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Creating PDF documents with GhostScript and GhostWord

Mar 26, 20032 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsMicrosoft WordOpen Source

* Dr. Internet columnist Steve Blass offers advice on how to create a PDF file from a Word document

Are there any open source software tools for creating PDF files from Word documents?

A program called GhostWord provides the ability to click an icon in a Word toolbar and generate PDF files. GhostWord and GhostScript work together to create a PostScript version of the document and then that to PDF. In typical open source fashion you need to install three software packages in the proper order. First, install GhostScript, available at Second, install the Adobe Postscript Driver available from Install the PostScript print driver as a Local printer and choose File for the printer port. This installs a virtual PostScript printer on your system to be used in creating PDF files. Third, install GhostWord, available from After GhostWord is installed, start Word. You should notice a new toolbar icon for GhostWord labeled DOC/PDF on the far right of the Word toolbar line. Clicking this GhostWord icon brings up a conversion dialog. Select the PostScript printer you just installed and click Convert. The system will generate your PDF document and launch Acrobat Reader to display the result.

Blass is a network architect at Change@Work in Houston. He can be reached at