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Commentary
10/7/2005
08:42 AM
David  DeJean
David DeJean
Commentary
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Editing PDFs, Etc.

This just in from the Desktop Pipeline "What I Really Meant to Say" Department: In my e-mail newsletter this week I wrote an Editor's Note about recent developments in the open document format area -- the release of Star Office 8, the Massachusetts state government's decision against Microsoft Office, and Microsoft's announcement that it would offer PDF as an output format in Office 12 next year. In the course of

This just in from the Desktop Pipeline "What I Really Meant to Say" Department: In my e-mail newsletter this week I wrote an Editor's Note about recent developments in the open document format area -- the release of Star Office 8, the Massachusetts state government's decision against Microsoft Office, and Microsoft's announcement that it would offer PDF as an output format in Office 12 next year.

In the course of that I wrote something like, "You can't edit a PDF file." My only excuse is that I had just washed my hands and I couldn't do a thing with them.Of course you can edit a PDF file, you just can't do it conveniently (oops, there go those hands again).

Right here in this very Pipeline in July we reviewed a couple of products that create and edit PDF files, Nitro PDF Desktop 1.77, and ScanSoft PDF Converter Professional 3. The ScanSoft package can convert PDF files to DOC, WPF, and RTF, and runs as a plug-in to Microsoft Office applications.

Faithful Reader Kenneth Fleischer also wrote almost instantly to point me to a pair of products from ABBYY -- PDF Transformer 1.0, which can convert any PDF file into Word, Excel, HTML, or TXT format, the company Web site claims, and FineReader 8.0, a higher-end product that includes OCR capabilities, can save in more formats, has a spell-checker, and more.

I'm going to have to investigate these, because every once in a while I need to reformat part of a PDF file, and the copy-from-Adobe-Reader-and-paste-into-Word method is tedious at best.

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