Arts, ScanSoft Cover Basic PDF Building

By Anne Chen  |  Posted 2005-06-20 Print this article Print

Review: ScanSoft PDF Converter Pro offers more features; Nitro PDF desktop is faster.

The power of Adobe Systems Inc.s Portable Document Format is its ability to exchange documents regardless of the program with which they were created or the operating system used by either the sender or the receiver. As such, eWEEK Labs has long urged broader use of PDF technology.

Unfortunately, Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.0s price—$449 per user—makes it difficult for most IT managers to rationalize (and rightfully so) for anyone other than a graphics professional or power user. In addition, although Acrobat Standard 7.0 is priced considerably lower, at $299 per user, its still cost-prohibitive for many organizations.

However, since anyone can develop applications that read or write PDFs royalty-free, there are many third-party options that make it easier and less expensive for IT managers to offer PDF creation tools to users.

To determine whether the current crop of third-party tools offers Acrobat-like functionality at a lower price, we evaluated two PDF creators designed for business users: Arts PDF Inc.s Nitro PDF Desktop and ScanSoft Inc.s ScanSoft PDF Converter Professional 3.

Our tests show that both products deliver what most business users will want from a PDF solution, especially those looking mainly to create and edit PDFs while retaining fine-grain control over documents after they are sent out.

With their practical price point—each costs $99—Nitro PDF Desktop and PDF Converter Professional make general PDF authoring available to far more users. That said, users who require more sophisticated functionality, such as designers and prepress professionals who rely on Acrobat Distiller, should continue to purchase and use Acrobat. Conversely, IT managers should consider freeware PDF options if users need to create only an occasional PDF.

Click here to read the full review of Nitro PDF Desktop. Click here to read the full review of PDF Converter Professional 3. Senior Writer Anne Chen can be reached at

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis on image editing and Web publishing tools.
As a senior writer for eWEEK Labs, Anne writes articles pertaining to IT professionals and the best practices for technology implementation. Anne covers the deployment issues and the business drivers related to technologies including databases, wireless, security and network operating systems. Anne joined eWeek in 1999 as a writer for eWeek's eBiz Strategies section before moving over to Labs in 2001. Prior to eWeek, she covered business and technology at the San Jose Mercury News and at the Contra Costa Times.

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