These code examples are built for PDFCreator, an open source PDF writer utility. Unlike Adobe Acrobat and CutePDF, which both require pro versions to create PDF's via code, PDFCreator is completely free! Download PDF Creator from Sourceforge here. Please note that this code will NOT work with Adobe Acrobat.
It should also be noted that the example in this section use an Early Bind. If you are not familiar with the difference between Early and Late Binding, please read my article on Early vs Late binding.
This routine was tested successfully using Word 2003 and PDFCreator 0.9.3 (GPLGhostscript.exe download package), on Windows XP Pro (SP2). It should run just fine in Word 2007 and higher.
NOTE: Before you "go it alone" with trying to adapt any of these routines, you may want to read this article, which shares some of the idiosyncrasies discovered in the development of the PDFCreator code samples.
This was tested using the following procedure:
- Open Word and create two new documents
- Enter some unique data in each so that you can tell them apart
- Enter the VBE, create a new module in one of the documents and paste in the code shown below
- Change the output directory to a valid location
- Set a reference to PDFCreator
- Run the code
Once the code has completed, you will have a new PDF with your files printed in the order they were opened.
I was exposed to a couple of weird things in the development of this routine.
- Background Printing must be turned off. If it isn't, then the routine will end up in an infinite loop until the code is paused, at which point you can run it and it will complete just fine.
- The word documents actually print to the PDF queue in reverse order, unlike Excel. This made it necessary to institute a reverse loop to print the documents from the most recently opened/created to the oldest in order to have the PDF output document in the expected order.
Sub PrintToPDF_MultiWordDoc_to_SingleFile() 'Author : Ken Puls (www.excelguru.ca) 'Macro Purpose: Print all open Word documents to PDF (static filename) ' ' (Download from http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/) ' Designed for early bind, set reference to PDFCreator Dim pdfjob As PDFCreator.clsPDFCreator Dim sPDFName As String Dim sPDFPath As String Dim sPrinter As String Dim lPrintOrder As Long Dim lDocs As Long Dim bRestart As Boolean Dim bBkgrndPrnt As Boolean 'Activate error handling, capture properties and set req'd settings On Error GoTo EarlyExit With Application sPrinter = CStr(.ActivePrinter) .ActivePrinter = "PDFCreator" bBkgrndPrnt = .Options.PrintBackground .Options.PrintBackground = False .ScreenUpdating = False End With '/// Change the output file name here! /// sPDFName = "Consolidated.pdf" sPDFPath = "C:\Temp\" 'Check if PDFCreator is already running and attempt to kill the process if so Do bRestart = False Set pdfjob = New PDFCreator.clsPDFCreator If pdfjob.cStart("/NoProcessingAtStartup") = False Then 'PDF Creator is already running. Kill the existing process Shell "taskkill /f /im PDFCreator.exe", vbHide DoEvents Set pdfjob = Nothing bRestart = True End If Loop Until bRestart = False 'Assign settings for PDF job With pdfjob .cOption("UseAutosave") = 1 .cOption("UseAutosaveDirectory") = 1 .cOption("AutosaveDirectory") = sPDFPath .cOption("AutosaveFilename") = sPDFName .cOption("AutosaveFormat") = 0 ' 0 = PDF .cClearCache End With 'Print documents to print queue in reverse order For lPrintOrder = Application.Documents.Count To 1 Step -1 Application.Documents(lPrintOrder).PrintOut copies:=1 lDocs = lDocs + 1 Next lPrintOrder 'Wait until all print jobs have entered the print queue Do Until pdfjob.cCountOfPrintjobs = lDocs DoEvents Loop 'Combine all PDFs into a single file and stop the printer With pdfjob .cCombineAll .cPrinterStop = False End With 'Wait until the file shows up before closing PDF Creator Do DoEvents Loop Until Dir(sPDFPath & sPDFName) = sPDFName Cleanup: 'Release objects and terminate PDFCreator pdfjob.cClose Set pdfjob = Nothing Shell "taskkill /f /im PDFCreator.exe", vbHide On Error GoTo 0 'Reset all application settings to user's original settings With Application .ScreenUpdating = True .ActivePrinter = sPrinter .Options.PrintBackground = bBkgrndPrnt End With Exit Sub EarlyExit: 'Inform user of error, and go to cleanup section MsgBox "There was an error encountered. PDFCreator has" & vbCrLf & _ "has been terminated. Please try again.", _ vbCritical + vbOKOnly, "Error" Resume Cleanup End Sub
I also wanted to add a quick word of thanks to Word MVP Peter Jamieson for pointing me to the Background Printing resolution.