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Thread: PDF Converter

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    PDF Converter

    There have been a number of posts over the months from people looking for a way to open a pdf file without owning Adobe Acrobat. Here is an MS-Word add-in that will open a pdf file for editing. The product comes from ScanSoft . It's not free but it seems worth the price to me - especially compared to Acrobat.
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    - Ricky

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    Re: PDF Converter

    Ricky--

    Once you get one Scan Soft product they email you with offers for everything else, and the thread we had with the problem with buttons from Adobe Acrobat after installing MOS 2003 requiring workarounds and with the mention of a lot of unhappy people on the Adobe boards over this made me wonder about this. Can you say why you like this especially better than and compared to Acrobat?

    Thanks,

    SMBP

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    Re: PDF Converter

    > the thread we had with the problem with buttons from Adobe Acrobat after installing MOS 2003 requiring workarounds and with the
    > mention of a lot of unhappy people on the Adobe boards over this made me wonder about this

    Well... I'm not sure what you're saying here, but we should be careful to distinguish Adobe's slowness in updating its template from any other vendor's efforts. I don't think there's anything inherent to PDF-related software that should cause us to be suspicious of ScanSoft's interoperability. I notice that ScanSoft has an Office 2003 Launch Partner logo. By contrast, there's no love lost between Adobe and Microsoft... but maybe that wasn't your point.

    > Can you say why you like this especially better than and compared to Acrobat?

    I can't respond on Ricky's behalf, but I'll just point out that Acrobat has many other features besides converting from PDF back to an editable format. By the time you buy individual products that contain all of Acrobat's features, you wouldn't be saving much money, so they'd have to offer additional functionality to justify it.

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    Re: PDF Converter

    That is slick, and I think a lot of people would like this, but readers should take note:

    (1) It does not convert protected (encrypted) PDF documents (ref1; ref2). Thus, if the author locks the PDF to prevent, say, copy and paste, ScanSoft won't convert it to Word. Seems fair.

    (2) It does not convert "scans" saved as PDFs (ref2). This requires OCR, which tends to cost much more.

    (3) Costs about $45 street (Dell). Would it get enough use to justify the cost?

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    Re: PDF Converter

    My point was to find out why someone who had the Scansoft converter obviously from Rick'ys post preferred it to Adobe, and also I should have said it seems that Scansoft goes from PDF to a Word doc--maybe it goes either way by defnition, and Adobe goes from a word doc to a .pdf--I'm confused whether Adobe acrobat deploys the filter as a component or Adobe has more than one application--one besides Acrobat to go from Word to .pdf.

    "suspicious of ScanSoft's interoperability".

    I'm not suspicious of Scansoft's interoperability--it seemed like Ricky preferred Scansoft to Adobe,--I haven't had an experience with pdf to Word and back applications--and I'm also trying to find out if

    1)If Adobe makes more than one converter in the first place--that seemed to be intimated in the Office thread
    2) If any of these converters can by definition go from Word to PDF and the other way as well

    I asked at one of MS's pre-Office presentations if they were competing with ScanSoft's Omniform--a gear switch from above I understand with Infopath and the vague answer I got from them was that Scansoft is an Office partner so they didn't think so. It appears from Scansoft's website that the applications are complementary, and I need to find out more about both--I used the Beta of Infopath but not near to the extent I've seen it applied in presentations. The Omniform website says it supports Infopath, so they must be complementary.

    SMBP

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    Re: PDF Converter

    Over the months, there have been more than a few posts from those trying to "break into" a pdf document for whatever reason. In fact, I was one of those folks! Not everyone has Adobe Acrobat (though I eventually bought V6 Pro for $375~) so it becomes impossible to work with the pdf files in any way except for reading them with the free Reader.

    At this point, the ScanSoft offering serves no purpose for me, but it may appeal to someone. And naturally, before someone forks over the fifty bucks, they should investigate the product and become familiar with its limitations. It's definately not a substitute for the Acrobat program! But I wish I would've owned it four months ago...
    - Ricky

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    Re: PDF Converter

    Ricky--

    Does Acrobat V6 and do most of these pdf/word programs allow you to go from both Word to PDF and PDF to Word?--maybe dumb question, but I couldn't tell from the sites.

    SMBP

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    Re: PDF Converter

    Upon installation, Acrobat becomes a part of the office programs...see the screenshot below...so this makes it simple to save your work in its office format and also without leaving the program, convert it (or save it) to a pdf format as well. Today, I saved a spreadsheet that was 748kb in .xls and then saved it as a .pdf file that was only 22kb. If you were going to send someone this file via e-mail simply for printing or reading, you'd be better off sending the smaller pdf file. Even better than zip files! So far, all of my experience with Acrobat had been making pdf files.

