Ditch your printer today : Step-by-step print your files to PDF (part 1)

4/27/2012 5:17:27 PM

Excessive printing is bad for everyone, but you can easily share files without wasting paper.

Using less paper is becoming increasingly important. We’re always being told to ‘think before you print’. If you’re always printing out documents to give to friends and colleagues, then you can do your bit to help the planet by using PDFs - Portable Document Format, the way in which you can display any type of file without needing the original software the created the file - as an environmentally-friendly alternative.

Using novaPDF Lite, free on this month’s disc, you can store and share your documents easily with friends. You can use it to convert most popular file formats to PDF, which can then be easily stored on your PC or attached to emails and sent to friends or colleagues. An added bonus is that each document is protected from being changed by the person reading it. This program simply installs as another printer on your computer and the files can be opened by any PDF reader, including Foxit Reader, which can be found in the Resources section on your disc.

At a glance

Skill level: Anyone can do it

Time taken: 10 mins

Suitablefor: Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP

Description: Use novaPDF Lite to store and share your documents easily with friends.

Use novaPDF Lite to store and share your documents easily with friends.


You can select your default save location for all PDFs. This can be changed during the printing process (see step 9). The program’s default location is your Documents folder.


This drop-down menu gives you many different size options for your document, the default being the Letter option.


If you want to create a document in the Landscape orientation, then be sure to select that option here. Otherwise the program will print to Portrait by default.


For printing purposes make sure the resolution is set to 300dpi. This is the official print resolution and will ensure your prints are of the highest quality. Any setting lower than this can result in blurring of your document.

Dpi: Dots per inch refers to the resolution of the document. Print resolution is 300dpi, whereas screen resolution ranges from 72-100dpi. Any less than this will look blocky.


Step-by-step print your files to PDF


Description: Select a language during installation

Select a language during installation

Insert your cover disc into your computer, and navigate to the Full Programs section. From there you can easily install the program to your hard drive by clicking the ‘Install Now’ button. Your first two options will be to select a language during installation and the location to save the application – this will be your Programs folder by default.

Edit printer name

Description: Decide what to call the PDF creator

Decide what to call the PDF creator

On this screen you will need to decide what to call the PDF creator in your printer lists. If you’re thinking that you may want to upgrade to the pro version of the software, then we advice you select the first option, which will then be overwritten if you install a different version. Alternatively you can name it anything you like be selecting the ‘Custom printer name’ option.

Printer preferences

Description: Make novaPDF Lite your computer’s default printer

Make novaPDF Lite your computer’s default printer

This next window gives you the chance to make novaPDF Lite your computer’s default printer. Your default should always be the printer you use most – if you’ll be ‘printing’ most files to PDF from now on, this is the sensible option. Don’t worry, if you do select it as the default printer then you can still use your normal printer should you need to.

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