Review: Nuance PDF Converter Professional 8

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Ruth Carter, owner and attorney, Carter Law Firm, PLLC

When I download a PDF form for an event or activity, I usually input my basic information right after I download it, even if I don't possess all the information to complete the form. I tell myself that I'll fill in what I can at the moment and save the file to finish it later. I'm often halfway through this process when I realize that the top form has a purple box that states:

"Please fill out the following form. You cannot save data typed into this form. Please print your completed form if you would like a copy for your records."

Click image to enlarge
Click to enlarge.

Not only have I wasted my time trying to start the form, I have to do all the work again later when I have all the pertinent information. And once I fill out the form, I have to print and scan it if I want a paperless copy for my records. That purple box frustrates me every time.

One of my favorite things about Nuance PDF Converter Professional 8 is that it gives me the ability to turn every PDF form into a fillable file that I can complete and save on my computer without having to print and scan it. I can turn it into a form that I can work on at my leisure, over multiple sittings, without having to start over from the beginning. PDF Converter software allows me to create PDF documents, including fillable forms, from scratch. It also allowed me to convert any Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or WordPerfect document into a PDF file and back again.

I downloaded and installed the Professional 8 version onto my Windows 7 laptop PC (64-bit). At first I was surprised by the large file size and the fact that it took nearly twenty minutes to install on my computer. My computer nearly froze because I was passing the time by watching a YouTube video. After the installation was complete, I saw that Nuance PDF Converter Professional 8 was not just a PDF converter but it also came with the Nuance Cloud Connector and the Gaaiho Collaboration tool, which allows multiple users to collaborate in real time on the same document. I work alone so I don't need this feature, but I still appreciated that it was there if I needed to collaborate on a document.

The PDF Converter software integrated with all my Microsoft Office applications. I didn't have to open the program to convert an open Word, Excel, or PowerPoint file into a PDF. I just had to click on the Nuance PDF tab in Office to create a PDF. See Figure 1.

Click image to enlarge
Figure 1: PDF Converter Professional 8 tab integration with Microsoft Word.

Carter Law Firm is frequently hired to review contracts for clients. I prefer to print out all the pages and review hard copy, making handwritten notes in the margins. One of my clients prefers to save time and money by reviewing my handwritten feedback instead of having me write a full memo of my assessment of the document. I review the document and send the client a scanned copy of the document covered by my notes.

My firm uses Google for our email service, and shortly before I installed Nuance PDF Converter Professional 8 the client sent me a contract that was so long that the PDF of the contract with my notes exceeded the 25-megabyte limit for attachments. I had to use Dropbox to send it to him. I was pleased to see that PDF Converter can reduce the size of a PDF file. I tried it with the next document the client sent me and I was able to reduce a file that was initially over 7 megabytes to 1.71 megabytes. There was no noticeable difference in the visual quality of the smaller file.

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