Nuance does, however, use more of its OCR skills in the production of searchable PDFs. Rather than using an image of a text page when creating a PDF file, PDF Converter 5 can convert the text image into live, searchable (and editable) text.
Once a PDF document is ready for distribution, it will probably need protection from third-party editing and there’s a comprehensive set of security tools which can set read and write privileges. The dialogues for security setup have been improved and you can now include a custom signature to fit with a particular house style. Signatures can be time-stamped, too.
One other feature worth a mention, again something Acrobat can’t do natively, is text-to-speech. The quality of speech rendition is getting more and more natural, though still has a non-localised, American accent. PDF Converter 5 can read text paragraph by paragraph and can cope with major foreign languages, as well as English.
Nuance PDF Converter 5 has a lot going for it. It’s an easy-to-use PDF creation and editing tool that integrates well with major business applications. Getting multi-part documents into PDF format is much easier with the new packaging tool and getting them out into Word or WordPerfect files is more visually accurate than with Acrobat.
By far and away the application’s biggest advantage over the Adobe product is value. At just over a third of the price of Acrobat 8 Standard, it’s also a more feature-rich PDF tool and supports Microsoft XPS documents, so you won’t need a separate application to process files using that upcoming format.
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