Laura Arjona Reina larjona at fsfe.org
Thu Oct 22 12:36:28 UTC 2015

Hi all

El 20/10/15 a las 09:39, Matthias Kirschner escribió:
> * Michael Kesper <mkesper at schokokeks.org> [2015-10-19 17:49:07 +0200]:
>> About "print to pdf": Most people I know use PDFCreator for that. Just
>> be sure not to install any malware with it. "I LOVE Windows"â„¢.
> I recently heard PDFCreator's new versions are meanwhile non-free. Has
> anyone checked? And does anyone know why this change happened?

This is my check:

* http://download.pdfforge.org/download/pdfcreator has the download
builds and zips with the source code. The source code of latest version
(2.1.2) does not include a LICENSE file.

* I have installed PDFCreator 2.1.2 in the computers of my institution.
If I go to the Help > License, I find the text attached.

* So: almost free, but bundled with a non-free library: pdfcmon.dll:
pdfforge Freeware License

* In addition to this, the installer of PDFCreator shows ads (and the
installer is detected as malicious by our BitDefender Antivirus because
of that), plus it tries to install "PDF Architect" along with PDF
Creator (and PDF Architect is not free), so the "good install" is
difficult for the average user (you have to tell them to select the
"compact install", not the typical one nor the full installation...).

This situation has made me write in my TODO list to try to find an
alternative to PDFCreator for the windows users in my institution (and
all the windows users that ask me for that). But I don't know how will I
find time to research about alternatives.

Ideally, most of the people should use LibreOffice here and then, save
as PDF directly, but I still have lot of work until we get there, plus
that PDF Creator is used by many people to save as PDF not only from
office suite, but from any program.

If/when I find something better I will report to this list.


Laura Arjona Reina
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PDFCreator 2.1 documentation
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PDFCreator is licensed under the terms of the GNU AFFERO GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE (AGPL). This license ensures the most freedom for the users of a piece of software. The license gives you the right to use the software, read and modify the source, create derivate work and give this to your users, as long as you do not change the license and thus grant the same rights to them.

But PDFCreator also bundles other components, that can have other licenses. In General: If you only want to use PDFCreator at home, in your business or anywhere else, you may do it for free and in an unlimited way. You may also give copies to friends, distribute it on all PCs in your company and such things.


If you offer a service that uses PDFCreator, the AGPL requires that you must enable your users to get access to the source code of your service and that you grant them the same rights that you were granted. For example, if you are using PDFCreator as a back-end to convert PDFs from your web service, you must disclose the source of your service. If you plan to integrate PDFCreator into such an application, please feel free to contact us.

It is further not allowed to sell PDFCreator or to integrate it into closed source applications, due to restrictions in the pdfcmon License. This also includes installers with commercial intent (i.e. advertising wrappers). This requires further licensing.

These components are licensed on their own:

Ghostscript: GNU General Public License 
pdfcmon.dll: pdfforge Freeware License 
iTextSharp.dll: GNU Affero General Public License 
GNU Affero General Public License 
GNU General Public License 
pdfforge Freeware License 

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