Not all PDF documents are intended for paper distribution, of course, and facilities to include all kinds of media, such as movies, sound and 3D objects, are provided. They can be set to play whenever a page is viewed or when a defined hotspot is clicked on.
Furthermore, PDF Converter 5 can now create PDF packages. In its simplest form, this is a collection of different files, which may start off in different formats, individually converted into PDF files and packaged together in a single PDF container. This facility uses the latest PDF 1.7 format which the application now supports natively.
Nuance uses this ability to create packages in a new feature that can archive a complete e-mail folder, such as your inbox, into a single PDF. E-mail attachments are saved in their original file formats within the PDF package and Nuance claims space savings of up to 50% compared with an uncompressed archive.
As well as gathering together a number of different files into a single containing PDF, PDF Converter 5 can do the opposite; splitting down a large PDF into smaller segments that can all be saved separately. This is ideal for breaking down, for example, a book manuscript into its component chapters.
The export facilities in Adobe Acrobat aren’t as thorough as in PDF Converter 5. Where Acrobat can export constituent text and graphics to applications such as Word, PDF Converter does its best to maintain the layout of the page as well as its contents. Nuance is able to offer this improved format compatibility because of the technology in OmniPage, its OCR application, which does very much the same thing with scanned pages.
Even so, PDF Converter doesn’t seem to have quite the sophistication of layout compatibility that the latest OmniPage does and complex pages, while looking good, are often not created in a way similar to manually laying the page out from scratch in a word processor. For instance, too many page elements are still exported as separate frames, which gets them looking right, but limits their editability.