PDF Creator As Malware Issue
With recent changes made to the way in which PDF Creator is distributed/downloaded, the program has begun to register as malware by various firewall and antivirus utilities. This malware notification issue is documented by SOLIDWORKS SPR 741487: ‘Several antivirus applications detect pdfcreator_1_2_3_setup.exe, in the PDFCre~1.cab, as a threat’. This behavior has been seen with: ESET NOD32, Kaspersky, Trend Micro, Avast, and Avira antivirus applications. The affected components are: pdfcreator_2_1_2_setup.exe, and pdfcreator_1_7_3_setup.exe.
As a result of these issues, SOLIDWORKS removed PDF Creator from SOLIDWORKS Electrical beginning with SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2016 SP4. Future versions beyond SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2016 SP4 will not include PDF Creator for PDF file conversion. The antivirus applications are detecting a possible threat with the PDF Creator application installed with SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2016 and earlier versions. The threat is Web Companion, adware that has been known to cause a variety of issues and security risks. Depending on the action of your antivirus application, it may quarantine the files and cause the installation of SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2016 to fail.
PDF Creator Solution for SOLIDWORKS 2016 SP4/SP5
SOLIDWORKS 2016 SP4 will no longer install these files as a result of changes implemented with SPR 741487. If you need to save SOLIDWORKS Electrical schematics to PDF, PDF Creator may be downloaded here http://download.pdfforge.org/download/pdfcreator.
If you install the PDF Creator, a dialog will prompt you for installing Web Companion add in for your default homepage. It is recommended to select “No, don’t protect me” option to not install this application.
In order to perform a new installation of SOLIDWORKS 2016 without PDF Creator, please see the Hawk Ridge Systems’ Knowledge Base article, ‘Installing SOLIDWORKS Electrical Without PDF Creator’.
PDF Creator Solution for SOLIDWORKS 2017
As a result of PDF Creator’s absence from SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2017, users trying to convert/export to PDF receive the error ‘Exporting PDF files requires the installation of GhostScript’ when selecting the ‘Export PDF files’ option.
This message appears in the SOLIDWORKS Electrical 2017 version and later software due to the removal of the PDF Creator software from the Installation Manager. For details about the removal of this software, see the Knowledge Base solution S-071644 and SPR 741487.
To resolve this issue, follow these steps:
1. Copy all files from ‘C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS Electrical\GhostScript\bin’ and paste them in ‘C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS Electrical\GhostScript’.
2. Open the registry editor and navigate to ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Trace Software\SolidWorks Electrical\Services\’
3. Change the value of the ‘PDFPrinterName’ registry key from ‘TsPs’ to ‘PDFCreator’. If the ‘PDFPrinterName’ registry key does not exist, create it as a new string value.
4. Navigate to ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Trace Software\ SolidWorks Electrical\Settings\CustomTempDir’.
5. Change the value of the ‘CustomTempDir’ registry key to a path that does not contain a space. For example; ‘C:\temp’. If the ‘CustomTempDir’ registry key does not exist, create it as a new string value. Make sure to use a path that actually exists. If you do not follow this step, the 'Export PDF files’ function will not return an error, but it will not create a PDF file.
6. Install or reinstall the PDF Creator software from http://download.pdfforge.org/download/pdfcreator.
If you install the PDF Creator software, a dialog will prompt you to install the Web Companion add-in for your default homepage. SOLIDWORKS Technical Support recommends that you select the ‘No, don’t protect me’ option to decline the installation of this application.
Working Without PDF Creator
There are a few different options when it comes to working without the PDF Creator application. One would be to use a PDF printer, in order to circumvent the export/convert to PDF process. Alternately, exporting as a DWG/DXF and then printing from a 2D CAD program such as Dassault Systemes’ Draftsight, which can be downloaded for free here, http://www.3ds.com/products-services/draftsight-cad-software/free-download/. The drawback to such options is the loss of hyperlinked origin-destination arrows functionality.