- Review Price: £99.99
The PDF file format is ubiquitous in many areas of computing life. It’s the format of preference for most documents published on the web and is used in business wherever documents require a fixed layout that can be annotated, but not easily changed.
The two main ways to create and edit PDF files are through Adobe’s own Acrobat application or using Nuance’s PDF Converter. There are other PDF creating tools, but these two programs hold the lion’s share of the market. PDF Converter has just been updated to version 5 and includes a raft of new features, some of which are not matched by Acrobat, even though it’s over twice the price.
Additionally, PDF Converter 5 supports Microsoft’s XPS document format, a more recent rival to PDF, which may be an advantage in an organisation that supports both types of electronic paper files.
Once installed, you can create PDF files using the PDF Converter print driver, which works from virtually any Windows application; from the macros installed as a separate group in the menu bar of Microsoft and WordPerfect Office applications; or from within the PDF Converter program itself.
Within PDF Converter 5, tools are supplied for both new document creation and editing of existing PDF files. Previous tools, such as text and object touch-up, are supplemented by new extras like on-screen measurement and callouts. Measurement is particularly useful if you are working with scaled drawings, and callouts are handy when marking up a document for peer review. Comments in callouts can now be attached to any point within a page and the callout can be dragged to any position while still maintaining a link to its insertion point.
There are plenty of markup aids within the program, too, including the Active Markup Tool that enables you to edit text as if you’re using a word processor. Here, though, it strikes through text you delete and adds any you type as a note to the document, thereby leaving the original content available.
The ultimate markup is redaction. This is the blacking out of commercially or strategically sensitive content when releasing documents to a wide audience. The Enterprise Edition of PDF Converter 5 can handle redaction, though it’s not implemented in the Professional version.
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