[Review] Simpo PDF Creator (v2.0)

{rw_text}Software reviewed in this article:

Simpo PDF Creator

Version reviewed:

v2.0.0

System Requirements:

Windows 7, Vista, XP, 2000 (x32/x64); Microsoft Office 2000 / 2002 / 2003 is required create pdf from doc, ppt, xls; Microsoft Office 2007 is required create pdf from docx / pptx / xlsx

Price:

$29.95 but you can get it for free for a limited time at Giveawayoftheday.com!

Software description:

New version 2.0 provides you more methods to generate PDF documents – user interface, virtual printer and right-click. So you can convert Word to PDF, Excel to PDF, PPT to PDF, Image to PDF, HTML to PDF and any other printable documents to PDF without any difficulties. Besides, it’s available to set a password to protect your PDF documents security.Features:

  • Easily create PDF from Excel, Word, PPT, Images with right clicking the file.
  • Import different format documents from interface and convert in a batch.
  • Available to merge several PDF files to one PDF, or merge different format files to one PDF.
  • Work as a virtual printer to convert any printable documents to PDF.
  • Support PDF/A format and embedded font.
  • Secure your converted PDF documents with 128bit encryption.

————————-{/rw_text} –>

{rw_good}

  • Straightforward and easy to use.
  • Works as a PDF printer (can create any printable file to PDF) and has a GUI interface which users can use to batch create PDFs (can create only certain files to PDF).
  • Adds a entry to right-click context menu for quick PDF creations.
  • Allows users to add metadata, encrypt PDFs, and create PDF/A compatible PDFs.
  • Can merge multiple files into one PDF.
  • Works fairly quickly.

{/rw_good} –>

{rw_bad}

  • PDFs created with Simpo PDF Creator are… messed up.
  • The right-click context menu entry to create PDFs is there for files which are not even supported.
  • PDF encryption is not very specific on what type of encryption – only lists “Low” and “High”.

{/rw_bad} –>

{rw_score}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”9″}Point and click for the most part. However a “Create PDF with Simpo PDF Creator” entry is added to the right-click context menu for just about every file… even files which Simpe PDF Creator can’t create PDFs out of!
{/for}
{for=”Performance” value=”5″}PDFs are created just fine. However the PDFs created with Simpo PDF Creator are not properly “aligned”(for the lack of a better word).
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”10″}Everyone needs a PDF creator.
{/for}
{for=”Price” value=”2″}$29.95 for a PDF creator? You have got to be joking. Something around the lines of $5-10 is more like it considering it really doesn’t any out of the ordinary features worth paying for.
{/for}
{for=”Arbitrary Equalizer” value=”5″}This category reflects an arbitrary number that does not specifically stand for anything. Rather this number is used to reflect my overall rating/verdict of the program in which I considered all the features and free alternatives.
{/for}
{/rw_score} –>

{rw_verdict}[tdown]
{/rw_verdict} –>

Simpo PDF Creator is, as the name insinuates, a PDF creator. Most PDF creators are restricted to being PDF virtual printers (i.e. you do File -> Print and select the printer to create the PDF). Simpo PDF Creator, on the other hand, is a PDF virtual printer and also comes with a batch PDF creator in the form of a GUI interface. Unfortunately, however, all that is useless because the PDFs created with Simpo PDF Creator are…

This is what batch PDF creator of Simpo PDF Creator looks like:

2009-11-27_000825

Now this batch creator only supports certain file formats -> PDF. These are all the file formats supported by this batch creator:

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To use the batch creator, simply click “Add files”, add the files you want to convert, select the output location, change any advanced settings…

2009-11-27_011653

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…if you please, and click the “Convert” button to start creating the PDFs. Conversions are at a good pace so you shouldn’t be waiting long.

One handy feature of this batch converter is the ability to merge multiple files into one single PDF (check the checkbox for “Merge all files into one pdf file” option to use this feature). In other words, users can print, for example, multiple .DOC files into one PDF or merge multiple PDFs into one PDF. This feature can be very handy.

