Nuance PDF Converter Enterprise 6.0 takes on Adobe Acrobat 9.0 Pro (Acrobat comes from the originator of the PDF format) - and does so with a strategy that is both obvious and ambitious.

Nuance provides loads of features aimed directly at business users, including most of Acrobat Pro 9's advanced features and some that it lacks, for a third of Adobe's £171 price tag.

No PDF tool is worth considering unless it quickly and faithfully converts documents of all sorts into PDFs. In our tests, Nuance PDF Converter Enterprise 6.0 did just that, and it's full of niceties that help you create better PDFs with less effort.

We even liked Nuance PDF Converter Enterprise 6.0's new thumbnail viewer for juggling the pages in a PDF more than Acrobat Pro's equivalent, for instance. And if you open an image file that contains text, PDF Converter now asks you if want to use its optical-character-recognition feature to make the text searchable, and whether you want to keep the image or replace it with editable text.

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One of the best things about Nuance PDF Converter Enterprise 6.0 is its ability to reverse the process by turning a PDF back into an editable Word, WordPerfect, Excel, or PowerPoint file. The new version even lets you select a single chunk of a PDF for conversion - very handy when you don't need the entire document.

Nuance PDF Converter Enterprise 6.0 doesn't match Acrobat Pro in every respect, though. We found some of its icons, terminology, and error messages (yes, we got a few of those as well) to be a tad cryptic. Its new Portfolio PDF-bundling feature offers only one template versus Acrobat's four, and Acrobat's support for embedded video is better. And you get integrated access to Microsoft SharePoint document repositories, but no support for Adobe's Acrobat.com collaborative service.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

PCWorld.com

Nuance PDF Converter Enterprise 6.0: Specs

  • Intel Pentium or higher processor or equivalent
  • Windows XP 32-bit Edition with Service Pack 3, Windows Vista 32-bit or 64-bit Editions with Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or above
  • 256MB of memory (RAM), 512MB recommended
  • 130MB of free hard disk space for application files plus 20MB working space during installation
  • VGA monitor with 256 colors, but preferably 16-bit colour (called Medium Colour in XP) and 800 x 600 pixel resolution
  • Windows-compatible pointing device
  • CD-ROM drive for installation
  • web access needed for product registration, activation and obtaining live updates for the program
  • Intel Pentium or higher processor or equivalent
  • Windows XP 32-bit Edition with Service Pack 3, Windows Vista 32-bit or 64-bit Editions with Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 or above
  • 256MB of memory (RAM), 512MB recommended
  • 130MB of free hard disk space for application files plus 20MB working space during installation
  • VGA monitor with 256 colors, but preferably 16-bit colour (called Medium Colour in XP) and 800 x 600 pixel resolution
  • Windows-compatible pointing device
  • CD-ROM drive for installation
  • web access needed for product registration, activation and obtaining live updates for the program

OUR VERDICT

Nuance PDF Converter Enterprise 6.0 package has lots to like. And it's today's best value in full-featured PDF-conversion software.

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