PDF documents are everywhere these days. PDF documents provide a useful way of distributing files that retain all the formatting information from Microsoft Word, Excel or whatever other application you used to create the file. The problem with a PDF document is that once you’ve created it, it remains pretty much non-editable. Often that is what you want. But sometimes it can be a nuisance. For example, you may want to fix mistakes in a PDF document sent to your by a colleague. Or you may want to split a large PDF file into smaller individual documents. That’s where Able2Extract can help out.
|Able2Extract can edit and convert large, complex documents including graphics and non-English (here Japanese) text|
You can edit documents by adding and deleting text, adding graphics, redacting (blacking out passages) or adding annotation such as notes and strikethroughs. If you need create editable forms with interactive ‘fill-in’ fields you can do that too. There are limitations to the editing capabilities, however. If you expect to be able to edit text as you would in a word processor you will be disappointed. Editable text takes the form of pages, paragraphs, lines or parts of lines which can be edited within an area defined by a bounding box. Not only can the text inside the bounding box be edited but the entire box and its contents can be dragged and dropped to reposition it.
|If you want to hide sensitive information from prying eyes you can ‘redact’ a document by replacing selected passages with black markers.|
This is the company’s official promo video
I’ve tested PDF import with a variety of different source documents and found that Able2Extract copes well even with documents containing Japanese text and mathematical formulae. Some characters, however, seem to vanish when a selection box is activated for editing. For example, in a mathematical expressions such as x(100) = 1 seem to vanish when the paragraph in which it appears is selected. I eventually discovered that this is because each part of the expression has its own selection box. So in the example above x has one box, (100) = 1 has another and the text of the paragraph in which it appears has yet another selection box. Obviously that makes the editing process rather tricky!
There are, of course, numerous products available for viewing or editing PDF files (see Wikipedia for a list of some of them). If you just want to save from Word or Excel to PDF then the tools built into Microsoft Office are likely to be all you need. Some design and DTP applications also support PDF import (for example, the free LibreOffice suite imports editable PDF into its drawing application).
Adobe Acrobat, would once have been my first choice PDF editor. However, since Acrobat migrated to a subscription model costing around £13 a month for the basic version or £15 per month for the fully featured one, I am less enthusiastic. Personally, I hate subscription software. Even so, Acrobat is the ‘industry standard’ and if you don’t mind hiring it instead of buying it you can scan through the feature list here to see if it does everything you want: https://acrobat.adobe.com/uk/en/acrobat/pricing.html
If you prefer to buy a PDF editor outright, Able2Extract may appeal to you. Bear in mind though that you would need to verify that it provides the capabilities that you really need. To do that, I recommend downloading the trial edition before making a decision.