May 23 2012

Techie Review: Nuance PDF Converter v8 Pro

biyhn3z0_thumb Techie Review: Nuance PDF Converter v8 ProNuance just released a new version of their PDF Converter software, version 8 professional. Nuance has been working with PDFs for years, but back in February of 2009, Nuance stepped directly on a competitive path with Adobe; to compete directly with Adobe Acrobat and to be extremely price competitive. Their first step was to release a free PDF reader/viewer. But the PDF viewer was really a preamble to what Nuance was really working on, which was revamping how they work with documents completely.

It made more sense for Nuance to go into the business of managing PDF files directly, then to try to work with Adobe and their inflated price scales. In August of 2010, Nuance released v7 of their PDF Converter v7; that release was quite impressive…

When I do a techie review of an application; I’m reviewing the application based upon its usability, its practicality, and the raw function that brings to the users. I like to look at the applications as though if I’m going to be the one making the purchasing decisions and if the application offers everything the average users would be looking for […]

Installing the software…

My installation of Nuance PDF converter Pro was from a downloaded version via the Nuance website. Installation file was roughly 531 MB. At this point in time, it’s far more efficient purchase software online and download it as opposed to trying to purchase software from a brick-and-mortar store…

The overall installation of Nuance’s PDF Converter went okay, but I did run into a situation during installation where it wanted to close Windows Explorer [explorer.EXE]. I was a little surprised by this because explorer.EXE is the main GUI interface for Windows. The installation process said that needed to close and restart the application, but in my experience during installation, explorer.EXE was closed, but it was never restarted; I had to restart explorer.EXE manually, by choosing control alt delete, starting the task manager and adding a New Task  ‘explorer.EXE’. I was upgrading from a previous version; maybe that was an issue…


The installation of the application starts off normally, just like pretty much every other application…

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I like how the installation process promised me for options to make the application my default PDF viewer or if I would like to start the application when operating system starts up. There’s also options for creating icons/shortcuts…

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During the installation process you be asked if you want to install options for the Nuance Cloud Connector and Gaaiho Collaboration. The Nuance Cloud Connector gives you direct access to remote storage on the Internet, so that you can store your PDFs online, share those with others or just simply use the service as a backup.

Gaaiho Collaboration is a service that allows you to share your documents and to make collaborative efforts to documents, and also giving you the ability to converse. The application is installed very similar to an instant messaging application, but with VOIP ability. The service is provided free with PDF Converter.

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Early in the installation process you’ll be asked for your serial number. Later on your machine will be identified with unique ID number and then you’ll have the option to activate your copy of the software directly with Nuance.

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Most of the installation process is default, but this is a screenshot of the custom set up, as opposed to the express or standard set up…

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During installation of the application, there’s the option to install the PDF Converter component. I believe this installation component will be very useful in institutions where they’re dealing with large numbers of office documents or writer basis… I would recommend installing this component.

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As I mentioned before, about the product activation, your machine will be provided a machine fingerprint, and at this point, you’re given the option to change the serial number, if you need to. The activation of the application takes about 5 to 10 seconds; maybe less. For those locations who don’t have an Internet connection while installing the software, manual activation of the software is available.

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Activating the software completes the installation process for the PDF Converter…

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Immediately after completing the PDF Converter installation, if you chose the option to install the Nuance Cloud Connector; the installation option for that will start… By installing this option, your adding the ability for Internet cloud storage. A mapped drive letter will be created on your PC so that you can access the information just as you would any other drive. On my system, the drive letter that was selected, was N, and it was labeled ‘My Nuance Cloud Drive’ — very easy to identify.

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Installation for the Nuance Cloud Connector takes very little time…

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In addition to activating the software, there’s the option for registering your product… If you choose not to register your product, you’ll be reminded in seven days.

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This will complete the installation process for the PDF Converter…

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Quick Impressions…

On the start up of the application, In my opinion, I believe it took a little longer than I’d like, but it could be my machine, but as we get more and more complicated so do the applications. It took about 5 seconds the first time on my machine and then after it had cached some files it only took about 3 seconds to open and be ready. I’m most likely a little spoiled from using just the basic PDF viewers.

I did my previous review on PDF Converter seven and I continue to think that Nuance is going in the right direction with this application. when you first open the application you very quickly realize at this application has a lot of advanced features; it’s very evident from the file menu in the toolbar options that are available to you.

The toolbar options alone, you’ll spend several minutes mousing over each one of the functions to find out what they do and of course concealed in the file menu are the same options, but with more…

As with the previous version Nuance presents their PDF Converter with the charcoal color theme. The toolbar icons are clearly labeled and are modern looking. The aesthetics of the application don’t seem to be lacking.

If you’re in a position where you’re going to be dealing with PDF files on a regular basis and you need a lot of flexibility in dealing with those PDF files; Nuance PDF converter is going to become your best friend— the kind that doesn’t let you down.


