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What Does Print to PDF Do?

For many years, even the better part of a decade, most web browsers struggled to work with PDFs. Most computers lacked any ability to work with or even create these files without standalone software to get the job done. To some extent, that's still true even today. However, as operating systems continue to evolve and the ubiquity and utility of the PDF format remain firmly entrenched, some changes have begun to take place.

For example, Microsoft users on Windows 10 and newer may have noticed a strange entry in their list of printers and devices: a "PDF printer" of sorts. Properly called Microsoft print to PDF, what does this "printer" actually do?

Of course, it isn't a real device but a virtual print driver that users can turn to when they need to create a PDF. This option might be in Microsoft Office, or one could apply it to a web page that you want to turn into a PDF. The key fact to note is that a print to PDF function is not actually a PDF editor. In other words, you can create a PDF and even open it in a browser such as Microsoft Edge, but you won't have much functionality beyond that.

What's behind this feature, and is there a better solution?

How the Print to PDF Function Works

Believe it or not, most PDF creation happens through a print driver. The reason for this is simple: the entire purpose of print drivers is to take input data and translate it into an image as output. Even though this "printer" does not actually output any hard copy, what it does instead interprets the file you put into it so it can re-structure the document into a PDF. Unfortunately, not every print driver is the same—and some users report that Microsoft's function can produce garbled PDFs or may lose key formatting in the change.

Is There a Better Way to Create PDFs?

Simply put, yes. While the built-in PDF printer in Windows works in a pinch, it won't give you the best results possible. For that, you'll need purpose-built software, such as Kofax Power PDF. By choosing a fully-featured PDF editor instead, you can enjoy better results with greater consistency. That's not to mention one other simple fact: with this software, you aren't limited only to creating PDFs.

Equip Yourself With All the Features You Need

With Power PDF, you can do more than bypass the clunky "print to PDF" function in Windows—you can unlock a complete array of tools that empower users to do more every day. Other key elements of Power PDF include:

  • Rapid document conversion to and from PDF and many other formats, including Word and Excel.
  • Gold-standard security solutions, including redaction, passwords and certificate security.
  • Industry-leading optical character recognition for the best and most consistent document output.

Power PDF delivers exceptional results every time, especially when converting documents and retaining the flow and format of the layout. With its own "print to PDF" function and a complete suite of other features, why rely solely on built-in operating system tools that don't offer everything you need? Discover the difference and start experimenting with advanced PDF functionality today when you download and explore your free 15-day trial of Power PDF now.

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