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Author Topic: Quality Comparison: 8 x freeware PDF Readers / Viewers  (Read 82606 times)
Darwin
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« Reply #50 on: August 27, 2007, 05:52:53 PM »

In the same vein as Grorgy's posts above, I just received this offer for PDF Converter 4. This triggered a memory as well - Bits du Jour is set to feature the same app on Wednesday the 29th (of August). Most likely it'll be the same discount... but you never know! I use the Professional version of PDF Converter 4 and am very happy with it. Still, heed my advice above about checking apps in this segment out before comitting... Another great choice, and Zaine's recommendation on the Great Software List is FinePrint's PDF Factory. He also likes Nitro PDF. That should give you a good start on the shareware options, anyway!
« Last Edit: August 27, 2007, 05:55:03 PM by Darwin » Logged

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Darwin
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« Reply #51 on: August 28, 2007, 12:42:38 AM »

As luck would have it, this review of four pdf creators just came out in PC Magazine.
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urlwolf
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« Reply #52 on: August 28, 2007, 10:17:08 AM »

So Darwin, is nuance v.4 rock solid? Any random crashes? They don't seem to have a trial version...
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urlwolf
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« Reply #53 on: August 28, 2007, 10:41:37 AM »

Testing visagesoft expert PDF...
Before anyone install this on their computer, you should know that someone who actually makes a living out of designing software thought it was cool to waste about an inch of top-quality screen real state just displaying the name of the product.

Do we have a price for this person? expert PDF font rendering is magnificent; the feature set is actually very good for the price. But you have to be a special kind of stupid to waste this much screen when basically anyone wants as much of the reading area displayed as possible.

visagesoft CEO, if you are reading this... push that button that triggers the trapdoor under the current designer's feet!
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urlwolf
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« Reply #54 on: August 28, 2007, 10:48:42 AM »

dealbreakers for PDF-exchage:
no keyboard shorcuts
no way to undo a highlight
No way to remove toolbars

These are minor things, I bet it takes less that 24h dev. time to fix them... are they responsive to user requests in their forums?
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cybernetnews
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« Reply #55 on: August 28, 2007, 10:52:06 AM »

Foxit just released version 2.1 the other day as well, and has several new features.
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Darwin
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« Reply #56 on: August 28, 2007, 11:56:25 AM »

Damn! I just lost a huge post - you guys are probably lucky!

urlwolf -
Quote
So Darwin, is nuance v.4 rock solid? Any random crashes? They don't seem to have a trial version...

In my usage yes, rock solid. No issues at all with two different installations. The no trial is a pain, but they do have a 30 day no hassle return policy that I have used two or three times without any drama whatsoever. Now, they do lose marks for support, because they have a paid model but two things to note - I've had to contact support because of a conflict b/w PDF Converter 3 (previous version) and WindowBlinds 5) and have received it without being charged and two the software is solid enough that it shouldn't be an issue.

NOTE WELL: If you take advantage of one of the numerous offers for OmniPage Pro 16 (or 15 if you can find it on sale) you get PDF Converter Pro 4 with it included. The online sale price is often $99 - in fact I got an e-mail offering it to me at that price this morning (I can send you the link as it's supposed to be for returning customers but it takes you to a vanilla purchase link that contains no information about me!). The deal that I was offered today includes PaperPort 11 Standard and something called MediaRecovery (or some such thing). If you go through the process to buy it and then cancel at the last minute, they'll often take another $10 off AND this is still under the umbrella of the 30 day return policy... Depends on how much OCR power you need and if you want the additional features in PDF Converter Professional... 

Another big player from the past, that I don't hear much about anymore, is Jaws PDF.

EDIT: Darwin lets this post incubate for six months before returning to fix the html tag...
« Last Edit: February 18, 2008, 03:34:26 PM by Darwin » Logged

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brett
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« Reply #57 on: August 28, 2007, 04:04:59 PM »

dealbreakers for PDF-exchage:
no keyboard shorcuts
no way to undo a highlight
No way to remove toolbars

These are minor things, I bet it takes less that 24h dev. time to fix them... are they responsive to user requests in their forums?

