If you happen to be looking for a completely free tool capable of creating, editing, and converting PDF files from and to the most common document and image file formats, PDF24 Creator is an option to consider. Working as a PDF printer, the program comes with a number of extra tools that will let you extract pages from PDFs, compress PDF files, import images from a scanner, and even take screenshots of your desktop.
Unlike many similar PDF creation tools that are but a virtual PDF printer, PDF24 Creator gives you a series of extra tools to edit your PDFs and to perform a number of useful actions that are usually available in commercial PDF editors. Regrettably, all of these extra utilities seem to be somehow scattered in two somehow confusing menus. The first one opens when you launch PDF24 Creator, and there you’ll find, together with the creation tool itself, a PDF compression tool, a page extraction utility, an “Import from scanner or camera” option, a couple of fax tools to send your PDFs, and a screen capture utility. Besides, you’ll find links to a couple of online tools, one to create PDFs and another one to convert them into various formats. The second menu, the PDF Printer Assistant, opens once you’ve created a new PDF file (or sent it to the virtual print, to be precise), and there you’ll find the preview window, a PDF compressor, a cloud printing service, a “Save as PDF” option, etc. There is some logic in how most of these utilities have been distributed between the two menus, but the whole organization seems a bit chaotic, thus making PDF24 Creator hard to navigate at first.
Another drawback you will have to face regarding the overall program’s usability has to do with how it behaves whenever you close one of these tools and features. Clicking on the “Cancel” button on any of the windows of the program will close the entire tool, instead of going back to the menu it came from, forcing you to open PDF24 Creator again if you want to continue working on your PDFs.
These minor drawbacks aside, PDF24 Creator is certainly a tool worth trying and using. Its unbeatable price is a clear invitation to download and install it on your system, and use it whenever you require creating PDF files efficiently either from a scanner or from any document stored on your PC. It can even load an archive file (ZIP, 7Z, etc.) and “extract” any documents and images in it and convert them to PDF right away.
Its customization features are also worth noting. You can define your own properties for the various PDF types and, most notably, you can personalize the entire tool by loading your favorite photograph, image, or logo to the main interface.
The variety of tools it offers is really an uncommon and most welcome add-on. The possibility of compressing, converting, and editing PDFs for free is a treat you don’t come across with very often.