looking for a simple solution to getting what I write in posts into pdf format and now I believe I’ve found it with the WordPress plugin mentioned here.

  32. Silvia says:

    Everything is clear! Thank you.

  33. Lynnette says:

    I agree with Venkat… dopdf is a good one: http://www.dopdf.com/

    And here’s the PrimoPDF that was mentioned, but no link given: http://www.primopdf.com/

    What about PDF Online? http://www.pdfonline.com/ I haven’t tried that one yet.

  34. GP says:

    I wasn’t aware of the conversion to pdf as well as many others here. I will be checking out these products. Thanks for the information!

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