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Author Topic: Quality Comparison: 8 x freeware PDF Readers / Viewers  (Read 83929 times)
KenR
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« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2007, 05:06:34 PM »

Just out of curiosity, are any of these programs better than Acrobat? I have Acrobat v7 Standard, which I got with a scanner. Is there any reason I would WANT to use anything else to work with my PDF files?

Thanks, Ken
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Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
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« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2007, 05:24:48 PM »

I like PDF-Xchange, but I have noticed that its cpu and memory usage while scrolling is much, much higher than Foxit's (100MB+ vs 25MB ...)
The Pro application?  Or are you talking about the reader?

Either way, I didn't like Fox-It the few times I tried it. It did some things nice, but now and then it would render kinda weird. Also, it would print OK, then out of the blue it would print something way off. I have a feeling it depends on what Acrobat version it was converted with, something like that.

Thanks.
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elpresi
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« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2007, 06:13:55 PM »

The reader  Wink
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J-Mac
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« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2007, 10:52:35 PM »

The reader  Wink
Thanks. I figured that; after all Foxit only has a reader I think.

I know the thread is about readers.  I was just hoping to avoid creating another thread by asking about that in this one, but I don't think many folks will see it here.  Wink

Thanks again!
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J-Mac
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« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2007, 11:09:57 PM »

Just out of curiosity, are any of these programs better than Acrobat? I have Acrobat v7 Standard, which I got with a scanner. Is there any reason I would WANT to use anything else to work with my PDF files?

Thanks, Ken
Ken,

Scansoft's PDF Converter Pro (Current version is 4, though I have version 3) is very good working with PDF files, when it works.  But it is pretty buggy IMO. Actually quite a few users are having similar experiences; look at user reviews for it at Amazon, Newegg, C-Net, etc. and you'll see an unusually high number of users seeing it terminate suddenly and unexpectedly. However when it works, it works very well.  At least for what I need from it.

My main reason for purchasing PDF Converter Pro is to edit and/or type directly into existing PDF documents: I am pretty much housebound, and I am required to complete PDF forms for my insurance company, as well as my prescription mail-in insurer.  They have the PDFs on their sites for download and I am expected to print them and handwrite on them. But they don't have enough space for handwritten input. With PDF Converter Pro I can type right into the documents, and then print and mail them. I also save them for minimal input on subsequent forms. Works well for that.  However in almost every instance when I try to open a form from the File menu or toolbar icon. the program crashes. I have found that if I set this app as the default handler for PDFs and then double-click on files that are not in deeply nested folders they open fine.

I also use PDF Converter Pro for the following: converting PDF files to MS Word documents; consolidate several different PDF files into one file; similarly, I also extract pages from PDF files, or break larger files into several smaller files.

It has a nice feature set, but crashes often. And Nuance doesn't offer any support for it, neither free nor paid, which is pretty sad.

I initially had wanted to purchase Acrobat, but their most inexpensive license a couple of years ago was over $300!  As I only use it sparingly at home -- compared to business users -- I thought that they might offer a reduced price version for home/personal users. I wrote Adobe and asked about that, but the tech who replied said that they only offer the pricing models on their site. $300 is too much for me to pay for occasional home use only, so I sought less expensive alternatives.
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KenR
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« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2007, 01:05:52 AM »

Just out of curiosity, are any of these programs better than Acrobat? I have Acrobat v7 Standard, which I got with a scanner. Is there any reason I would WANT to use anything else to work with my PDF files?

Thanks, Ken
Ken,

Scansoft's PDF Converter Pro (Current version is 4, though I have version 3) is very good working with PDF files, when it works.  But it is pretty buggy IMO. Actually quite a few users are having ... $300 is too much for me to pay for occasional home use only, so I sought less expensive alternatives.

J-Mac,
Thanks very much for the response. Certainly if I had needed to create PDFs before I got the scanner, I would have bought an alternative too. It's amazing to me they sell any copies at the price they charge.

Ken
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Kenneth P. Reeder, Ph.D.
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Darwin
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« Reply #31 on: June 27, 2007, 12:23:47 PM »

Quote
Scansoft's PDF Converter Pro (Current version is 4, though I have version 3) is very good working with PDF files, when it works.  But it is pretty buggy IMO.

I upgraded to version 4 (of PDF Converter Pro) and it is a quantum leap over version 3 in terms of speed and stability. I find it very useful.
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« Reply #32 on: July 18, 2007, 10:28:07 PM »

Darwin

Can PdfConverter Pro 4 edit pdfs ? Which do you think best for editing pdfs (that dont have any password etc)-apart from Adobe Acrobat 8.1 Pro? Which is next best ?

