Nuance PDF Converter Professional 8 review

After Adobe’s own Acrobat application which, even as an upgrade, costs hundreds of pounds, Nuance PDF Converter is probably the best known application for handling PDFs. Read more publishing software reviews.

As well as being able to create these ubiquitous, standalone files from a variety from different file types, it can also convert PDFs to files compatible with Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and WordPerfect and others. 

Version 8 of Nuance PDF Converter Professional adds direct editing, spoken notes, real-time collaboration and cloud connectivity.

The main editing screen adopts the charcoal colour-scheme of many Adobe products and shows two rows of control icons, as well as viewing options, in a column down the left-hand side. 

Importing a PDF file is as easy as opening, dragging and dropping or downloading it and the software has direct connections with Dropbox, Evernote and Nuance’s own PaperPort Anywhere, the latter being very easy.

Editing a PDF isn’t enabled by default; there are two buttons in the program’s title bar which switch between PDF View and Advanced Edit modes.  

In Advanced Edit, you can directly edit text on the page, change fonts and font styles, alter indents and justification and paint formats from one section to another. 

Don’t expect Word-like facilities, think more WordPad or TextEdit, but it’s very useful to be able to make quick changes, rather than having to move back to an original source file and recreate a PDF from scratch.

Since Nuance makes Dragon Natural Speaking (and is the voice-recognition power behind Siri), it’s not surprising the company has built it into PDF Converter Professional. However, it’s only available for dictated notes. You can’t dictate straight onto the page, which is a bit of a shame.

Nuance PDF Converter Professional 8 includes the kind of group-working facilities found in most modern word processors, where changes can be marked out in colour by a number of reviewers, before being consolidated by the author.

Nuance PDF Converter Professional 8: Specs

  • Windows XP XP3 32-bit/Vista/7 32/64 bit
  • 1GB RAM,
  • 700MB drive space
  • Windows XP XP3 32-bit/Vista/7 32/64 bit
  • 1GB RAM,
  • 700MB drive space

OUR VERDICT

The features in Nuance PDF Converter Professional 8 are all useful to anybody working regularly with PDF files. Direct editing speeds up final tweaks to documents, although you wouldn’t want to create from scratch, using it. Voice-powered notes also improve productivity, but full speech editing would be handier. All in all, this application is better value in lots of ways than Acrobat Pro.

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