Let us start from the very basic question on PDF, “What is PDF?” PDF or Portable Document Format is one of the popular eBook formats, introduced by Adobe Systems in 1991. The company released it as an open standard format in 2008, making it free for developers to work with. Conversion of documents, forms, graphics, or web pages to PDF format has become much simpler with a variety of tools available on the internet. Common features of this e-reader format include:
- Fixed width layout
- Re-flowable content
- Security locking facility against editing
- Multiplatform facility
- Words or phrases in PDF file can be easily searched
- Control over layout and fonts
- Can be digitally signed
- PDF files can contain clickable links and buttons, form fields, video, and audio
- Possible to view and print in a variety of operating systems
Security with PDF documents
The PDF format is distinguished by its document security feature. It can’t be altered, as done with standard word processing files like Excel or PowerPoint. Password protection should be incorporated to allow authenticated access. Because of these reasons, the format can be used for more sensitive correspondences and transactions.
Editing/Converting a PDF File
There are limitations to edit or to make changes to a document saved in PDF format. It is not like editing a word document. PDF documents can be edited with custom software designed to carry out the task. Software designed to edit documents in their native PDF format, can perform as a word processing tool. It allows the manipulation of files and text and images in the original PDF before saving the file as a new document. Common features to consider when selecting a reliable PDF conversion software application are its creating, editing, multimedia, printing, ease-of-use and sharing capabilities. In addition, customer service efficiency is another factor to consider. Here are some of the top-rated PDF software available:
- Adobe Acrobat X-pro: Considered the global standard in PDF conversion software, Adobe Acrobat X Pro is a comprehensive PDF solution, though expensive. Tools available include the Typewriter tool, advanced Editing TouchUp text tool, TouchUp object tool and more. PDFs can be uploaded to a network folder, Adobe.com, or SharePoint workspace and features such as Share Screen or Collaborate Live can be used to perform group reviews in real time. Portfolios can be created using various types of documents/images or by merging existing PDFs. Its multimedia tools are outstanding.
- PDF Converter Professional 7: This is a well-designed application that can carry out most functions you may be in need of. It can create PDF files from virtually any software application and convert PDF into other formats. A significant feature is the interactive auto-detect feature that identifies scanned and image-only documents for text, which can be made searchable and editable. Multimedia content can be added and manipulated. Its file handling capability may be slightly slower than Adobe; another con is its inability to embed audio and video files into a document.
- Nitro Pro 9: This software allows you to edit document quickly using the Edit tool. It provides excellent tools that can be used to edit objects and links from the same tab. Images and watermarks can be added; PDF document pages can be added, removed or replaced.
PDF files can be converted to any of the file formats such as Word, HTML, PowerPoint, or even ePub (e-book format). Technology such as OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software is used to convert scanned images, PDF files, etc to text of choice.