PDF utilities overview

PDF (Portable Document Format) - one of the formats for the presentation of documents in electronic form. Its main feature is cross-platform. This means that the PDF document will look the same when viewed on any software in any operating system or when printed on any equipment.

The PDF format has received huge distribution today. It has become the de facto standard for the exchange of electronic documents. Therefore, many people have to deal with various tasks related to the PDF format: creating and reading files, filling out forms, editing and commenting on documents and so on. To date, a sufficient number of software tools have been created to solve them.

The following programs are considered in the article: Microsoft Office, Universal Document Converter, Abbyy FineReader, Adobe Reader, Foxit Reader, Jaws PDF editor, Advanced PDF Recovery.

Microsoft Office (freeware)

Today, there are no full-fledged PDF editors with which you could create documents with all the design. Yes, this is not necessary. Traditionally, PDF documents are created by converting from other formats. For example, an add-in was created specifically for Microsoft Office 2007 that allows you to save documents from any application that is part of it in PDF format.

Creating a PDF file, for example, from Microsoft Word is no different from the process of saving a document normally. The only thing a user needs to do is select this format from the list. This, of course, is very convenient, but this solution has several serious disadvantages. Firstly, it cannot be used to convert documents created outside of Microsoft Office programs. Secondly, only the most minimal set of settings is available to users.

Universal Document Converter (shareware)

Universal Document Converter is a program with which you can create a PDF file from literally any document, chart, diagram, table. This versatility is achieved through the use of virtual printing technology. Universal Document Converter is installed into the system as a printer driver (naturally, nonexistent, that is, virtual). The user who needs to create a PDF document opens the source file in a standard application for this format and sends it for printing. This automatically starts the conversion process. As a result of its execution, a PDF document is created in the folder specified in the settings.

This program implements a number of features that let me talk about it as a professional utility. You need to start with the fact that with its help you can create not only PDF documents, but also graphic files of the most common raster formats: TIFF, JPEG, PNG, PCX, DCX, GIF and BMP. This possibility, although not directly related to our current topic, is nevertheless quite pleasant. It allows you to use the program, for example, in prepress, in the process of creating presentations.

Universal Document Converter has extensive options for customizing output files. The user can select any of the available formats and all its parameters: color depth, quality, compression, and so on. You can also set paper size, resolution, orientation, enable automatic cropping of empty margins. The program implements the function of setting masks for automatically creating the names of output folders and files. Of particular note is the ability to quickly configure conversion using profiles - ready-made sets of parameters that are optimal for solving various problems. Universal Document Converter can work over the network. In addition, it implements a COM interface for integration into automated workflow systems.

ABBYY FineReader (shareware)

Everyone is used to looking at ABBYY FineReader solely as a means of recognizing scanned documents. However, in some cases this program can be used to create PDF documents. The fact is that among the options for saving the output files there is a format that interests us.

Creating PDF files with ABBYY FineReader looks like a normal recognition process. First, the user must scan the sheets he needs or open the document in one of the supported formats. Then it must be recognized. After that, it becomes possible to save the information in a PDF document.

It is worth noting that in ABBYY FineReader implemented quite ample opportunities for customizing the output PDF files. So, for example, the user can choose the page size of the created document, embed fonts, set the image quality. It is also possible to protect the output file: set a password for opening it, enter restrictions on printing and editing, select the encryption level, enable or disable the ability to copy texts, pictures and other content.

When choosing a program for viewing PDF documents, it is better to start from the capabilities of your computer and the tasks set for you. If you use all the features of this format, and your computer has sufficient computing resources for the effective operation of Adobe Reader, then you can stop on this utility. Otherwise, it is better to use Foxit Reader, which, although less functional, but works much faster.