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PDFwriter is a printer driver for OS X, which will let you generate PDF files by simply printing. PDFwriter is heavily based on, but far superior to, CUPS-PDF. It doesn't use ghostscript to generate PDF files; instead it uses the OS X internal PDF capabilities.

What's New

Version 1.2.1: Release notes were unavailable when this listing was updated.


  • OS X 10.5 or later

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PDFwriter User Discussion

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Ochre Member IconComment+66

There appears to be an error in the quoted release date for the current version, 1.2.1. According to Sourceforge (where this project is hosted), 1.2.1 was released 15th March 2011 (15-03-11), not 15th November 2013 (15-11-13).

Reply0 replies
Version 1.2.1
Craig42a Member IconReview+48

I have a book I created in InDesign and I wanted to produce a PDF of just the thumbnails of the layout in a grid configuration of 3x3 per page. While it is an easy enough to export pages to PDF using "Export" you cannot make thumbnails into a PDF, only print thumbnails to paper through the print dialog box. This software solved that problem instantly. Easy to install, and it appears as a print driver that you can select when you are in the print dialog box. When you "print" to PDFWriter it automatically saves the file to a special location (read the instructions that come with the download): e.g. /Users/Shared/PDFwriter
The only downsides of this program are you can't choose the save location and you can't rename the PDF before saving as you can during an InDesign PDF Export. But that's okay. The hours I saved in alternative ways of creating PDF-format thumbnails of the book makes this a five-star app all the way. Thank you.

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Version 1.2.1
tbarth Member IconReview+0

I'm new to Mac, and I can't find how to save the pdf output file from this printer. Nowhere is there a setting for that as far as I can see. And there is nothing to be found in Documents.
Can someone please help me, thanks.

Reply1 reply
Version 1.2.1

It's all said in the readme file accompanying the installation package: "The PDF files will be stored in the directory /Users/Shared/PDFwriter." Cheers.

Volcanus Member IconReview+4

Much better than cups-pdf! Saves the pdf created internally by an application into a file. Works like a virtual printer. Very helpful also to save Airprint output.

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Version 1.2.1
Mikael B Member IconComment+415
Mikael B

And the gain to using "save as pdf" is what exactly?

Reply7 replies
Version 1.2.1

The value of this tool is that certain apps, like Acrobat, won't let you Save As PDF.

I've had several non-standard PDFs that open fine in Acrobat but fail in Preview. Tweaking them in Acrobat Pro and saving still doesn't correct the problems.

Printing the problem documents to PDFWriter gives me clean PDFs that will work anywhere.


J.a.duke ... Not true. Acrobat indeed allows one to save a file as a PDF. Just go to File > Save As, and you should notice that the first menu option is PDF... . And that's not all that's offered.


My good Doctor:

In my example, saving from Acrobat or Acrobat Pro didn't fix the problems with the file-I still had corrupted graphics & text when opening in Preview.

Printing from Acrobat via PDFWriter gave me a file that worked anywhere.



J.a.duke ... While this free app works for you as it might well as for others, it does not necessitate stating ... " certain apps, like Acrobat, won't let you Save As PDF".
Just pointing that out.


With this fantastic little tool you can batch convert documents. I have a lot of word documents that I need to pdf when finished. With this you can drag an alias from the system prefs. of the print driver to your desk top, then drag and drop a bunch of files. It then works its own way through them. Big time saver.


An example: I have a PDF made from several different sources. The page sizes are all slightly different. Acrobat won't permit me to resize everything to x paper size, so I have to save the PDF, open in Preview, select print, change the paper size, and then save to PDF. If I could print -> save to pdf in Acrobat--which this programme allows--it would save me a step.

Mikael B

Thanks for your explanations how this useful to you Faithless, J.a.duke and dainius.sileika. I use CutePDF when on Windows, so this is pretty much the same concept.

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> 4 3


Current Version (1.x)


Downloads 19,485
Version Downloads 19,485
Type Drivers / Printers
Date 15 Nov 2013
Platform Intel 64 / OS X
Price Free
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