I hope this is the right place for this question.
What program can I use to make nice looking .pdf files from Word documents?
There's a free tool called PDF Creator (http://www.pdfforge.org/) which allows you to print your word documents to .pdf.
(In fact you can print from pretty much any app to .pdf!)
After installing PDF Creator (which installs itself as a virtual printer):
1. open up your word document
2. go to file->print
3. In the print dialog, select PDFCreator from the list of printers and select OK.
4. PDFCreator will then pop up a window which will ask you to fill in some details about your .pdf - fill in anything you feel you need to and then click on save.
5. A save dialog will pop up. In the save dialog select the location you want your pdf file to be exported to.
6. A password dialog may pop up (depending on the settings of PDFCreator), this will enable you to password protect the owner part of the PDF. Enter a password in the two boxes here and click OK and that's it, your .pdf will be exported.
To alter the settings of PDFCreator, open up the PDFCreator executable (which brings up a print monitor window) and select 'printer->options' from the menu (or press CTRL+O). It also comes with a pretty comprehensive .chm help file too.
Other than that there is also OpenOffice which can open word documents and it has pdf export capabilities built in.
So you just open up your word document in OpenOffice Writer and you can export directly to PDF.
Thanks for the answer but I'm not looging for a software to print directly to PDF. I think I maybe asked the wrong question. I am looking for a layout software that does a better job of text layout then Microsoft Word... Any ideas?
If you want to take the free software route, you could try Scribus.
Scribus ( available from http://www.scribus.net) is a cross platform and free, open-source desktop publishing app which is ideal for creating pdf documents.
I've got it installed on all of my Windows and Linux PC's both at work and at home. I've not used it too much yet, but it seems to do the job!
Offhand that's about the only freeware I can think of, other than OpenOffice.
But there are several commercial DTP/PDF editing programs out there like MS Publisher (as pointed out by H12Japan), though you'd probably have to use it in conjunction with PDFCreator as I don't think publisher can output directly to pdf.
Having said that, if you install PDFCreator you can output pdf from any windows application that allows printing, including your preferred DTP package.
The only other commercial programs that I can think of for direcet pdf layout and creation are Acrobat pro from Adobe (the original creators of the pdf format!), and Pagestream (http://www.pagestream.org/)