Towards the end of last year, we took a look at Nuance’s PDF Converter Professional 7 for Windows, and found it to be a very capable piece of software when editing and converting PDF documents, although a little work was needed on the OCR technology within the program.
Fast forward a few months, and we’re using PDF Converter for the Mac, which does a similar job to the Windows version of the application, although it’s been extensively ‘Mac-ified’ in the porting process. It commands a price tag of £80 – £20 more than it does on Windows – but can it match up to its Windows counterpart or is this a case of style over substance? Let’s take a look!
The user interface of PDF Converter for Mac is very much focused on your content. There is minimal distraction in the form of several toolbars like you’ll find in the Windows version, and it looks significantly cleaner thanks to this.
Looking good is a good start but in terms of functionality PDF Converter has a trick or two up its sleeve as well. Like PDF Converter for Windows, you can use the software to edit any existing PDF documents that you may have. Being a student, this is a huge advantage for me, as I can use the program to highlight any passages in a document I’m studying, or point out troublesome questions I may not understand on a past exam paper.
You can also add text to the PDF in the form of a small text snippet or large text box, although this is separate from any highlighting feature. It would be great to be able to highlight a section of text and then refer to some text held on a sidebar that refers to your highlight, similar to how commenting works in Microsoft Word.
Being called PDF Converter, it doesn’t take a genius to deduce that one of the main functions of the software is to convert a PDF document. You can convert files in to a Word, Excel or Corel WordPerfect document thanks to the OCR technology available at your disposal. I tested this out on a number of documents, including ones with various formulae and graphics.
All of the plain text and graphics were recognised without issue, and this would be more than sufficient for most users. I did notice that almost all of the multiple lined formulae were virtually unreadable in the final word document, and some special symbols used such as lambda ( ? ) appeared to completely freak the converter out, and these ended up unreadable also, so this may be something for the developers to take a look at for any Maths student out there!
All things considered, Nuance’s PDF Converter for the Mac is a great piece of software with a considerable of features to rectify its £80 price tag. Whether it’s value for money on an individual user basis depends on what the user requires it for, but it could certainly play a large role in a commercial setting. The program will be available to purchase for just under £80 from Amazon from 10th April.