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How to set up your computer to make .pdf files


so you can more easily follow the steps.
  1. What is a .pdf file? - It is a file format for documents to be printed which makes it possible to transfer between computers both the data and the format of a printed page. This means that whatever programme you have used to generate the .pdf file, the receiver will be able to print the document, or view it on his screen in exactly the format you generated, even though the receiver does not have a copy of the programme you used to generate and format the document.
    The .pdf file format was developed by Adobe. You may have heard of the programme Adobe Acrobat Reader or Adobe Reader which can be used to open .pdf files for display on your computer or for printing them. If you are already able to open .pdf files, then you already have one of these or a similar programme installed on your computer. This is the first thing we will test in Step 2.
  2. Can you open .pdf files? - If you know you can then skip onto step 3. If you are not sure try this:
    RIGHT click this link makepdf.pdf and select SAVE TARGET AS, saving it on your desktop, or somewhere you can find it. Using Windows Explorer find the file you have just saved, click to open it and then print it. If you cant open this or any other .pdf file, then install Adobe Reader on your computer. To install Adobe reader, go to the Adobe website: You will find the latest version, Adobe Reader 7.0.8, is a 19MB download, even if you untick the two extras which you don't need. This will be fairly quick to dowload if you have broadband, but if you are on dial-up you may want to try and find a copy on a CD (I can send you a CD) or else choose and install an older version, for example Acrobat Reader 5.05 which is only 9 MB. Follow Adobe's instructions and then try opening a .pdf file.
  3. To make a .pdf file to send to me, you must install a software programme which acts as a printer. You can then select from your printer menu and so print your measurement report into a.pdf file, which you can save on your computer before sending it to me as an email attachement. A very sophisticated and expensive programme called Adobe Acrobat is available, which not only will act as a printer to generate .pdf files, but will also allow you to do many manipulations of .pdf files. The latest version is Adobe Acrobat Standard Version 7.0 and is available here It costs $299 +taxes and is a 167MB download. However, you dont really need this sophisticated programme just to turn your measurment reports into .pdf files. Instead go to step 4 and download a FREE programme.
  4. Download the FREE pdf995 software from It is just the Pdf995 Printer Driver Version 7.9s* and the pdf converter which you need as the minimum. Pdf995. Printer Driver Version 7.9s* is 2.1 MB so will dowload quite quickly even with a dial-up connection. Click on the download button and select Run pdf995s.exe. After a pause a window will open telling you to download pdfconverter version 1.1. You almost certainly will need to download the pdfconverter version 1.1. So just go ahead and click the download button for it and then click Run ps2pdf995.exe which is a 5MB file download. When the converter finishes installing, your screen will display some read-me information which has been installed on your computer in the file C:\Program Files\pdf995\readme.html (if you have Windows XP). You can read this now, or later after you have done a quick test to see if you can print to the pdf995 printer - see STEP 5.
  5. Checking the installation of PDF995. If you now look at your printer list ( From your control panel select Printers & Faxes) You will see that the new printer PDF995 has been added at the bottom of your list of printers. You first need to switch it from letter size to A4. Highlight the printer and then click Set Printer Properties from the list of printer tasks. On a different version of Windows you may not see Set Printer Properties but see something like Printer Preferences. Change the paper from Letter size to A4 by clicking on the tab Device Settings and selecting A4 from the list at Form to tray assignment. Some versions of windows don't have the Device Settings tab in which scase the Advance Settings button should give you a menu you can use to change the paper size. Now you are ready to test your new printer by printing from any software by selecting the PDF995 printer. Here is the window where you choose the .pdf printer from the list of printers you have installed.
    After you have highlighted the PDF995 printer and clicked the PRINT button in the window above, first a new window will open asking you to name the .pdf file and the location to store it on your computer. my copy of .pdf offers the following default location for the .pdf file it is going to generate c:\Progam Files\pdf995\res\, however, I prefer to store the generated .pdf file in MyDocuments or else on my Desktop. You also have the opportunity to specify the file name for the .pdf file.
    Then when printing is set off various advertising screens flash up -- just ignore them and click CONTINUE USING SPONSORED VERSION. The next thing that should happen is that ADOBE READER will open up and display the .pdf file you have just created. make sure it looks OK. The close ADOBE READER. If it works, you have now finshed generating the .pdf file, and the final step will be to attach it to an email and send it to me. If you have a problem, tell me what is going wrong.
  6. Getting rid of the annoying sponsor advertising screen that open up with the free version of PDF995. Follow the PDF995 instructions to pay them $9.95 and register the software. Remember that this money is a legitmate one-off measurement expense to be covered by your measurement fees, so it is not worth putting up with annoying advertsing screens!
  7. IDEAL FORMAT FOR SUBMITTING COURSE MEASUREMENT REPORTS is a single .pdf file with pages ordered as follows: One way to generate a single file is to assemble all these sheets into one document (eg a word document) and then a single print to the pdf995 printer will generate a file which needs no further work. If you want to combine the output from different programmes, one way is to print separate .pdf files from each programme and send all the files to me to put together for you. But better for me is that you should download the .pdfEdit995 in order to edit a PDF files and configure pdf995:

    "pdfEdit995 is a free tool available for download at With pdfEdit995 you can customize your pdf995 output with an easy-to-use utility: Turn off auto-launch, preview and email documents, insert bookmarks, add links, combine files, change page orientation, add "Confidential" stamps, create PDF stationery, adjust image resolution, summarize documents, create batch print jobs from Microsoft Office applications and choose from several file naming methods to bypass the Save As dialog in Pdf995."
    You see it will combine files, which will save me some work. Also it will allow you to set up the image resolution so you canadjust the compression of the images which are stored inside the .pdf file, so that the images are still readable but are not too large to email. I try to make the course map pages uploaded to this website less than 1MB . Actually most course maps on this site are in the range 50KB to 500KB. If you send me a file where the map is more than 1MB when I extract it from your .pdf file, then I reduce it before putting it on the website.

  8. You are done. Any queries please email me, e.g. I can write some more instructions on producing .pdf files which are not too large to email

Mike - 5 July 2006.