PDF Utilities on the Cheap

Trapeze converts PDFs into editable formats on Mac OS X, while PDF reDirect enables users to create PDFs from any application and append documents from different sources.

There are those who yearn for more functionality in Adobe Reader, wondering when the company might power up more search capability or tweak its edit features.

And then there are those who dont like to wait. Behold, the freeware, shareware and low-cost utility developers.

Thanks to an abundance of programming savvy, there are numerous PDF utilities available from small development houses or individuals. Many of these can be had either free or at a low cost, and even those that climb past the $20 mark have a demo that lets users try before they buy. Today, PDFzone looks at two such PDF utilities, Trapeze and PDF reDirect.


A drag-and-drop utility for Mac OS X developed by Mesa Dynamics LLC, Trapeze converts PDF documents into editable file formats, such as HTML, RTF, ASCII and plain text.

By default, the utility attempts to preserve as much of the original PDF layout as possible, but it allows the user to modify the conversion settings by providing options such as white space stripping, page break marking and paragraph rewrapping.

Mesa Dynamics created Trapeze after noticing that users were struggling with a number of issues, said Danny Espinoza, the companys president. "Our users generally fall into three categories," he noted. "Those who want to edit an existing PDF document to change just a couple of items but preserve the original PDF documents layout; those who want to quote extensively from a PDF document and dont want to endlessly cut and paste from Adobe Reader; and those who want to convert a PDF document directly into HTML to publish on the Web."

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