Sharing files with friends, family and colleagues is easy, but what if they don't have the appropriate software to view the files? The solution is to send them an industry-standard PDF file instead of Word, Excel, Photoshop or other file types.

The software used to create and edit PDF files is expensive, but you can install a virtual PDF printer for nothing. This allows you to print from just about any application and instead of printing a physical piece of paper, you end up with a PDF file saved on your hard drive.

To install the virtual PDF printer, go to Bullzip's website and click the link to start the download. Unzip the file and double-click to run it. Follow the instructions, and make sure you don't uncheck the box marked 'Download and install Ghostscript Lite'. This is needed for the PDF printer to work.

At the end, click Finish and a window will open showing all the printers installed on your computer. You should see Bullzip PDF Printer in the list, and it will have set itself to be the default printer. Chances are, you'd rather leave your real printer as the default, so right-click on your main printer and click Set as Default Printer.

Bullzip PDF printer

When you want to create a PDF of a document, open the document in the usual program and go to print it in the usual way. Now, choose Bullzip PDF Printer from the list of printers. Click print and the Bullzip options window will open. You can alter the file name, and where the PDF is saved. Under Quality, you can choose what type of device the file will be optimised for, such as screen, ebook and printer.

Bullzip in Word

On the General tab, you can choose from a range of image formats, including BMP, JPEG, PNG and TIFF. This saves your document as an image instead of a PDF.

Bullzip options

All you need to view a PDF file is Adobe Reader X which is free from Adobe's website.

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