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Tech Advisor - - GROUP TEST -

Nu­ance Power PDF Ad­vanced is one of the con­sid­er­able num­ber of packages of­fer­ing fa­cil­i­ties for cre­at­ing, edit­ing and man­ag­ing PDF files. More specif­i­cally, it’s aimed at the pro­fes­sional busi­ness user, so it pro­vides sev­eral fea­tures that re­ally only ap­ply the needs of busi­nesses. As such, it’s not ex­actly a cheap pack­age, and if you don’t need the pro­fes­sional fea­tures, as most home users prob­a­bly won’t, then you can buy a PDF edi­tor for much less. How­ever, if you do con­sider your­self a power user, it is well un­der half the price of the flag­ship Adobe Acro­bat XI Pro.

First im­pres­sions are favourable, with Power PDF Ad­vanced of­fer­ing the now familiar rib­bon in­ter­face pop­u­larised by Mi­crosoft Of­fice, and which many users will pre­fer as it avoids hav­ing to work down through sev­eral lev­els of menus. This isn’t uni­ver­sal among PDF ed­i­tors, with Acro­bat the most ob­vi­ous al­ter­na­tive to have stuck with the more con­ven­tional menu-based in­ter­face.

This is just the ic­ing on the cake, though, and Power PDF of­fers fea­tures which, at first sight, are ex­actly what you’d ex­pect of a busi­ness-ori­ented PDF edi­tor. In par­tic­u­lar, you can cre­ate PDFs, ei­ther us­ing a pseudo printer driver from any Win­dows soft­ware or you can use the tool­bars pro­vided in Of­fice ap­pli­ca­tions. You also have full fa­cil­i­ties for edit­ing PDFs although there are cer­tain re­stric­tions, as a re­sult of the for­mat of PDF files. Ac­cord­ingly, the scope for edit­ing will al­ways be limited com­pared to the fa­cil­i­ties of­fered in the soft­ware used to cre­ate the orig­i­nal doc­u­ment.

More pro­fes­sion­ally ori­ented fea­tures in Nu­ance Power PDF Ad­vanced in­clude dig­i­tal signatures and ID cer­tifi­cates for se­cu­rity pur­poses, tools for col­lab­o­ra­tive re­view, the abil­ity to cre­ate forms that can be filled in later, batch pro­cess­ing for con­vert­ing sev­eral PDFs with­out con­tin­ual hu­man su­per­vi­sion, and pro­vi­sion for em­bed­ding mul­ti­me­dia con­tent.

In op­er­a­tion, we found the soft­ware to be in­tu­itive and easy to use. We have lit­tle doubt that most users will soon be up and run­ning. The re­view­ing fea­tures are par­tic­u­larly com­pre­hen­sive, prov­ing means of com­ment­ing, mark­ing text in var­i­ous ways and drawing, although there’s surely a limit to how many dif­fer­ent ways you need to draw at­ten­tion to the dif­fer­ent parts of a doc­u­ment.

VER­DICT: This isn’t the cheap­est busi­ness-ori­ented PDF edi­tor but it isn’t the most ex­pen­sive ei­ther, and by a con­sid­er­able mar­gin. If go­ing for a cheap al­ter­na­tive leaves you un­easy – and if your busi­ness de­pends on it, we can un­der­stand such con­cern – Nu­ance Power PDF Ad­vanced pro­vides a lot of soft­ware for the money.

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