PROS / Power PDF lets you dictate edits and notes.
CONS / This software does not convert PDFs to EPUB.
VERDICT / This convert PDF software is feature-rich and high quality, with nearly every tool you need to create, manipulate and secure PDFs. Its dictation option makes it an especially good option for the vision-impaired.
Nuance's Power PDF software is an excellent choice if you need to convert PDFs, manipulate them, add to them, edit them or secure them. It can create forms plus gather the data for analysis. It converts PDFs to Word and other Office formats, image files and more. In addition, Nuance has a PDF converter for Mac users. Finally, if you need or prefer to dictate notes, this software interfaces with Dragon Notes. It lacks EPUB capability, but nonetheless, its rich feature set and easy interface earns it our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.
Overall, we were pleased with the organization of Power PDF. You can customize the topmost bar for your most-used commands. The command ribbons follow the latest Microsoft edition, which makes it familiar and easy to navigate.
Power PDF allows for dictation of notes with Dragon Notes, which makes it an excellent choice if you are visually impaired or prefer dictating your notes instead of typing them. The toolbar has a command button for this tool, making it even easier to use this feature.
One drawback we found is that you can only open one PDF at a time in the program. If you try to open multiple PDFs at once, it opens the program for each instance. Other programs put them in tabs or windows instead. This made it a little inconvenient when working with multiple PDFs at once and could potentially cause slowdown on your computer from having multiple versions of the full program running. Also, combining files isn’t as easy as with other programs. Power PDF only lets you combine other PDFs, so if you have files in other formats, you need to open and convert them, then save and reopen them before you can combine them with other PDFs.
Power PDF provides some great tools for editing and marking up your documents. You can use the Typewriter tool to add text anywhere in your document. Copying over text is a little tricky and takes a few more steps than with other programs. Once it’s copied and pasted into the document, however, you can select Edit Object and make minor changes. It continues using the same font if it recognizes it. It does not recognize all fonts, even those that come with Microsoft Word. Once corrections are made, the Compare Documents tool can compare the new document to previous versions or to an original MS Word source document.
While the software can convert just about any language that uses Latin lettering – 103, according to its website – its editing is more limited. It can understand and edit 11 languages, particularly when it comes to form creation. That's still more than most of the software we reviewed.
You can add Bates numbering to PDFs, an important feature when working with legal documents. Rather than adding these to the file you’re working on, it directs you to select files anew. This is convenient if you want to add Bates numbering to several documents at once.
This PDF conversion software has all the security features we looked for, such as text redaction and password security. In addition to handling digital signatures, it allows you to draw your signature in the program. Once you’ve done so, you can apply it wherever in the PDF you wish.
Power PDF can convert PDFs back to Word or other Microsoft Office document types as well as to image and text files. It converts the files, and if you have forms that are filled out, it can extract the data and save it to a data file you can transfer and analyze in Excel or another program.
It can optimize your files for mobile devices or for the web by removing extraneous programming data and resizing as needed. In addition, it saves to PDF/A, the industry standard for archiving files as PDFs. It does not save to EPUB, however. This is becoming increasingly popular if you wish to make eBooks for reading on Kindle or other devices, but it's not a necessary format for most businesses.
Help & Support
The user guide is available on the program, a convenient feature. It's searchable and has the limited ability to recognize derivations: "optimization" for "optimize," for example. On the Nuance webpage, you can find a knowledgebase of articles with FAQs, user manuals, quick reference guides and how-to videos. Nuance does not offer live chat on its website, but it does have a dedicated-assistance option for an additional fee.
Power PDF is a robust PDF solution with many excellent features, an easy-to-use interface and an excellent help section. The dictation abilities through Dragon Notes make it the best choice for those that are vision impaired, but it's an excellent choice for any person or business needing a comprehensive PDF creation and conversion software. It comes in a PDF converter version for Mac as well.