If you want to convert a file to PDF which is not supported by the batch creator, you can use the PDF printer of Simpo PDF Creator. To use the Simpo PDF Creator, just do what you would normally do if you were printing out file you want to turn into a PDF. However, instead of using your actual printer, select “Simpo PDF Creator” as the printer:

2009-11-27_012316

When you print to Simpo PDF Creator, you simply need to select where to put the output PDF and what to name it:

2009-11-27_012500

Clicking on “PDF Setting” will allow you the change the same settings/options I mentioned earlier:

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Last but not least, Simpo PDF Creator adds a “Create PDF with Simpo PDF Creator” entry in the right-click context menu for files:

2009-11-27_013238

Clicking on that context menu entry loads the file in question into the batch creator and creates a PDF of it. The only problem with this right-click context menu entry is the fact that this entry is added for all files (not for folders). The context menu entry is there for files that can not even be turned into PDFs, such as shortcuts, SWF videos, etc. Interestingly enough, it seems like .TXT and .PDF files are also not supported via the right-click context menu entry. I get the same error when trying to convert .TXT and .PDF files via the right-click context menu as I do when trying to convert, say, a SWF:

2009-11-27_015131

Now in terms of features, Simpo PDF Creator is not bad, not bad at all. However, what makes Simpo PDF Creator bad, what makes me give it a thumbs down, is the fact that the output PDFs created by Simpo PDF Creator are just messed up. The best way I can describe it is the pages are smaller than they should be and any content near the outside edges is liable to being cut off. Here is an example of what I mean:

Notice how the PDF created by Simpo PDF Creator looks significantly different than the PDFs created by the other three software (make sure to set the zoom at 100% when comparing the PDFs). The PDF created by Simpo PDF Creator looks like the page is “smaller” than it should be. Not only is this problem annoying in the sense that the PDF does not look like it should, but content which is located near the edges of the page is in danger of being cut off. I did a test printing 4 images to PDF with Simpo PDF Creator, and parts of the images were all cut off.

I am sorry to say but a PDF creator that can’t properly create PDF deserves a thumbs down. What makes it worse is Simpo PDF Creator is a commercial product.

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows 7 Professional 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

{rw_freea}

eXPert PDF 5 Pro

eXPert PDF 5 Pro is a whole PDF package; it comes with a PDF editor, PDF printer, PDF batch creator, and a PDF to Word converter.

CutePDF

CutePDF is one of the best PDF printers I have ever used. However it is very simple (no real options to deal with – just clicking print and saving PDFs) and you to install some extra scripts to use (you will be prompted to install the scripts upon installation of CutePDF).

CutePDF is a fairly simple printer however.

PrimoPDF

PrimoPDF is another excellent free PDF printer. It has more features than CutePDF, i.e. lets you control output PDF settings, but it has built-in advertisement for commercial PDF products.

doPDF

A fairly simple PDF printer.

Bullzip

Think of Bullzip as a CutePDF but with more features such as encrypting PDFs, adding watermarks, etc.

{/rw_freea} –>

{rw_verdict2}A PDF converting software needs to be able to accurately create PDFs. Simpo PDF Creator, unfortunately, has some issues with the “accurately” part; I give Simpo PDF Creator a thumbs down. I use eXPert PDF 5 Pro for all my PDF needs (creating, editing, PDF to Word conversions) and I recommend it to anyone that needs it. If you prefer to not get the whole eXPert PDF 5 Pro package and just want a simple PDF printer, CutePDF, PrimoPDF, and Bullzip are all good choices. If I were to pick, I would say Bullzip is better than CutePDF and PrimoPDF because it comes with more features than the other two; however all three are excellent.
{/rw_verdict2} –>

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16 comments

  1. go to the Sunwest

    I wish to voice my passion for your generosity for
    men who should have guidance on this one situation. Your real dedication
    to getting the message all-around ended up being wonderfully effective and has truly helped regular people much like me to get to their dreams.
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  2. Phoenix

    @MikeR: I was surprised GAOTD took no action, and I lost a lot of faith in them when my comments about the matter were moderated out (some other people did get their comments about the suspect voting published).

