From my standpoint, Nuance would be the last company I would see that would be offering a free product to the public, even more so a FREE PDF reader, but they have; they’ve come out with their own PDF viewer for FREE.
The installation file is 18mb. It’s a MSI file, just double-click the file to run it. The PDF reader from Adobe is much larger than this; Adobe Reader is complete BLOAT-ware.
Nuance has shown up to put Adobe in it’s place and beat Adobe at their own game. It’s nice to know someone else is doing it besides Steve Jobs.
Running the installation…pretty standard. The installation file can be download from here.
I didn’t like this last portion at all.
With the FREE version of their software, Nuance wants you to go to their website and register the software. The license key is provided, but there’s no option to decline registration; you’ve to register. This is a complete turn-off for users and free software.
I just think having to register for free software is wrong. And in this case it’s time consuming.
Using the base program…
Opening a PDF that’s 99 pages takes a few seconds to open with the viewer.
The charcoal colored interface is kind of a different GUI color in comparison to other programs; but this is different, not bad.
But where this PDF viewer REALLY shines is the PDF FORM FILLER.
Below I’ve screenshots of the program with a W-9 IRS form [standard] and then next to it I’ve the same form with the fields highlighted using the programs ‘highlight form fields’.
Notice how the forms are different and the fields are already highlighted; even the check boxes. Incredible.
This is awesome work. Nuance used their years for experience in handling documents and refined a process to find form fields in documents to enable the users to edit the fields right there… awesome work. This is going to make many people very happy and has just set the bar a little higher for other form filling PDF viewers.
Nuance updated their website to correct the wording…
Fill and save PDF forms — Most other PDF viewers do not enable you to fill and save PDF forms without support from a premium product. Nuance PDF Reader is perfect for all kinds of applications and forms, including childcare reimbursement forms, quarterly tax forms, expense reports, purchase orders, surveys and more.
Nuances PDF Viewer meshed right in with Firefox and being able to display the PDF right in the browser tab. I had an error [Zeon plug-in failed] initially, but after I rebooted my system, the plug-in worked fine.
But the advertisement of this PDF Viewer was that you would be able to fill out forms and type in information; you can’t do this in the browser.
I’ve to assume this is by design, but I think this is a mistake because from the example I show here, I can’t fill in the form right here; I’ve to save it, go to the file, open it and then I’ll have edit/form options.
There should be a button for form filling from right here…
Microsoft Outlook integration…
I can’t answer this one; I don’t have Microsoft Outlook, but I’d love to hear back from anyone that has it working in Outlook.
I don’t know how a lot of people are going to feel about this…
The export/converting process is done remotely. The information is sent to Nuance for processing. You upload the file, you choose what to convert it to and they email the file to you…
Where privacy is such a sensitive issue with users, I don’t know how someone would feel about filling out a PDF with personal data on it, uploading it to a website to be converted/recorded/stored or whatever and then having it sent back over the web via an email- Especially with the use of the OCR functions…
Conspiracy theorists will go wild over this…
But I think Nuance is realizing that they can do a hellofva job with their servers there and YOU here; leave the processing to them and keep the clients thin.
For the first venture for Nuance in to the freeware arena, I think this was a very nice gesture on their part; they didn’t have to do it, but they did and it’s a very good offering to the public.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this…
L. Henry Jr.