[Techtalk] Virtual Printer

Alvin Goats agoats at compuserve.com
Sat Mar 22 22:14:35 UTC 2008

You typically have a choice of printers when you select the "Print" menu 
like in Firefox.

For Firefox, you select File > Print

You then have Printer    Printer Name:   (mine is Cups).
To the right of the Printer Name is Properties...   and below that is a 
box to mark for Print to File.

Click the box, check that the rest of the print info is correct and hit 

The next screen that pops up is where and what name to save the file as. 
Select a .ps extension.

You can then use ps2pdf to convert the postscript encapsulated bitmap 
image to a pdf wrapped bitmap image. The output is similar to using 
PDFCreator in Microsoft windows as a printer driver.

It's an uneditable pdf file, but one that looks the same regardless of 
OS anyone is using.

I don't know of any direct to PDF printer driver for Linux, but for your 
DOC and XLS files, I'd use OpenOffice or StarOffice and have it make the 
PDF for you. Select everything you want to print and go to Print 
Preview. If it looks right, export immediately into PDF (it's worked for 
me so far, and I'm selecting pieces of large spreadsheets typically). 
Otherwise, print to a file and force the postscript to a pdf with ps2pdf 
again for an uneditable version.


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