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Review of Print2flash

Print2flash reviews

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chriso1
656 reviews
3,140 helpful votes
11/4/10

Here's a nifty tool. You may already be aware of apps that turn your documents into PDF files, but here's one that turns them into Adobe Flash applets instead.

The advantages of a document saved in this way are that it may be viewed on any platform, mobile or otherwise, that has the Flash player. It doesn't matter what the device is, and since Flash may be viewed at almost any resolution, it doesn't matter how big or small it is.

Flash applets may be embedded in web pages, or sent in email, where they typically take up a small amount of space. They may be stored and viewed online directly, without the need to embed them, by simply calling the SWF file in a URL. This is a very flexible way to publish to a wide audience, especially when the viewing devices aren't known.

The app works as a virtual printer in Windows, which means that it appears as an option in the Print dialog you select from the File menu of a Windows application. Windows thinks it's sending the document to a real physical printer, but it's not. Instead, an SWF file is created which includes your document and a built-in file viewer.

There are two versions, a free one and a paid one. The free one is going to do most of what you're likely to need for everyday purposes, but be warned - you'll be stuck with an ad for the commercial version at the bottom of every page. It's unnecessary because people are going to choose the commercial version if they need the functionality anyway, and it definitely discourages me from using the free version as well.

The commercial version is expensive. To get rid of the ad message, but get no more benefits, will cost you $60. To go Pro will cost you $100, and the server edition, which allows multiple users, costs $500. So you'll need to look carefully and decide which you really need.

If you want another way to remove that ad message, there is a facility to upload your document to the web and have it converted up there in the Cloud. The result seems to be the same as for the free version, but without that message. And you can save the resulting SWF to your own computer, which is a bonus.

Just about everything you can print to a physical printer can be used, including the following file formats:
doc, ppt, xls, rtf, htm, html, pdf, jpg, jpeg, tif, tiff, bmp, gif, png, txt, odt, odg, odp, odf

A good idea and with potential to be useful, but too expensive in its basic form, I think. It's going to get a MEH for that, from me, though the app itself is impressive and the ability to convert files online is handy too.

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