In the early 1990’s, sharing documents amongst computer users was not easy as they may be using different packages. One user might be using WordPerfect whilst another could be using WordStar or Microsoft Word. Adobe realised that there was an opportunity to create a method of sharing documents amongst computer users and PDF was born. Since PDF was created it has become very popular but it has also created two new problems. If you wanted to create your own PDF’s you had to use Adobe’s Acrobat Software which at the moment costs €18.99 a month and to export PDF’s back to Word or Excel also involved using Adobe Acrobat.

These two problems have been partially fixed with mixed results. Various different companies have offered a solution that allowed documents to be converted back from PDF but with mixed results as at times the formatting has been lost and it was not possible to convert back into an Excel file. Investintech is one of the companies that have offered a solution that works with their Able2Extract product which has been round since 2002 and is the only product bar Adobe Acrobat that allows you to convert from PDF to Excel.

The latest version of Able2Extract version 9.09 was released last December, works with Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows gives users:

  • The ability to create PDF documents from printable digital file formats
  • The ability to generate PDF files from both the Able2Extract interface and from any application that can print documents
  • The ability to interact and monitor the PDF creation process
  • The ability to create and also save custom PDF creation settings
  • The ability to delete, move, rotate, resize and scale pages directly within the user interface
  • The ability to view and select exactly what they want to convert and what PDF page edits have been made
  • The ability to convert PDF documents into Excel, PowerPoint and Word
  • The ability to support OCR

able2extractAs you can see from the above screenshot you have the ability to convert PDF files into many different file formats even AutoCAD. Able2Extract also has the ability to create password protected PDF files thus ensuring any PDF file you create can’t be copied, edited etc. as you can see in the screenshot below.
able2extract security
One of the most important things that every software package should offer is a great user experience without the need of being a rocket scientist. If you do get stuck the help menu is there but you won’t be using it that often. The moment you run the program you will notice how that it went through rigorous usability testing as you are not confused by complicated menus and options which you will notice in the screenshot below.
able2extract menu screen

Pros

  • Allows for drag-and-drop import of PDF documents
  • Easy to use interface
  • Converts into several formats
  • Offers PDF creation with various options for security and compression
  • Batch conversion in bulk helps especially if time is of the essence
  • You can make minor changes to PDF documents directly including correcting typos and changing keywords
  • OCR Support including image-based OCR
  • The price is very affordable and the 7 day trial gives you enough time to try it out

Cons

  • Processes only txt or PDF files
  • Needs Microsoft Office if you are to convert to Office formats
  • Bullet points or symbols not supported by Microsoft Office will not be converted and you will end up with letters or alternate symbols

Final Word
I have used many PDF convertors in the past and they have all had a couple of flaws, they have had a terrible interface and the demo versions would limit how many pages you could convert. This is not an issue with Able2Extract and you can download it here and try it for 7 days to see if it suits your needs. As it also supports OCR you won’t need to buy any OCR software. I would recommend Able2Extract d it as a must buy for its features, ease of use and also its price.

 

 

 

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