My main needs are: to extract /cut pages from multipage pdfs/ amend text in same or similar fonts eg price quotes etc. /and possibly convert the pdf into MSWord/rtf docs ?
Grateful for any tips/links - thanks !

SKA
« Last Edit: July 18, 2007, 10:33:37 PM by SKA » Logged
Darwin
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« Reply #33 on: July 19, 2007, 04:12:14 AM »

Hi SKA,

PDFConverter Pro 4 can certainly edit pdfs that are not password protected... as for which alternative to Adobe is best, I couldn't say, really only having used Adobe (5 and 7) and PDF Converter (3 and 4). The Fineprint PDF editor gets a lot of good press as do offerings from Nitro and Jaws. There are others, but I can't think of them off the top of my head!

Your other option would be to get a good OCR utility to allow you to edit in a word processor and then resave as pdf. I've used OmniPage, ReadIris and Abbyy and they all work great. Currently I have Omnipage Pro 15 installed but also have a licence for ReadIris Pro 11. There are subtle differences between the two of them (and Abbyy Cool and I usually find that I miss features of the other two when I am working in whatever I happening to be working with - I have OmniPage 15 installed at the moment because I also have PaperPort 11 Pro and PDF Converter Pro 4 installed. These are all Scansoft/Nuance products and are designed to work together...

OK. Enough out of me - I'm just rambling. Check out Zaine's excellent Great Software List for other perspectives/ideas. NOTE: you may be able to come up with freeware alternatives.

Good luck!
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« Reply #34 on: July 19, 2007, 04:11:55 PM »

quick post
re viewers again:

tried to dl Adobe Reader today & it did it's damndest to include "Photoshop Album"
Then it would [NOT!] allow me to save it - wanted to install straight away (in FF anyway)

So I tried out the PDFXChange Viewer - it does look great, great image quality.
I miss though zoom keyboard/mouse options (Ctrl+scroll, crtl+/-Alt+Spacebar + mouse drag)
Once you get used to them it's a real pain to use toolbars/menus
Unfortunately  PDFXChange doesnt have hardly any shortcuts... but I'll definitely be keeping it

So I probably will install Acrobat Reader as well -
there used be a sort of a cleaned up version available from somewhere -
somewhere beginning with "N" ? undecided ... (I spy with my little eye... of course it could have begun with something else)
-
Ring any bells anyone?!
« Last Edit: July 22, 2007, 07:49:56 AM by tomos » Logged

Tom
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« Reply #35 on: July 22, 2007, 07:51:19 AM »

So I probably will install Acrobat Reader as well -
there used be a sort of a cleaned up version available from somewhere -
somewhere beginning with "N" ? undecided ... (I spy with my little eye... of course it could have begun with something else)
-
Ring any bells anyone?!

I thought it might have been Neowin or nlite but couldnt find anything there
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Tom
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« Reply #36 on: July 22, 2007, 08:20:01 AM »

I think you might be refering to pdfspeedup.

[edit] malformed url tag[/edit]
« Last Edit: July 22, 2007, 10:00:18 AM by jgpaiva » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: July 22, 2007, 10:02:15 AM »

http://www.tnk-bootblock....supported&id=7F7290B5 -Adobe Reader SpeedUp
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rjbull
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« Reply #38 on: July 22, 2007, 11:26:48 AM »

My main needs are: to extract /cut pages from multipage pdfs/ amend text in same or similar fonts

pdftk (free) can extract pages from multi-page PDFs, but can't amend text as far as I know.

Quote

SYNOPSIS
       pdftk <input PDF files | - | PROMPT>
            [input_pw <input PDF owner passwords | PROMPT>]
            [<operation> <operation arguments>]
            [output <output filename | - | PROMPT>]
            [encrypt_40bit | encrypt_128bit]
            [allow <permissions>]
            [owner_pw <owner password | PROMPT>]
            [user_pw <user password | PROMPT>]
            [flatten] [compress | uncompress]
            [verbose] [dont_ask | do_ask]
       Where:
            <operation> may be empty, or:
            [cat | attach_files | unpack_files | burst |
             fill_form | background |
             dump_data | dump_data_fields | update_info]

       For Complete Help: pdftk --help

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tomos
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« Reply #39 on: July 22, 2007, 04:27:58 PM »

I think you might be refering to pdfspeedup.

thanks guys, but no, that wasnt what i was thinking of -
& this is one of those very rare cases where I'm sure there was a cleaned up version (for want of a better way of putting it) about a year ago maybe - but it probably just out of date now anyway.
Will probably go for the Adobe install at some stage, thanks!
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Tom
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« Reply #40 on: July 22, 2007, 06:28:36 PM »

I think you might be refering to pdfspeedup.

thanks guys, but no, that wasnt what i was thinking of -
& this is one of those very rare cases where I'm sure there was a cleaned up version (for want of a better way of putting it) about a year ago maybe - but it probably just out of date now anyway.
Will probably go for the Adobe install at some stage, thanks!

