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on 23 October 2010
PDF Converter Professional 7.0 is one of several otherwise excellent software packages from Nuance that are let down by the company's draconian approach to software theft.

Like Microsoft and Adobe, Nuance uses an activation process. This is not unreasonable, but unlike these two Nuance has a very flaky implementation, promoting me to knock a star off the rating.

The software itself is fine - indeed, it is streets ahead of Acrobat, especially on cost - but after using it for some months it suddenly decided that I had pirated the thing and had installed it on another computer. Nope. I had just added some external drives. The software then interpreted this as a different computer. Even Windows doesn't do that. Adobe fixed similar issues some years ago.

This is by design, according to Nuance's support staff, which told me that "changing parts of the computer will trigger to change the machine finger print and changing the machine finger print will require activation. Using an external hard drive is included on the parts of the computer which change the machine finger print. We apologized but that how our activation works."

This is not how other "activated" software works.

You have to be careful with this activation process. Do it too often - easily done if you turn external drives on and off - and you are deemed to be a software thief and you are locked out of the software that you have paid for.

If you are choosing between different PDF options, you might want to see if the alternative has a more sane approach to activation.

I have added this warning to other Nuance packages because they suffer from the same disease. It would make me think twice about buying future versions.
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on 31 January 2011
Except for one critical problem, this is an excellent alternative to Adobe Acrobat and seems to integrate well with that program when sharing comments and editing etc etc.

I would recommend it highly except for a fundamental problem with the way this software is activated and the likelihood that it will stop working due to this feature. PDF Converter Professional 7 seems to identify the process of adding/removing external drives as significantly changing the computer and flags this as the user installing the software on a new computer. It then asks for activation, which would not be a big deal except that there are a very limited number of activations available to the user before the software stops working.

I phoned the help line and was told to reinstall the program with antivirus and firewall turned off, which was done, but the problem continued.

I phoned again and was told to not only do a clean install but to register the software online. Registration is separate to activation and requires personal information that I am not particularly happy giving to a commercial company, but in this case I did. The software continued to ask for activation after external drives were used.

External drives are commonly needed to back up data files and transfer large video files, so it appears that this software will fairly quickly become unusable for many people who need to use external drives.

I use other much more expensive software that requires activation, but does not have this problem. I am returning this software for a refund.
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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
From the minute I took this out of the box I have found it to be an excellent, top quality product. The set up process was on the whole simple although I did have to do it twice as it did not install the first time. The second time the box just sat there saying it was installing with nothing apparently happening. However, it appears that it had installed correctly and fairly quickly. This may be something to look out for. The PDF Converter itself is, as I say in my title, brilliantly simple. I mereley clicked on a PDF file and it opened in the PDF converter. I was then manipulating text in seconds. There are numerous functions all of which are useful, and fairly self explanatory. Highlighting text was a dawdle and I converted a 20 page document to a word document in seconds. I find this to be an extremely useful and user friendly product, which I love. I would highly recommend that you buy this product as it is worth every penny.
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on 10 October 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I had a mixed experience with this software. There's not much I would consider to be actually wrong with it, but overall I would only rate it as 'OK'.

The main reason I was interested in this was to archive emails from MS Outlook. I do this on my work PC using Adobe PDF Writer, which can create a single PDF file for all emails in a folder, with an index. Naunce PDF Converter claims to be able to do the same, but I had little success. It could not manage to include some emails in the PDF package and prompted for a separate file name to write each one to. It didn't give any indication of which email it was prompting for or the reason for the problem, so it's difficult to come up with a suitable file name or to try to resolve the issue. I tried various settings and various combinations of emails, but I couldn't work out why it didn't like some emails.

Some of the default settings when the software is installed are a little odd. For instance, when I tried to convert a Word doc to a PDF file I got no prompts and nothing seemed to happen. Only after a lot of delving around I found a set-up screen where you can choose where PDF files are created. The default option is to append to a single file in the Naunce work folder, without prompting the user. I changed this so that the user is prompted for file name & location every time a PDF file is created, so it's working fine now. But surely this should have been the default setting.

The software is excellent for creating PDF files from a scanner. It's much quicker than the software that came with my scanner.

You have to consider how much use you would actually make of this software, when you consider that you can create PDF versions of documents directly from Office 2010 and there are a number of free PDF creators available that do the basics very well. For me the differentiator would have been the ability to archive my emails to PDF packages, (but I can't get that to work).

There are other functions of this software that I have not used, so other reviewers may have a different experience to mine.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 17 October 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
If you, like me, have often been frustrated by not being able to change or comment on PDF docs when you've been sent them, or use some of the contents because it won't let you then this piece of software is heaven sent! This software is competing against the market leader in PDF software (Adobe Acrobat) and I think does it with aplomb.

The software is easy to install and very intuitive to use. Admittedly I use the Adobe version at work, so I am aware of some of its likely functionality, but the menus are user friendly, colourful and easy to use.