    I'm no expert at Acrobat as I simply haven't had the time to learn all of it's tricks. I can use Acrobat to open all pdf files. I can draw on them, mark, comment, highlight, etc. But I haven't even attempted to convert a pdf file back to its original office format. I'm thinking it's do-able . I'll dig a little deeper into Acrobat in the next several days and post again.
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    - Ricky

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    More on Acrobat v6 Pro

    I changed the subject line because the subject changed...

    I opened a pdf file (that used to be a word.doc). On the Acrobat menu, I clicked File|Save As...|Save As Type: Microsoft Word Document(*.doc). And just like that, I was able to convert the pdf back into a word document. No problems. Instantaneous!

    ...Then, I used Acrobat to open another pdf file (one that was originally an Excel.xls). Tried the same steps as nothed above, but there was no option to save the file as an Excel file. In fact, I had the same options that I earlier had with the Word Document. So, what used to be a spreadsheet, I could now save as a .doc, a .jpg or a host of other file types, but not an .xls.

    The screenshot shows the available Save As... options.
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    - Ricky

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    Re: PDF Converter

    Thanks for the info and the screen shots. I am also trying to differentiate between using distiller or other methods that Jefferson references here in this thread Posts 307814 and 307815: "I don't have full Acrobat, but I understand that you have the option to use either the Distiller or another more integrated method. Does the Distiller work?"

    I have been trying to find out if the answer here Post 307851 is referring to two different routes or methods with Adobe Acrobat and its Distiller Printer and PDF Maker I'm trying to sort out PDF Maker, Distiller Printer, and Adobe Acrobat, and wonder if PDF Maker is part of Adobe Acrobat as well as Distiller Printer?

    The other basic question is the great convenience of using the PDF format? Why is it needed instead of the Word doc format?

    I can find articles like:

    links like "Uses of the PDF Document"

    PDF Benefits

    But why couldn't a Word document be distributed as easily and since Office is so widely used why the need for PDF?

    Thanks for the help and the screen shots.

    SMBP

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    Re: More on Acrobat v6 Pro

    Hi Ricky,

    The reason you can't convert a PDF file to Excel, even if it was sourced in Excel, is that the PDF is essentially nothing more than an electronic version of the printed Excel page - there are no formulae, cell references etc to work with. Even so, I think converting to Word will at least give you back a table structure that could be copied & pasted from Word into Excel.

    Cheers
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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    Re: PDF Converter

    Hi SMBP,

    One good reason for distributing documents as PDFs instead of in Word format is that PDFs give you better control over how the document is reproduced, both on screen and in print. Word documents have a habit of changing their layout when moved from one PC to another - even if the only difference is something as minor as screen refresh rates (I kid you not)!

    Also, the PDF format is supported on OSes that MS doesn't want to know about.

    Cheers
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

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    Re: More on Acrobat v6 Pro

    Hi Macropod,

    A while ago I posted the way to convert to RTF having Acrobat 5 also. Just File | Batch Processing | Save All as RTF.
    Some things worth noting:
    1) If the PDF is protected you won't be able to make the conversion.
    2) Some formatting is kept. eg, fonts & fonts format. However, a lot is lost. This, I think, has to do with the fact that acrobat does away with lots of info when converting, say, a DOC to PDF. For example, a Word paragraph turns into a bunch of single lines that show exactly as in Word, in PDF.
    3) If the PDF had parts that were originally images in the DOC, then when you convert back these will be gone. I'm not sure this is also true with Acrobat 6 (which I don't have). Maybe this happens because Acrobat 5 converts back to RTF, whereas according to Tricky's post Acrobat 6 converts back to Word. I think some RTF versions do not support images, and there might be the key to understanding the difference.
    4) If the Word document has a tabular arrange of information (say, a Month | Sales | ... | Income tax -like table of n rows x m columns), when you convert back to RTF you'll see the table appears without the grid lines and: the first column comes first; the second appears below the first one; and so on, so what you get is an (nxm) rows x 1 column table. Again, maybe this won't happen when Acrobat 6 is told to convert back to Word.

    I find converting back to RTF quite useful. Sometimes it will be a headache having to rearrange/reformat all the information, but it's still easier than having to go copying/pasting from the PDF over and over.
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    Re: PDF Converter

    Thanks a lot for this.

    Ed. SMBP--It sure does make Word seem a lot less versatile and considerably more fragile then.

    SMBP

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    Re: PDF Converter

    Please you comment "It sure does make Word seem a lot less versatile and considerably more fragile then". It will not matter if the original file was Word, WordPerfect, WordStar or any other word processor, you would have the same issues.
    So why would MS Word be less versatile and fragile?
    Acrobat is doing what it was designed and marketed to do. Get a book and study up on it before you start blaming another product of not being up to parr.

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

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