Virtual PDF Printers are very useful when we want to create PDF files without actually purchasing a PDF Editor software such as Adobe Acrobat or Foxit PDF Creator.
A virtual PDF printer is a driver software that acts like a printer but instead of sending the print job to an real printer, it sends the print job to PDF creator supplied by GhostScript.
While there are many virtual PDF printer software available, there is an open-source virtual PDF printer called clawPDF that offers more options than any other similar software.
clawPDF is a virtual PDF, OCR and image printer. It can print any document or image into a PDF file or an image file. It works with any application that allows printing such as Microsoft Notepad, Microsoft Word, Mcirosoft Paint or other third party applications. It is able to print directly to the following formats: PDF, PDF/A-1b, PDF/A-2b, PDF/A-3b, OCR, PDF/X, PDF/Image, PNG, JPEG , TIF and TXT.
In addition to printing an open document into a PDF or image file, it can also recognize the text from inside the image files. So if you have an image with something written inside it (such as scanned page from a book or a newspaper article), you can use clawPDF to automatically run OCR on it and save the resulting text into a TXT or PDF file. This is very useful if you are working with a large number of scanned documents.
While clawPDF is a virtual PDF printer and it is usually accessed through the print function of an application, it can also be used through a command line interface. We can simply give the document which is to be saved as PDF file as the only parameter prefixed with /PrintFile=. We can also choose to encrypt the PDF files with a password.
You can download clawPDF from https://github.com/clawsoftware/clawPDF.