Walking around in the application…

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Advanced Edit…

One of the very first thing you’ll notice as the application starts, as a difference from the previous version, is option at the top for ‘Advanced Edit’. It’s going to spark your curiosity very quickly…

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The against edit option is going to essentially convert the PDF document into a format that you can edit directly. The conversion options are to documents with text or to a form with large amounts of framed text/tables. This option runs me heavily of the abilities of OmniPage; so this makes me think that, very intuitively, Nuance is missing the levels of products that they offer into offering very powerful individual applications— which makes very good sense. It’s a benefit for the customer and overall it’s the right thing to do…

As a disclaimer, the application does warn the operator about conversions that may be imperfect; but that’s with just about any conversion— nothing’s perfect. So the recommendation for the conversions is to make sure you keep a copy of the original…


Dragon notes…

Integrating another one of Nuance’s most popular applications, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, PDF Converter directly integrates the ability for voice-recognition annotations.

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From the toolbar at the top, you’ll see the Dragon NaturallySpeaking icon. But using this option you activate the applications ability to provide/apply annotations to the active PDF.

The bonus to using this function is that you can use voice recognition from Dragon NaturallySpeaking, as opposed to having to type in the notes manually. As anyone knows, if they use voice-recognition or use Dragon NaturallySpeaking on a regular basis; they’ll tell you that using voice-recognition is highly productive and if it’s use on a regular basis becomes very accurate. The integration of Dragon NaturallySpeaking into this application shows the commitment of how easy Nuance is trying to make it on companies and individuals who have to deal with large amounts of documents and PDFs.


PDF Form filling…

One of the most required things when you’re dealing with PDFs is to be able to fill out electronic documents; so it’s important to have application that can fill out PDF documents and can do it intuitively.

To test this, I went to the IRS website downloaded a 1040EZ tax form, and loaded it up in my browser. Nuance’s PDF Converter was currently set as my default PDF viewer and was integrated into my browser. I was able to download the PDF file directly from the website and start filling out the application right there.

PDF Converter was able to detect the open fields and not only was I able to click into the fields that I need to enter information, but the application was able to detect when I pressed the tab button to go to the next field…


Converting to a searchable PDF…

I did a quick test of converting a scanned tiff image into a searchable PDF with the PDF Converter software. I had an old document from Acer tech support. Using the software, I was able to simply choose the option to convert that document the searchable PDF; the process was very quick and after he completed I was able to open that document, do a search and find exactly all the references to the keywords that I typed in…

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Of course I feel that the accuracy of the OCR process is going to be directly proportionate to the quality of the scanned document, but in my testing, and if you are using the software on standard documents I think that you finally do get very good results by converting old documents to searchable PDFs; helping you find the information you need quickly.


PDF security…

2ebu3qjo_thumb Techie Review: Nuance PDF Converter v8 ProIf you’re worried about safeguarding your information, PDF Converter can protect your information by encrypting it with hundred and 28 bit or 256 bit AES encryption and 256 bit AES passwords.

The ability to secure PDF files is readily available in the toolbar, by default, in the PDF Converter software. When you select the option at the top, your presented with four options immediately.

  • Select envelope
  • Add attachments
  • Encrypt files
  • Sign document



    This latest version of PDF Converter from Nuance is going to be the perfect companion to another offering that Nuance has with PaperPort. In the latest version of Nuance PaperPort the application has abandoned the old MAX [proprietary] files and is moving forward with using standard PDF files [very wise choice] and now that Nuance is moving in that direction, for them to have an application like this to offer in conjunction with PaperPort is going to make it even better.

    Nuance is making a big statement with this latest release of PDF Converter, and they’re also body punching Adobe in the gut by showing how good PDF Converter v8 Pro is and how overpriced Adobe’s software is… PDF Converter is less than ¼ [one quarter] the cost of Adobe’s Acrobat Professional software. PDF Converter costs $99, where Adobe Acrobat Professional software is roughly $449… It’s a no-brainer.

    There’s many more new features in this version, and if you’d like to read some of those for yourself; you can check out Nuance’s PDF Converter v8 website…


    Thank you,
    Larry Henry Jr. 

    …via Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11

    zemified_c Techie Review: Nuance PDF Converter v8 Pro

    Support the site — Share this!

    • Hello,

      I just wanted to take a minute to tell you that you have a great site! Keep up the good work.

    • Moses

      Many thanks for sharing your valuable thoughts.
      I also agree with the previous comment that you've got a fantastic site!
      Thank you.

      • Compliments are always welcome; thanks!


    • fred

      did you notice that you cannot change the appearance of the program anymore ( user interface) as you could in PDF converter 7?

    • Chris Leech

      I would have given this at least a 4 out of 5, but the Drawing Tools have been changed from PDF Converter Professional 7. Now, when selecting any other tool except for Line, you have to select this same tool after each use. I do mark ups on submittal documents, I just want to use rectangle, but I have to click on rectangle after each use because this tool will not stay on! If this matters to you as well as me, then do not buy this product.

    • C. Leech

      I would have given this at least a 4 out of 5, but the Drawing Tools have been changed from PDF Converter Professional 7. Now, when selecting any other tool except for Line, you have to select this same tool after each use. I do mark ups on submittal documents, I just want to use rectangle, but I have to click on rectangle after each use because this tool will not stay on! If this matters to you as well as me, then do not buy this product.

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