Well, fellow Mac and Windows PC users– what’s the file format we love to hate? PDFs. Who do we love to hate? Adobe and Microsoft. Well, maybe not hate, but creating professional level PDFs can be a professional pain.
How do you make PDFs? One or all of three ways. The most painful and expensive way is Adobe’s Acrobat app suite which is complicated, complex, and in pay forever mode. The free Mac way is to Print or Export as a PDF, but that misses all the good PDF bells and whistles. Is there a better way?
The Chicagoland private school where I work seems to relish publishing PDFs. They’re everywhere. And the school uses a dozen or so apps to manufacture PDFs; from simple to convoluted and expensive. What we need is a simple, cross platform PDF conversion utility that takes PDFs and turns them into shareable documents.
Enter Able2Extract Pro, a Mac, Windows, and Linux utility which extracts or converts PDFs from Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and other applications. Here’s an example of a PDF that converted to Word.
The objective is obvious and much needed.
Take a PDF and convert it to a document that can be edited and shared; in this case, a Word .doc document. Built into Able2Extract are options which let you edit the PDF’s contents appropriately; from numbering schemes to splitting and merging specific PDFs and elements into a usable document.
That means you can take what you want from a PDF or multiple PDFs and use the components to create the file you need. Customization options range from simple font and text changes to complete on-page PDF edits to create a new document from elements of the original PDFs.
Yes, this works with Excel, PowerPoint, and other standard business file formats.
What I appreciate about using Able2Extract (I know; strange name, right?) are the options to convert documents precisely– as in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files– but also convert paper documents into editable files using the built-in OCR (optical character recognition) option.
Yes. OCR is a thing, and used correctly it can save plenty of time taking hardcopy documents and turning them into useful digital documents.
Wait. There’s more. Even PDFs need some editing love. Able2Extract doesn’t just extract documents from PDFs, you can create professional level PDFs from within any Mac application. And that includes file customizations, and built-in security features, including file encryption.
Able2Extract also does what every organization needs. PDF forms. That means interactive, fillable PDF forms that can be filled out and save directly from a Mac screen. Click on the form fields, enter the information for each field. All of that can be done from within the app itself.
There’s a lot going on within Able2Extract. PDFs have been around a few decades and that has created a somewhat convoluted PDF creation, extraction, and management process. There’s a free trial version because there are many, many features to test for each user’s specific requirements, but even the price tag is nominal, but with a 30-day subscription option.
To be honest, I hate PDFs– except for those documents saved within an application as a PDF. But Able2Extract makes the conversion process from PDF to document far less painful. You’ll find it a breeze to setup and use PDF forms. Even though the interface smacks of something from Windows, it’s far less expensive extract and create PDFs than using the suite from Adobe.