Nuance PDF Converter Professional 7 review

Comprehensive PDF creation, editing and exporting facilities at a fraction of the price of Adobe Acrobat Pro. Is it a bargain or do you only get what you pay for?

The main application is adorned with too many buttons that have cryptic-looking icons for our liking opting to show button labels (via the right click menu option) helps but the increased on-screen clutter really does require a high-resolution monitor for comfortable viewing. Basic tasks such as managing comments or inserting and deleting pages require yet more panels and buttons to be activated.

However, the steep learning curve eventually gives way to a comprehensive, efficient collection of tools. The range of editing, formatting and media-embedding options resemble a fully fledged DTP application, although it falls rather flat in this respect. However, when it comes to adding finishing touches to a PDF created elsewhere, it has all the bases covered.

There are also tools for designing interactive elements buttons, drop-down lists, text boxes and more and sophisticated options for programming their behaviour. There's nothing to rival Acrobat Pro's form distribution, tracking and analysis tools, though. A range of rich media files can be embedded into PDFs, including Flash and Silverlight animations, audio and video files, and even 3D objects in U3D format. It seems that the software doesn't keep track of which video formats are supported in the PDF specification, though some clips could be imported and saved as part of the PDF but wouldn't play in Adobe Reader X.

PDF Converter Professional 7 can also create Portfolios, which group multiple files together for distribution. The resulting file is still a PDF that opens in Reader 9 or X, but doing so reveals a graphical front end for browsing, previewing and extracting the files it contains. These needn't necessarily be PDFs. Any file can be included, and many can be previewed in situ, including Word and Excel documents, MP3s, Flash animations and Flash Videos with FLV extensions.

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