Hi urlwolf,

I use PDF exchange daily now.
No way to undo a highlight - when cursor is over highlighted text, Right click delete, (does not delete text, just the markup)
No way to remove toolbars - View > Toolbars > all there
No Keyboard shortcuts - Not sure what you mean, Alt key for all menus is there or did you mean customisable shortcuts.

Brett
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urlwolf
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« Reply #58 on: August 28, 2007, 08:56:56 PM »

Hi Brett,
thanks (1) taken care of.
I mean the file edit ... toolbar. I don't think you can hide that one... and the bottom one neither.
(3) I like to do say 'u' for underlining, etc. Not all functions have shortcuts, right?
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Darwin
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« Reply #59 on: August 29, 2007, 12:10:09 AM »

The BitsduJour offer is now live - $34.99 for the Standard version of PDF Converter.
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urlwolf
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« Reply #60 on: July 29, 2008, 08:40:58 AM »

I'm still surprised that after testing a few dozen pdf readers for linux and windows, I have to come back to adobe. The rendering quality and text selection is not good in all the alternatives. Is it really that hard to get this right? It must be. I hate to admit I need adobe: their software is horrible resource-wise.
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Darwin
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« Reply #61 on: July 29, 2008, 10:45:42 AM »

I hate to admit I need adobe: their software is horrible resource-wise.

I'm more insulted by the implied effect that Adobe products will have on my wallet...
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urlwolf
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« Reply #62 on: October 24, 2008, 01:58:05 PM »

foxit seems to have improved a lot.
Highlighting text/marking got more precise. It doesn't get fooled by 2-column papers.
You can pay for the features you need. It's small, and portable. Rendering is quite ok actually. I think I'll keep it as my default for a while.

Plus it has tabs! go foxit!
Anyone else up for a discount?
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Darwin
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« Reply #63 on: October 24, 2008, 02:19:27 PM »

Anyone else up for a discount?

ALWAYS  Thmbsup
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J-Mac
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« Reply #64 on: October 24, 2008, 03:07:51 PM »

I'm for a try with a discount.

Jim
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urlwolf
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« Reply #65 on: October 24, 2008, 04:14:49 PM »

Well, a show-stopping thing for me: no assignable shortcuts, and most actions don't have one.
A pity.
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urlwolf
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« Reply #66 on: October 24, 2008, 07:00:50 PM »

Xchange has assignable shortcuts, its free version lets you save changes (highlights, notes) and it's portable.

It has two problems: crazy memory usage (only 2 pdfs, and over a gig already) and extremely slow rendering; on a modern machine you can still see the lines progressively filling the screen.
It seems to correct itself and drop memory, but what a hog!
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urlwolf
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« Reply #67 on: October 25, 2008, 02:09:53 AM »

One question. If PDF-Xchange can make a full pdf tool that edits pdfs in 4mb (portable), why does adobe need to ship a DVD and take half a gig on your HD to do the same thing with Acrobat?
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f0dder
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« Reply #68 on: October 25, 2008, 07:18:39 AM »

One question. If PDF-Xchange can make a full pdf tool that edits pdfs in 4mb (portable), why does adobe need to ship a DVD and take half a gig on your HD to do the same thing with Acrobat?
Does acrobat come with a lot of fonts and graphics, perhaps? I don't have it, so I don't know smiley
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Darwin
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« Reply #69 on: October 25, 2008, 09:19:12 AM »

At a guess, pdf-xchange likely does not include OCR technology to allow it to scan image based pdfs and make them editable. It's hard to tell from the webpage... Which version are you using, urlwolf,  Lite, Standard,  or PRO?

