[Micronet] Alternatives to Acrobat Professional for PDF creation/editing/mangling/etc

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[Micronet] Alternatives to Acrobat Professional for PDF creation/editing/mangling/etc

jon kuroda
I'm about to purchase some licenses for Adobe Acrobat Professional
(via SHI of course), but have been inspired by some evangelism (or
maybe anti-evangelising is a better term) from a faculty member to
ask you for your collective experience, feedback and ... well that
no-holds-barred opinion I've come to appreciate from Micronet.  OK
and I also need to wait till next week to hear about which funding
I'm supposed to use anyway.

Who among you use something other than Adobe Acrobat (whether it's
the Standard, Professional, or Professional Extended versions) for
your PDF creation/editing/mangling needs?

Do you use something on this list or something else?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_PDF_software

Things I care about

   * print-to-pdf from within applications (fairly trivial)
   * convert documents to pdf without needing the original apps
   * OCR conversion of scanned and other documents
   * generating forms
   * combining multiple PDFs into single documents
   * de-constructing PDFs
   * editing PDFs, esp PDF forms

At ~$50 a license for Acrobat Pro 9, it is hard to argue about the
cost, but it's nice to hear about the free/cheap options and about
how well they stack up against the defacto standard.

--Jon Kuroda, EECS

 
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Re: [Micronet] Alternatives to Acrobat Professional for PDF creation/editing/mangling/etc

Ian Crew
I'm not a big fan of Flash, but Acrobat Pro has always worked fairly well for me*.  What were the objections that your faculty member expressed?

*-I've found that it works well, so long as I'm good about keeping both my OS and Acrobat updated.  I am also careful to disable the Acrobat browser plug-in, because that IS obnoxious.  I'm using Mac OS X 10.6.4 and Acrobat Pro 9.3.4.

Cheers,

Ian

On Sep 17, 2010, at 8:59 PM, jon kuroda wrote:

> I'm about to purchase some licenses for Adobe Acrobat Professional
> (via SHI of course), but have been inspired by some evangelism (or
> maybe anti-evangelising is a better term) from a faculty member to
> ask you for your collective experience, feedback and ... well that
> no-holds-barred opinion I've come to appreciate from Micronet.  OK
> and I also need to wait till next week to hear about which funding
> I'm supposed to use anyway.
>
> Who among you use something other than Adobe Acrobat (whether it's
> the Standard, Professional, or Professional Extended versions) for
> your PDF creation/editing/mangling needs?
>
> Do you use something on this list or something else?
>
>    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_PDF_software
>
> Things I care about
>
>   * print-to-pdf from within applications (fairly trivial)
>   * convert documents to pdf without needing the original apps
>   * OCR conversion of scanned and other documents
>   * generating forms
>   * combining multiple PDFs into single documents
>   * de-constructing PDFs
>   * editing PDFs, esp PDF forms
>
> At ~$50 a license for Acrobat Pro 9, it is hard to argue about the
> cost, but it's nice to hear about the free/cheap options and about
> how well they stack up against the defacto standard.
>
> --Jon Kuroda, EECS
>
>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The following was automatically added to this message by the list server:
>
> To learn more about Micronet, including how to subscribe to or unsubscribe from its mailing list and how to find out about upcoming meetings, please visit the Micronet Web site:
>
> http://micronet.berkeley.edu
>
> Messages you send to this mailing list are public and world-viewable, and the list's archives can be browsed and searched on the Internet.  This means these messages can be viewed by (among others) your bosses, prospective employers, and people who have known you in the past.

Ian Crew
Media Vault Program
Information Services and Technology-Data Services
University of California, Berkeley
2195 Hearst Ave, Second Floor
http://mvp.berkeley.edu

Outgoing Chair, Chancellor's Staff Advisory Committee
http://csac.chance.berkeley.edu


 
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Re: [Micronet] Alternatives to Acrobat Professional for PDF creation/editing/mangling/etc

jon kuroda
His gripes usually circle around it being slow, leaving various sorts
of "droppings" all over his otherwise pristine OS X laptop, the usual
bugs.  But then he's also a huge OS X / Apple fanboy, so I do tend to
take it all with a grain of salt (or a few bags).

For basic print-to-pdf, there's little reason for Adobe Acrobat but I
am curious about options other than Acrobat for the non-trivial tasks
such as the ones I listed (or others).  

I'd like my laziness and inertia to be backed up by actual research.

And well, even if we do have the money to spend on $50 licenses (or a
$90 license for the Extended version), free is free if it also works.

