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Five utilities for PDF files

Brien Posey lists five utilities available for viewing, editing, and converting PDF files.

   

PDF utilities
 

For many years, PDF files have been one of the most commonly used file formats for storing documents. When it comes to PDF files, Acrobat Reader arguably gets the most attention, but there are numerous other applications and utilities available for viewing, editing, and converting PDF files. Here are five such utilities.

This article is also available as a TechRepublic Screenshot Gallery.

1.  Free PDF to JPG

Free PDF to JPG is a free utility for converting a PDF file into a JPG image (Figure A). In addition, this utility can convert PDF files to BMP, PNG, or TIFF formats. Converted documents can adhere to the default size, or you can choose from three other standard images sizes. Probably the best thing about this utility is that you can perform batch conversions.

Figure A

 

Figure A
 

Free PDF to JPG.

2.  DeskPDF Studio X

DeskPDF is a utility for creating, editing, and even signing PDF files. It costs $79.95 (USD), but a free 10-day trial version is available for download.

DeskPDF Studio X is a very feature rich application that offers numerous capabilities. The software allows PDFs to be created from just about any type of file (Figure B), and you can also convert PDFs to Microsoft office documents, HTML, XML, or to various image formats. The software also contains functionality that allows you to create PDF forms containing interactive objects, such as check boxes.

Figure B

 

Figure B
 

DeskPDF Studio X.

3.  Wondershare PDF Editor

Wondershare PDF Editor is a utility for creating, editing, and converting PDF files. It costs $59.95 (USD), but a free trial version is available for download. Documents that are converted using the trial version contain watermarks.

The Wondershare PDF Editor's feature set is actually very similar to that of DeskPDF Studio X, but I found Wondershare's interface to be slightly more intuitive. One of Wondershare PDF Editor's coolest features (that also exists in DeskPDF Studio X) is its OCR capabilities (Figure C). If you scan paper documents to create PDFs, Wondershare can perform optical character recognition on the document as a way of making it editable and searchable.

Figure C

 

Figure C
 

Wondershare PDF Editor.

I also liked Wondershare's Stamp feature (Figure D), which allows you to place a number of different preconfigured stamps on documents. The stamps say things like Approved, Not for Public Release, and Sign Here.

Figure D

 

Figure D
 

Wondershare's Stamp feature.

4.  PrimoPDF

PrimoPDF is a free utility for converting documents to PDF format (Figure E).

Figure E

 

Figure E
 

PrimoPDF utility.

The utility consists of a single desktop icon, which you can click on to change the output settings. When you are ready to convert a document, you must drag the document to the PrimoPDF icon. Upon doing so, the Windows printing interface will open. PrimoPDF acts as a printer (Figure F) but dumps the output to a PDF file rather than to a print device.

Figure F

 

Figure F
 

PrimoPDF print capability.

5.  ParmisPDF

ParmisPDF is a PDF editor that allows you to create or modify PDF files. It costs $59.95 (USD), but a free trial version is available for downloads. The trial version places watermarks on documents. 

This feature-rich application seems to have all of the basics covered, and also includes some rather nice advanced features, such as the ability to process documents in batches.

ParmisPDF also includes an always useful Mail Merge feature (Figure G) and supports Bates Numbering. I especially liked the extraction feature. While many PDF editors will allow you to export documents to alternate formats, this one takes extraction to the next level by allowing you to export images and text blocks independently. There is also a feature for extracting data from a document.

Figure G

 

Figure G
 

ParmisPDF utility.

What tool(s) do you use for viewing, editing, and converting PDF files? Share your feedback in the discussion thread below.

 

 

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