Check out Adobe Reader Lite at http://www.msfn.org/board...index.php?showtopic=88167. If that's not what you're after, search the MSFN forum, there are a few pdf reader stripped down version circling around.
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« Reply #41 on: July 22, 2007, 06:43:46 PM »

My main needs are: to extract /cut pages from multipage pdfs/ amend text in same or similar fonts

pdftk (free) can extract pages from multi-page PDFs, but can't amend text as far as I know.

PDF Text Reader (free for home user) http://www.ctdeveloping.c...ts/pdftextreader_info.asp

Features:
Convert PDF files to text.
PDF to TXT
100% FREE
No spyware
No adware
Easy to use
Uses same conversion process as PDFconverter
Preserves PDF layout in text
Reads and displays info tags from PDF files
Built in text viewer
Works independent of Acrobat and all Adobe products
Complete and comprehensive help files
Distributed only by CTdeveloping
No limitations or time expiration, this software is free as long as you have it installed
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« Reply #42 on: July 22, 2007, 06:55:51 PM »

I found that Foxit is faster than other programs smiley
And It does well its' job - Reader
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« Reply #43 on: July 23, 2007, 02:51:32 AM »

Check out Adobe Reader Lite at http://www.msfn.org/board...index.php?showtopic=88167. If that's not what you're after, search the MSFN forum, there are a few pdf reader stripped down version circling around.

thanks Phil Thmbsup
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Tom
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« Reply #44 on: August 16, 2007, 09:51:02 AM »

Just an update (thought I'd already posted about this): FoxIt Reader has been uninstalled from all my systems. Acrobat Reader 8.1 out of the box is pretty quick. I've disabled it's startup entry (for its speedup service or whatever it is) and run ARSpeedup and it's very zippy. I really don't notice a difference in speed in comparison to FoxIt. Now, I know that it's a mammoth download in comparison but all things considered, it's worth it (I'm worth it!), particularly in a world of large harddrives and broadband.
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« Reply #45 on: August 16, 2007, 10:24:29 AM »

Just an update (thought I'd already posted about this): FoxIt Reader has been uninstalled from all my systems. Acrobat Reader 8.1 out of the box is pretty quick. I've disabled it's startup entry (for its speedup service or whatever it is) and run ARSpeedup and it's very zippy. I really don't notice a difference in speed in comparison to FoxIt. Now, I know that it's a mammoth download in comparison but all things considered, it's worth it (I'm worth it!), particularly in a world of large harddrives and broadband.

thanks for speedup tip Mike

I've been meaning to post here -
I installed the Adobe "Lite" reader as linked to by Phil above
(I'm not sure why I uninstalled Adobe Reader in the first place but...)
Nice clean install -
I'm not sure what the difference is with final installations -
no plugins I believe for one*, & yeah, clean install (didnt even create/offer a desktop shortcut smiley )
I believe filling forms may be a problem

BTW, I had a problem printing some graphics with PDF-XChange -
a "fill" printed extended way out beyond it's border/containing line.
Worked okay in Acrobat.
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Tom
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« Reply #46 on: August 27, 2007, 01:41:37 PM »

Any info on a cheaper alternative that can view and edit pdfs? I only need to highlight and and annotations. I don't want to pay hundreds for adobe 8 pro for my new laptop... Sad
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« Reply #47 on: August 27, 2007, 01:47:05 PM »

Im using this at present, works good for me http://shop.avanquest.com...amp;tr1=AQ_UK_AD_EXPDFCOM  there is a price comparison chart on the page as well
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« Reply #48 on: August 27, 2007, 01:53:28 PM »

actually i think exchange pdf lets you put some notes and highlights on and its free, sorry i dont have the link, and i uninstalled it after i got the one in the post above

Ahh here it is http://www.docu-track.com...rod_user/pdfx_viewer/?act[69]=scr_shot
« Last Edit: August 27, 2007, 02:04:54 PM by Grorgy » Logged
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« Reply #49 on: August 27, 2007, 02:07:51 PM »

This is actually quite a competitive segment with both free and shareware options available. If all you need is highlighting and annotation, I *think* the latest Adobe Reader will do this. Otherwise, I'd download and install some demos and some free apps and see what strikes your fancy. For some perverse reason, this is one segment in which developers have really gone in a host of different directions so you've definitely got the "different horses for different courses" philosophy to contend with.
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