So what can this software do? Well, just about everything you could possibly need as a business or home user plus a little bit more! Firstly it can open any PDF document, so is entirely compatible with other brands of PDF software. Using this software you can then:
* Create PDF Files from your Microsoft applications
* Scan any document and then run the OCR element (similar to OmniPage 17) of the software which then makes the document searchable and readable (unlike if you scan a document in the normal way).
* Edit and review documents, including the ability to combine PDFs from different sources.
* Convert PDF Files and lets you turn PDF files into fully-formatted Microsoft Office docs.
* Create fillable PDF Forms

And if that wasn't enough you can even listen to your PDF! This is a great function (as long you don't mind the American voice), which is useful for listening back to text that you've written if you really can't hack reading it again, but also fabulous for anyone who is sight impaired as it will read documents to you; it will even scan whole documents to file for reading at a later date - how brilliant is that! There are also lots of other high level features embedded in this software for advanced users.

Overall I would say this software is excellent value for money and will provide business and home users with a great deal of flexibility and usability that you cannot get without it and I would definitely 100% recommend to all.
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VINE VOICEon 22 October 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I must confess to being a virtual 'noob' when it comes to PDF meddling software. Having said that, this product whilst being incredibly powerful, is also exceedingly easy to use.

Download and install was effortless, as you'd expect. Once in, you can immediately tell that this is a premium product, with an intuitive toolbar hosting as many functions as you can care to imagine - full PDF creation, editing, form-filling, annotation capabilities, stamps, watermarks - they're all there. The ability to split PDF's into multiple documents I found very useful.

I had no issues converting a wide range of document types into PDF's. And I was able to convert those PDF's into correctly formatted Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and rich-text formatted documents.

All in all, an extremely powerful product, which is a pleasure to use and delivers unsurpassed results. A great buy.
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on 25 September 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
PDF Converter comes equipped with a unique interface, sporting icons, a menu and layout that may look unfamiliar to users of MS Office or Acrobat. But after taking some time to navigate around the interface and with the assistance of the Help menu, you will find that Converter is actually quite straightforward and surprisingly easy to use.

PDF creation with PDF Converter is easy and can be performed from several locations. You can create PDFs directly within the interface, via the Nuance Ribbon tab in any MS Office application, via a Windows Explorer short cut menu, via an Internet Explorer and Firefox webpage add-in, by dragging and dropping on the Application, or by using PDF Create Assistant add-in (for processing multiple files at once). You can also convert a PDF document to an MS Office, XPS or a Corel WordPerfect document. For the security conscious, there's the option to add a digital signature to your document or protect it with 256-bit password encryption.

The Document Assembly view is also a great feature for viewing and manipulating multiple pages of a PDF at once, much like you would arrange the pages on a desk. FormTyper is a powerful tool for creating and filling out forms and you are able to scan in a paper document or open any document or image file and convert it to a searchable PDF. PDF Converter compresses the original document size after converting to PDF but also has a PDF Optimizer for further compression. It even provides a Read Document Aloud feature, supporting section 508 Accessibility (Working people with disabilities act), which makes the software easier to use by persons with disabilities or learning disorders.

Ultimately, this is quite a strong PDF solution with lots of time-saving features that users would appreciate. Creating and converting files is made easy and the results are precise. You also get excellent OCR technology for creating and filling out forms. Therefore for the budget-conscious, considering you get much of what you would expect for a competitor of Adobe Acrobat, there's no reason not to recommend this as a worthy alternative.
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VINE VOICEon 28 September 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This software was extremely easy to install with an intelligent installation program that even told me which running programs could interfere with the installation and then gave me a chance to close them down. Upon completion of the installation I was prompted to register my product (the product key is on the CD sleeve), and chose to do so. The only downpoint to this process was the endless pages of questions they asked during the registration, many of whih I deemed irrelevant and inappropriate so chose not to answer. They were clearly trying to gain information to use for marketing purposes.

Fortunately the software itself is rather intuitive and easy to use. Within minutes I was converting Word Documents into PDF files, opening existing PDF files and editing the text within the program itself, or being able to save it as another file type (a Word Document again for example).

There is a lot of powerful functionality in this program and it is well executed so that it is easy to use. A must have for any individual or business and at this price a surefire saving on any Adobe products.
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on 21 October 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Easy to use, simple to install, and intuitive to figure out!
Set up process is straightforward and simple. Taking literally only a few minutes, and you are ready to go.
I have only started using it and am still exploring some of its functions, but have found it a joy to use and get results that look very neat and professional. Very pleased and has surpassed my expectations!

UPDATE
Now have been using this for a over a year, and though I have never read the instructions or tutorial (typical), most of the functions are intuitive. Creating pdf was always easy, but now am merging, editing, and even converting pdf to word documents; couldn't be easier! The functions/commands are logical and similar to other windows based applications, and so you get instant results without any real trial or error!
Delightful with professional results (I keep getting asked how I did it!!)
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VINE VOICEon 23 September 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've been using Nuance PDF converter since I encountered it at Uni where it was available free to students and staff. Its brilliant! Version 7 does not disappoint. Essential for anyone who regularly puts together documents that are best shared as a pdf file. The most useful function is to join a number of different documents (word files, other pdfs etc) into one pdf file. Just select the files, arrange them in order and click create pdf!
I used it for a number of things including user manuals, research proposals and protocols etc with fantastic professional results.
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