A virtual PDF printer allows users to create PDF documents from any program with a "print" function. The system treats it like a physical printer, but it creates PDF files rather than physical documents. You can give your system the capabilities of expensive PDF creation software utilising programs already on your system by using a PDF printer. You can share a virtual printer over TCP/IP as if you are sharing a physical device, whether you run the printer on a Windows or OSX machine.
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Download and install a PDF virtual printer. Several Windows-based options are available as free downloads, including doPDF and Wondersoft Virtual PDF Printer.
Click on "Start" in the lower-left corner of your desktop, then click on "Control Panel" and open the printer management icon. This icon is listed as "Printers and Faxes" in Windows XP, "Printers" in Windows Vista and "Devices and Printers" in Windows 7. You may need to change to "Classic View" or "Icon View" before accessing the icon.
Right-click on the virtual PDF printer and select "Sharing" or "Printer Properties." Give the printer network access in the "Sharing" tab. If the system has remote access disabled, Windows will run a wizard to configure and enable it.
Click "OK" to save the changes. Other users may now access the printer from their respective printers list and print PDF documents to their own machines.
Download and install a PDF virtual printer. CUPS-PDF is a freely available option that works with OSX.
Click on the Apple menu and select "Preferences." Open the "Sharing" icon.
Check the "Printer Sharing" box to activate printer sharing. Place a check mark next to the virtual printer in the "Printers" box. You may restrict which network users have access to the printer in the "Users" box.
Tips and warnings
- If you run OSX and don't need the full capabilities of a virtual printer, the operating system includes a native save-to-PDF function, located in the "PDF" sub-menu inside the Print window. Any program that uses the default print window will have access to this option.
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