Manaccom Corporation Nitro PDF Professional
- Easy-to-use layout, can create PDF files one at a time or in a batch, has clear and helpful reviewing tools
- Its PDF-to-Word function didn't work properly during our tests; can create PDFs from within Microsoft Office using the integrated toolbar, but there isn't an integrated toolbar for Web browsers or other applications
Nitro boasts an easy-to-use layout and has many useful tools for the creation of PDF documents. As far as features go, it stands up strong against Adobe's Acrobat, but it didn't execute flawlessly during our tests.
Price$ 199.95 (AUD)
PDF files are a great way to distribute reports and brochures, as you can be sure the final layout of the file will be retained once it's sent to your recipient, and let's face it, everyone has access to PDF reader software. Nitro PDF Professional is a PDF creation program that compares favourably against Adobe's Acrobat Professional -- it's very easy to use, has some pretty useful features, and is competitively priced.
It relies on a graphics-based user interface, which makes it easy to identify many of the program's tools and editing features and there aren't any messy menu systems. Simply click on the tab at the top of the page to view all the options for that section. In addition, tool-tips are implemented, which give a short description of each tool when you hover your mouse over it.
The program is segregated into five tabs: Home, Insert and edit, Review, Secure, and View. The Home tab is where the file creation tools reside. Not only can you convert files to PDF format one at a time, but you can also convert multiple files simultaneously (and different types, too), which is great if you have a large amount of individual files that all need to be converted using the same settings. Likewise, the program has the ability to combine files, which means that you can select a text document, picture files and spreadsheets as well as have Nitro insert them all into the same PDF file automatically. However, using this method, you won't have much control over the layout and the files will just be inserted one after the other in one long document.
Nitro can even turn HTML pages into PDFs, as long as you save them to disk first -- you can't just supply a URL. Conveniently, it can create PDFs directly from scanned input, and one-button creation from Microsoft Office applications is also featured. It installs a print driver, too, which can enable you to create PDFs from virtually any application.
Conversely, Nitro has the ability to convert PDF files to Microsoft Word documents at the click of a button (if you have Word installed), but we had trouble getting this feature to work properly during our tests.
Selecting files for creation can also be a little tricky if you use open source software such as Open Office instead of Microsoft Office. Those of you who save Open Office files in Microsoft Office format may not be able to convert those files to PDF if you don't actually have Microsoft Office installed -- Nitro won't be able to open them. A workaround is to save your office files using Open Office's default file format.
Security features can be implemented to restrict printing and editing functions, as well as the copying of text and other images. Up to 128-bit AES encryption can be used to secure your documents, and password access can be given to users who should have permission to edit and copy the contents of your created PDFs. If you don't want to restrict users, but just want to leave an identifier on your files, then Watermarks can be splashed onto pages instead.
Offline collaborations are fairly easy in Nitro; there are plenty of tools that allow for highlighting, commenting (via virtual sticky notes) and stamping (to show that a document has been read, for example), and once these notes have been viewed, they can easily be removed by the final editor. Changes can be tracked when Nitro is in 'pane' view, with the author, type of modification and the time it was made all being viewable.
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