At a Glance
Despite a name that makes me mumble "Goochie, goochie, goo...," CutePDF Writer is hardly a infantile application. Actually, it's not an application at all in the normal sense. You don't invoke it directly; It installs as a printer driver, interfacing with one of the free postscript to PDF drivers (PS2PDF) that are available to enable you to create PDF files without buying Adobe Acrobat.
CutePDF Writer requires a PS2PDF converter such as Ghostscript, a very capable free postscript printer driver. Once both are installed, you simply open the file you want to create a PDF of with the appropriate editor, select the print option from your word processor or other printing application, select CutePDF as your printer, choose where to save the file, press Print and voila! Instant PDF with no expensive Acrobat required.
The nice thing about CutePDF Writer is that there are nags or .NET installs, as with some of the other free alternatives such as PDF995 or PrimoPDF. And in my experience, CutePDF Writer has worked perfectly. The only features I miss are the ability to create password-protected files and forms that others may fill out. For that you'll need the $50 pay version or another pro-level PDF creator.
--Jon L. Jacobi