    Unfortunately the fake votes have given the software high ratings. People who visit the page will get an inaccurate impression about the software, and sadly, may be duped in to buying it if they don’t read the reviews and learn the truth.

    My apologies to Ashraf for posting about this here, but as I said, GAOTD chose to moderate out my observations about the unusual pattern of voting and I did want to warn people who might not have been familiar with voting patterns on GAOTD.

    Oddly enough (well, not really), other than the differences that day, the voting patterns for other software have gone back to normal from the following day forward.

    It’s too bad the developer, er, it’s too bad whoever was behind the fake votes (certainly not the developer, ’cause it’s not like they have a vested interest in it) did get rewarded for it by having the false high ratings still showing on the review page (within 3 hours that day they’d already had 55+ high ratings in all fields, which is also far from usual, and they’ve had way more since). The actual legit reviews tell a different story about the software, one many consumers might never see.

    http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/simpo-pdf-creator-2-0/#more-9940

  3. MikeR

    @ Phoenix: many thanks for that — I was away yesterday so had no opportunity to visit GOTD.

    The spamming that occurred where that commercial offering is concerned was disgraceful.

    It doesn’t require much detective work to see that, as you pointed out:

    My friend had mentioned this one to me, but I don’t know how it is. Maybe this time I will try!

    is neither a comment nor a review but a waste of space.

    That GOTD allowed it to run with an ‘approval rating for usefulness’ of 31 is ludicrous.

    Unless GOTD is going to police itself with greater effectiveness then sadly, all credibility will be lost.

  4. -

    had trouble w pdfcreator failing to install on xp. even a few versions back failed w same rr msg.
    very recently 0.97 (i left that ver to avoid “losing” the install as had lost on xp when tried updating) on vista has “gone bad”.

    i suspect pdfcreator is somehow very influenced by ms updates.

    I’ve installed primo v2 (before bought by nitro-adware-whatever. i wonder if v3 was also pre-nitro, and can be found somewhere.. if is better than v2). it has some options (encrypt/read levels), but only outputs to the pdf types. unlike pdfcreator, which also output(ed) to many image types (pn, etc).
    btw, pdfcreator had/has a document accumulator window. you can send from various apps by “printing”, then in pdfcreator dialogue clicking “wait”. Each of the files is then added to pdfcreator’s list dialogue.
    when you choose to “print” the list, the files will output to single file (pdf, png, tif, etc per your choice).
    there will be page break at end of each of each file that was in the list.

  5. 5stringdean

    Thanks again for spending the time on the review.
    those of us who don’t really know what to look for or are a bit “challenged” (me), really value your input and time spent keeping us (me) from cluttering my PC with uneeded stuff :)

  6. Roland

    Hello, Ashraf, i just wanted to say that unlike some immature folks compulsively clicking “no”, i find your comments to always be useful. This is always the first think i read when i visit GAOTD, and the main reason i visit the English page over the French page, despite English being a foreign language.

    Thanks you for your reviewing all those software.

  7. Conn09

    Hey Ashraf can you believe this comment made on the giveaway site:

    8.i do not agree with #1 said about the good and the bad. it seems he is the person who want to promote his product. i had use this software,it works realy nice for me.i will support it.

    Comment by Ivy — November 27th, 2009 at 3:20 am Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+30)

    Does this guy really think that your trying to promote your product, he obviously hasn’t visited your site to find out that in fact you do not have a product to promote and that you are only trying to assist the users of the software.

  8. Giovanni (undisputed KING of FREEBIES...LOL!!)

    As I said a few days ago GIZMO’s software published a GEM called “7-PDF Maker” that seemed to be the best PDF CONVERTER out there, much better than all of freeware tools listed by Ashraf above.

    In fact, 7-PDF MAKER not only can convert a wide range of files in other formats (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, OpenOffice, StarOffice, Jpg, TIFF,BMP images, text or HTML webpages) to high quality PDF files, but, unlike other virtual PDF printer such as today’s giveaway, the PDF files converted by 7-PDF MAKER contain clickable hyperlinks and bookmarks: amazing for a FREE SOFTWARE, isn’t it??