EDIT: found a link to a pdf comparing the different versions here: http://files.docu-track.com/FeatureChartEU.pdf
« Last Edit: October 25, 2008, 09:21:07 AM by Darwin » Logged

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urlwolf
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« Reply #70 on: October 26, 2008, 05:34:37 AM »

When you think adobe could not suck more:
"Preference "Show each document in its own window (requires restart)" no longer available in Acrobat/Reader 9.0"
So now if I want to have several pdfs open, I will waste memory and taskbar space. Go adobe. All your competitors use tabs!
And memory usage is comparable acrobat 9/pdf-Xchage (!). Both are hogs.
I actually find the rendering in pdf-Xchange better.
The only problem with pdf-Xchange is that moving around in the doc feels sluggish; you can see pages redrawing. Not in adobe. It makes a big difference (I browse, mostly).

Adobe has an option "enable 2D acceleration". If pdf-Xchange could do that too (assuming it's the explanation for the difference), it'd have found the perfect reader. They would march on!
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Darwin
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« Reply #71 on: October 26, 2008, 10:08:38 AM »

The only problem with pdf-Xchange is that moving around in the doc feels sluggish; you can see pages redrawing

I have this problem with Adobe Acrobat Reader (7 through 9) as well, with 2D acceleartion enabled. Happens with larger, searchable pdf files that I have generated (or modified) from image files. For example, I get a pdf that I can't copy selected text to the clipboard from and use PDF Converter Professional 5 to convert it to a searchable pdf. Often, I can watch each individual page redraw as I scroll through it. Very annoying.

Regarding resource usage and performance, have you tried using one of the Acrobat speedup applications such as Adobe Reader Speedup? I used to run Fox-It Reader because of the drag on resources from Acrobat Reader, but discovered Adobe Reader Speedup and have never looked back...
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« Reply #72 on: October 26, 2008, 11:31:52 AM »

When you think adobe could not suck more:
"Preference "Show each document in its own window (requires restart)" no longer available in Acrobat/Reader 9.0"
So now if I want to have several pdfs open, I will waste memory and taskbar space. Go adobe. All your competitors use tabs!
And memory usage is comparable acrobat 9/pdf-Xchage (!). Both are hogs.
I actually find the rendering in pdf-Xchange better.
The only problem with pdf-Xchange is that moving around in the doc feels sluggish; you can see pages redrawing. Not in adobe. It makes a big difference (I browse, mostly).

Adobe has an option "enable 2D acceleration". If pdf-Xchange could do that too (assuming it's the explanation for the difference), it'd have found the perfect reader. They would march on!

I have a few earlier versions of Adobe Reader.  Not sure all of which I have, but I just looked on one backup drive and saw V. 7 and 7.09. Pretty sure I have some even older also; 4 and 5. I have 8.1 installed currently, I think, so I must have that around here also.

Let me know if you want any, though I am positive that oldversion.com and filehippo.com have older versions also.

Jim
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urlwolf
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« Reply #73 on: October 28, 2008, 11:57:21 AM »

Thanks J-Mac,
I'm talking about acrobat, not reader. That's the paid version, so no luck.

And acrobat 8 is not worth paying either when pdf-Xchange does all the things I need for free (almost all: cropping needs a paid version).

I suggest getting a discount on Xchange; what do you think? advantages:
  • fast
  • portable, only 4Mb
  • rendering quality is excellent, better than adobe's in my view. Scroll is faster and smoother with arrow keys.
  • can do highlighting and notes; it has assignable shortcuts for everything. Very well done app

What do yout think? Foxit may get shortcuts one day (they are really slow implementing user requests though). The main advantage is that foxit uses less memory, but display quality is not as good.
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Darwin
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« Reply #74 on: October 28, 2008, 12:13:31 PM »

Ah... hadn't realized that you were talking about the full version - sorry urlwolf!

I'd be interested in a discount on Xchange as my licence for PDF Converter Pro 5 is only good for one machine.
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