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New PDF Converter Has Office-Caliber Muscle

New PDF Converter Has Office-Caliber Muscle

In some respects, the process of converting PDF documents with deskUNPDF resembles the tasks in scanning a document and converting it with an OCR program. There is one major difference, however: deskUNPDF produced a flawless conversion each time. No editing was required in the converted document.

By Jack M. Germain
03/13/08 4:00 AM PT

Plano, Texas-based Docudesk, which makes software tools to convert proprietary file formats such as Adobe's PDF (portable document format), recently introduced an enterprise version of its deskUNPDF document conversion line. The launch of deskUNPDF Professional provides users with new feature options and conversion formats to address a wide array of PDF document conversion needs on both Intel and PowerPC OS X systems.

Any software conversion tool that allows users to break the limits of song, video or document publishers' access limitations should raise questions of ethics. However, those who have to publish or repackage information and document exchanges in the workplace are often forced to use legitimate tools to eliminate the need to manually recreate the material contained in locked documents such as PDF files.

Even the makers of the free Adobe Reader software understand this point. The company allows PDF document creators to permit recipients of PDF files to save a copy of the document as a text file. This, or course, provides direct editing access in text-only mode. Much of the original document formatting is lost, rendering the resulting text file more troublesome to repackage.

Meeting a Need

Even so, those with a need to work with PDF documents without access to the expensive Adobe Acrobat that creates PDF files can find numerous free and low-cost products to simplify the basic conversion process. Programs are available for use offline on a user's computer. Web-based PDF conversion services are merely a Web search away. Many of these online conversion tools are free.

Using any of these solutions that offer an end-run around purchasing the proprietary creation software gives varying degrees of limitations on use and results. Often, these products lack enough ease of use to make them a permanent solution for businesses or single users on a tight budget.

The Docudesk PDF conversion tool has provided for an easy way around working with the PDF format. The combination of the Professional version's launch for the Windows platform and the introduction of the same tool features for the Mac OS comes at a time when the industry is pushing hard to establish interoperability among computing platforms and the creation of a universal file or open document format.

Clearly, Docudesk programmers had these two points in mind when they developed these latest products.

Simple Interface

Depending on the computer configuration and the installation options, the PDF Converter program hooks into Microsoft Office applications and OpenOffice.org's Writer word processing program. Clicking the Docudesk icon on the menu bar loads the PDF Converter from within the running application.

Another option in running deskUNPDF is to click its desktop icon or drag it onto the desktop Taskbar. Once loaded, the application's intuitive interface obviates any need to read the help file. Much like using any Windows or Mac program, just click the open icon, browse to the PDF file and click on the file. A thumbnail display of the pages appears. Side-by-side file manager-style windows show the location of the PDF file selected and the location choice for the converted file's destination.

The only other required tasks are selecting the desired document output and page selection choices. A progress bar shows the conversion process. Converting the same six-page PDF file into each available file type took less than 20 seconds for each conversion type.

In some respects, the process of converting PDF documents with deskUNPDF resembles the tasks in scanning a document and converting it with an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) program. There is one major difference, however: deskUNPDF produced a flawless conversion each time. No editing was required in the converted document.

Impressive Range

The application uses the latest technology Visit the VMware Tech Center to convert PDF documents to multiple output formats for editing. These new tools bring business-grade table detection that makes extracting table information into Microsoft Excel's .XLS format quick and simple.

The table data extraction is enough to raise the giddy factor among users. But the batch conversion feature, along with the other business-strength features, raises the bar for competitive file conversion makers to reach. deskUNPDF for the Mac and the PC may well set the new workplace standard for converting, transforming and automating PDF workflow.

The output formats support conversion for document, Web, image and data-based formats. Supported document-based formats include the Open Document Format, which is the default in the OpenOffice suite (.ODT) and Microsoft Excel (.XLS). Supported data-based formats include Comma Separated Values (.CSV) and Extensible Markup Language (.XML).

Supported Web-based formats include Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML), Extensible HyperText Markup Language (.xHTML) and Scalable Vector Graphics (.SVG). Supported image-based formats include Bitmap (.BMP), Portable Network Graphics (.PNG), Tagged Image File Format (.TIF or .TIFF) and Joint Photographic Experts Group (.JPEG).

With enhanced Accu-Text rendering technology, deskUNPDF Pro for Mac provides an accurate reproduction regardless of the chosen output format. Typically, these file conversion options are available in separate products for the Mac and the PC by other software vendors. Docudesk puts them together in one place. All it takes is selecting the option by clicking the button, selecting the desired file output for the conversion and clicking the CONVERT command icon on the menu bar at the top of the window.

Pricing and Availability

deskUNPDF Professional for Apple Macintosh and Windows is available for download for a free trial. Purchasing the Mac version costs US$69.95. The PC version costs $59.95.

The purchase at those prices is for a single user license. A 10-user license pack costs $269.95.


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