When the Portable Document Format (PDF) was first introduced, it was rather difficult to edit such files because there was a lack of affordable and easy-to-use tools. Luckily for us, the situation has changed over the past years, and today we can easily create, edit and even share online PDF files in a fast and hassle-free manner.
But how to choose the right software? Your choice should be based on your needs, budget and some other aspects.
Are You a Heavy PDF User?
In case you’re an occasional user you might not need all those bells and whistles that come with expensive software suites. There’s no need to purchase and install top-notch programs if you just need to edit or convert a single PDF file. There are dozens of free-to-use web services allowing you to make basic manipulations (editing, combining, converting etc.) in just a few clicks without having to download and install any software. With PDFBurger for example, you can convert and combine different files into a single PDF, convert web pages to PDF and also convert PDFs to Word documents and JPG files. No registration required. Just open the website, upload your file(s)/enter the URL and click the ‘Convert’ button. In a few instances download the ready file to your computer.
Are You a Tech-Savvy User?
The feel of the interface is also an important aspect. In case you’re a newbie, you may want to choose a program with an intuitive interface offering easy-to-navigate menus containing tools with captions that are easy to understand. Designs cluttered with tools and menus may have a steep learning curve. It may take you hours of watching video lessons before you understand how to properly edit/export/convert files.
While basic web-based tools are enough for occasional, personal use, they are clearly not the best option for business. In order to keep all your PDF files protected you need to purchase a high-quality program that will not only allow you to create, edit and manage PDF files in a professional manner, but also offer a variety of other business-specific features. NitroPDF for instance, offers such unique options as OCR (Optical Character Recognition), easy-to-use collaboration tools and even cloud connectivity capabilities: you can sign, share and work on PDFs with others even if they don’t have Nitro Pro.
In case you’re going to publish PDFs on the web, make sure your software allows you to specify the following Document Properties: Title, Author, Subject, Keywords etc. These are very important for SEO.
Some apps also offer special printing-related features, such as color matching and other optimization options to ensure that your file will be printed out exactly as expected (as it appears on your screen).
Help & Support
When evaluating a PDF suite, pay attention to the company’s customer service. Are there video tutorials explaining the product? Is there a knowledge base of articles or a forum? Are there in-built prompts and hints in the interface? What kind of support can you get (24/7 live chat, ticketing system, phone support)?
Robert Simons mostly spends his time testing and reviewing office productuvity programs. He’s the owner of http://yourtechlib.com, a website where he publishes his independent reviews and other tech-related posts.