--Jon

On Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 09:08:21PM -0700, Ian Crew wrote:

> I'm not a big fan of Flash, but Acrobat Pro has always worked fairly well for me*.  What were the objections that your faculty member expressed?
>
> *-I've found that it works well, so long as I'm good about keeping both my OS and Acrobat updated.  I am also careful to disable the Acrobat browser plug-in, because that IS obnoxious.  I'm using Mac OS X 10.6.4 and Acrobat Pro 9.3.4.
>
> Cheers,
>
> Ian
>
> On Sep 17, 2010, at 8:59 PM, jon kuroda wrote:
>
> > I'm about to purchase some licenses for Adobe Acrobat Professional
> > (via SHI of course), but have been inspired by some evangelism (or
> > maybe anti-evangelising is a better term) from a faculty member to
> > ask you for your collective experience, feedback and ... well that
> > no-holds-barred opinion I've come to appreciate from Micronet.  OK
> > and I also need to wait till next week to hear about which funding
> > I'm supposed to use anyway.
> >
> > Who among you use something other than Adobe Acrobat (whether it's
> > the Standard, Professional, or Professional Extended versions) for
> > your PDF creation/editing/mangling needs?
> >
> > Do you use something on this list or something else?
> >
> >    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_PDF_software
> >
> > Things I care about
> >
> >   * print-to-pdf from within applications (fairly trivial)
> >   * convert documents to pdf without needing the original apps
> >   * OCR conversion of scanned and other documents
> >   * generating forms
> >   * combining multiple PDFs into single documents
> >   * de-constructing PDFs
> >   * editing PDFs, esp PDF forms
> >
> > At ~$50 a license for Acrobat Pro 9, it is hard to argue about the
> > cost, but it's nice to hear about the free/cheap options and about
> > how well they stack up against the defacto standard.
> >
> > --Jon Kuroda, EECS
> >
> >
> > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > The following was automatically added to this message by the list server:
> >
> > To learn more about Micronet, including how to subscribe to or unsubscribe from its mailing list and how to find out about upcoming meetings, please visit the Micronet Web site:
> >
> > http://micronet.berkeley.edu
> >
> > Messages you send to this mailing list are public and world-viewable, and the list's archives can be browsed and searched on the Internet.  This means these messages can be viewed by (among others) your bosses, prospective employers, and people who have known you in the past.
>
> Ian Crew
> Media Vault Program
> Information Services and Technology-Data Services
> University of California, Berkeley
> 2195 Hearst Ave, Second Floor
> http://mvp.berkeley.edu
>
> Outgoing Chair, Chancellor's Staff Advisory Committee
> http://csac.chance.berkeley.edu
>

 
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Re: [Micronet] Alternatives to Acrobat Professional for PDF creation/editing/mangling/etc

Ryan Lovett
In reply to this post by jon kuroda
On Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 08:59:50PM -0700, jon kuroda wrote:
> Things I care about
>
>    * print-to-pdf from within applications (fairly trivial)
>    * convert documents to pdf without needing the original apps
>    * OCR conversion of scanned and other documents
>    * generating forms
>    * combining multiple PDFs into single documents
>    * de-constructing PDFs
>    * editing PDFs, esp PDF forms

Was there a missing bullet for "Works on Windows"? :) Mac OS X's native
printing support can do #1 and its Preview.app can do 5, 6, and 7.

What document formats are you thinking about in #2? Usually only the
original app will produce decent output unless the format is open and/or a
known standard.

Ryan

 
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Re: [Micronet] Alternatives to Acrobat Professional for PDF creation/editing/mangling/etc

jon kuroda
On Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 10:27:52PM -0700, Ryan Lovett wrote:

> On Fri, Sep 17, 2010 at 08:59:50PM -0700, jon kuroda wrote:
> > Things I care about
> >
> >    * print-to-pdf from within applications (fairly trivial)
> >    * convert documents to pdf without needing the original apps
> >    * OCR conversion of scanned and other documents
> >    * generating forms
> >    * combining multiple PDFs into single documents
> >    * de-constructing PDFs
> >    * editing PDFs, esp PDF forms
>
> Was there a missing bullet for "Works on Windows"? :) Mac OS X's native
> printing support can do #1 and its Preview.app can do 5, 6, and 7.

While Windows is a prime target, Preview.app's lack for #4 is huge hole        
in capability for us.                                                          
                                                                               
> What document formats are you thinking about in #2? Usually only the          
> original app will produce decent output unless the format is open and/or a    
> known standard.                                                              
                                                                               
Usually the preference is to print from the originating app, but when          
we have to deal with already created documents, and lots of them, not          
having to open up MS Office to convert them is nice.  I guess what is          
really important is not having to do it manually from within the apps          
but instead let the PDF software take care of all that.                        

--Jon

 
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