Tiny PDF

It’s not often that you come across a fantastic, non-bloated software that is free even for commercial use but Tiny PDF belongs to this category. At under 600 kilobytes, it’s a tiny download compared to most others and, additionally, doesn’t require the bulky GhostScript libraries to work.

I’ve tested the output against CutePDF Writer (free) and Amyuni PDF Creator v.2.09 (not free but which comes with my edition of ArchiCAD). Amyuni still makes the most compact PDF files but the output from TinyPDF isn’t too far behind and it’s way ahead of CutePDF. Also, don’t forget to get the plugin called PDF Merge from the site and you’ll be able to add to an existing PDF or merge two of them together.

For anyone interested in sharing CAD drawings (or any other document for that matter) with people who don’t have the required software, this is a great tool to have.

Go to :: TinyPDF

Another Link for OttoPDF

Bill Landskroener from the US very kindly took the trouble to write in with a new link from which you can download OttoPDF – a stand-along freeware utility that converts AutoCAD drawings to PDF files. The developer pulled the plug on the app and downloads were hard to find. Now, thanks to Bill, you have one.


There is a site search available but it didn’t work when I tried so you’ll have to go to the Utilities section and then to the Conversion sub-section and then hunt through the pages therein.

To know more about OttoPDF, check the PDF Utilities section.

OttoPDF Found – Sort of

On the PDF page I said that I was unable to find a downloadable copy of OttoPDF anywhere on the internet. Now, thanks to a visitor from Austria and another from Canada, I can say that at least one copy is still available.

The catch? You’ll need a .NET passport (a Hotmail account would also do) because the file is hosted on an MSN group called “Ottomagic“. In all probability you will have to join this group before you can download the file.

So, now that you have the link, is it really worth going through the process? Given the fact that the software is just 615 kilobytes my own view is that it’s definitely worth a try. The one drawback with OttoPDF is, it can’t handle drawings that use TTFs (True Type Fonts) – it only works with AutoCAD’s native SHX fonts. Other than that, it’s a brilliant idea and a wonderful program.

In Search of OttoPDF

I’ve been getting a lot of hits lately from people searching for OttoPDF. This is a free standalone software that converts a *.dwg into a PDF. I was a little surprised actually, because I’ve written just a tiny review a long time ago.

Investigation revealed that MyndKryme has pulled down the freeware version and is, instead, promising a better shareware version sometime in the future. Searching the Internet for an old version to download was futile. The program has effectively vanished. So it seems that cad users everywhere were on the lookout for a downloadable – hence the traffic.

I checked the original download (from 2 years ago) and read the copyright notice which, interestingly, grants the user permission to “…use this software for any purpose, including commercial applications, and to alter it and redistribute it freely…” That makes it’s total disappearance even more difficult to fathom.

Anyway, since David McKenzie (the author of the program) obviously doesn’t want to distribute it as freeware anymore, I’m looking for alternatives to OttoPDF so that visitors to this site are not totally disappointed. Watch this space…


A freeware program that converts AutoCAD drawing files into Adobe Acrobat PDF files without using AutoCAD. It supports sheets upto E size, variable pen widths and it can “print” the file at varying resolutions in colour or grayscale. The new version of OttoPDF supports compression of PDF files when used in batch mode. The only drawback to this program is that OttoPDF can’t deal with TrueType fonts although it will work perfectly with AutoCAD’s native SHX fonts.

480 kilobytes

« Update »

OttoPDF is no longer available from the author’s site. Please see the related posts for more information and download links.