    The only drawback is the size of its installer:60.7 MB (what the hell?? LOL!!).

    This GEM can be downloaded here (on the first link there is also a portable version of this product):

    http://www.7-pdf.de/

    Or here:

    http://www.softpedia.com/get/Office-tools/PDF/7-PDF-Maker.shtml

    Enjoy!!

  9. Phoenix

    On top of the mediocre software someone was also spamming the comments and the rating system on the GAOTD site for the giveaway of this product.

    I wrote about it there though the suggestion comment I left seemed to have been wiped out when I visited later.

    When I visited three hours after the giveaway had started there were obvious signs of tampering with the votes and +/- system (I left my comment there at the 3 1/2 hour mark). Check out the + and – on the reviews…

    **********************************
    1.The Good
    * Straightforward and easy to use.
    * Works as a PDF printer (can create any printable file to PDF) and has a GUI interface which users can use to batch create PDFs (can create only certain files to PDF).
    * Adds a entry to right-click context menu for quick PDF creations.
    * Allows users to add metadata, encrypt PDFs, and create PDF/A compatible PDFs.

    The Bad
    * PDFs created with Simpo PDF Creator are… messed up.
    * The right-click context menu entry to create PDFs is there for files which are not even supported.
    * PDF encryption is not very specific on what type of encryption – only lists “Low” and “High”.

    Free Alternatives
    CutePDF
    PrimoPDF
    doPDF

    For final verdict, recommendations, and full review please click here.

    Comment by Ashraf — November 27th, 2009 at 3:02 am Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-47)

    2.Actived ok on my Vista 32bit!

    Thanks GAOTD and Simpo for this great software!

    Comment by Alex — November 27th, 2009 at 3:08 am Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+38)

    3.The good?
    Easy to use
    Professional quality output
    Merge is also available.
    Support 32 bit and 64 bit.

    Comment by clisaly78 — November 27th, 2009 at 3:08 am Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+39)

    4.My friend had mentioned this one to me, but I don’t know how it is. Maybe this time I will try!

    Comment by fairy — November 27th, 2009 at 3:10 am Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+31)

    5.Very good and excellent tools. I had used its old version, this time I am going to update it.

    Comment by lxkarry — November 27th, 2009 at 3:13 am Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+36)

    6.I used its old version, it was good experience.

    Comment by Blue — November 27th, 2009 at 3:13 am Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+39)

    7.Yes, i tried this a few weeks ago, but its just another Printer style PDF Creator, which are a dime a dozen.
    CutePDF is good – as well as a couple of Firefox addons.
    No need to pay for type of Software.. Especially if they dont do the Job Properly.

    Comment by Paul Grenfell — November 27th, 2009 at 3:15 am Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-19)

    8.i do not agree with #1 said about the good and the bad. it seems he is the person who want to promote his product. i had use this software,it works realy nice for me.i will support it.

    Comment by Ivy — November 27th, 2009 at 3:20 am Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+43)

    9.Download and register ok

    Comment by Sun — November 27th, 2009 at 3:21 am Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+36)
    **********************************

    Ashraf and Grenfell’s honest reviews were purposely downrated and ‘reviews’ that would normally be buried with negatives were highly rated.

    The star ratings for the product were also much higher that usual. Having been on the GAOTD site for a few months I’ve noticed the ratings usually sit low early in the morning, then (if the program is good) slowly rise and usually never hit decent levels until later in the day (vs 3 1/2 hours in).

    Seriously, anyone who visits the GAOTD regularly would never believe this comment…

    ******************************
    4.My friend had mentioned this one to me, but I don’t know how it is. Maybe this time I will try!

    Comment by fairy — November 27th, 2009 at 3:10 am Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+31)
    ******************************

    …would get 31 people saying they found it a useful comment, would they?

    Just on the basis of the Spam and BS and lack of respect for the honest reviews I didn’t bother installing the software, and will go out of my way to warn people about it and the company behind it.

  10. Jack

    Yea PDF… Back in the days when I used FTP and PDF a lot i did use CutePDF creator simple fast and did what i needed to be done without any tar-Pitts.though i must admit i no longer have a big use for them any more.