What is PDF Creator from PDF Forge and why do I need it?

It is sometimes important to share work with your teachers or with other classmates that is captured in PDF format. PDF stands for Portable Document Format. This means that no matter what program your work was originally formatted in, it can be read by any computer with a PDF reader.

If you have already done the Tech Orientation assignment called, “Do You Have Everything You Need?” then you have already tested your computer's PDF reader. Now you will need to set your computer up with PDF writing software.

This exercise is designed to test your ability to use PDF printer software – that is, to test your ability to convert documents and files to save in PDF format. To do this you will need to install a program that prints to PDF on your computer and saves as a PDF file onto your computer. The one MNOHS recommends and supports is a free PDF Creator from a company called PDF Forge. Unlike some other companies this software is 100% free. You won't be asked to purchase anything.

A PDF printer is important in some MNOHS courses because it allows you to:

  • capture a web page as it looks right now—for example, to document your results in an online science lab
  • make sure that the person who opens your file sees the formatting you see—for example, if you have worked hard to get margins or other formatting just right.



Do I really need the PDF Creator from PDF Forge?

  • If you are using Microsoft Office or Open Office, you have an option to save word processing documents in PDF format. This is not the same as printing any open page in your computer to PDF—for example, the web page you’re reading right now. You need a PDF printer, not a PDF writer. That’s why you need the PDF Creator from PDF Forge.
  • If you are using Windows, your computer may have come with trial software called PDF Complete. This is not free software, and it stops working after 30 days unless you pay to reactivate it. PDF Creator from PDF Forge, like all MNOHS required software, is free.

Remember, the PDF Creator from PDF Forge—and all MNOHS required software—is free.


How do I get and use the PDF Creator from PDF Forge?

 NOTE: You do not need a printer to use PDF Creator!

  1. Go to http://mnohs.org/NEWwww.pdfforge.org/products/pdfcreator
  2. You may need to check the security bar near the top of your browser window or other security warnings to unblock the download and allow it to begin.
  3. Click on the red button at the bottom of the PDF Forge website (NOT the button on the right) that says Download PDFCreator 1.x
  4. Choose the Save button –and when the software is done downloading, choose “Run” to install. IMPORTANT: Put a shortcut to PDFCreator on your desktop
  5. You’re ready to use the PDF Creator! The most important thing to remember is that it’s a PDF printer. To use it, choose a page you want to print (for example a word processing document or an open web page) and go to File > Print. A dialogue box will open giving you a list of printers that your computer is ready to work with. Select PDF Creator. (Vista users: To see the dialogue box, you may need to go to your desktop and double click on the PDF Creator shortcut. The rest of these instructions will then work for you.)
  6. Just as with any other print job, you’ll need to wait a minute while the document is “sent to the printer”—but now you’ll see another dialogue box which allows you to save the document. Make sure to type in a document title that you like, and click on “Save.”
  7. You’ll get one more dialogue box which displays the document title and asks you to choose the folder you’ll save the PDF document to. Be sure to remember where you put your document.
  8. If you are printing a dynamic document (one that can be changed) to PDF, remember to also save your work in the original format. This way, you can re-open it and revise it if you need to. Most of the time, documents printed to PDF cannot be revised!

Nationally accredited online learning for grades 9-12

Minnesota Online High School

MNOHS is a public charter school for students in grades 9-12 (and younger students who are ready for high-school) who need a flexible schedule.  We offer full-time and part time enrollment.

2314 University Ave W Suite 10
Saint Paul, MN 55114-1863

Phone: 1-800-764-8166
Fax: 1-866-586-2870

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