Automatically create PDFs

By David Dagley | January 23, 2013 | Last updated on September 21, 2023
2 min read

If you have PDF creation software, save time and create PDFs from other documents without opening them. Do this by setting up automatic drag and drop PDF creation.

Follow the steps in the previous tech tip, Print docs without opening them, but use the PDF printer instead of a physical printer.

If you have Adobe Acrobat Standard or Adobe Acrobat Professional, there should be a file called Adobe PDF in the Printers and Faxes folder of the Control Panel.

If you don’t have either of these programs, download Nitro Reader (free), which has PDF creation capability. A file called Nitro PDF Creator will be installed in the Printers and Faxes folder of the Control Panel.

Read: Kiss that fax machine goodbye

Once you set up the drag-and-drop PDF creator on your desktop you should create an output folder, then change the PDF creator default settings to send completed PDFs to this folder:

  • Double click the PDF creator desktop icon to open it.
  • From the toolbar select Printer>Properties.
  • Click the Printing Preferences button.
  • Browse and select the output folder.
  • For Adobe PDF, deselect Ask to replace existing PDF files.
  • For Nitro PDF Creator, select Overwrite from the If file exists drop-down menu.

Steps 5 and 6 will save time by automatically overwriting PDF files with same name in the output folder without asking.

Read: Advisors swamped by paperwork

You won’t lose work with this method because you saved the file in another program like Microsoft Word before sending the file to the PDF creator.

To create PDFs, simply drag the file over the PDF creator desktop icon. The output folder is a temporary holding place. Once your PDF is created, drag it to an appropriate location.

David Dagley

David Dagley , CFP®, is a software developer and Adobe javascript expert, with 15 years of financial planning experience. He is the owner and president of Forms Doctor Inc., a company specializing in workflow automation solutions and financial planning calculators for investment dealers, financial advisors, and investment firms.