4.png If you are looking for an alternative to Adobe Acrobat for PDF creation and manipulation, look no further. Nitro PDF Software follows up the March release of Nitro PDF Express with the release of a new version of Nitro PDF Professional.Along the same lines as the previously covered open source PDF Creator, Nitro attempts to position itself as a viable alternative to industry giant Adobe. At the same time, Nitro messaging seems keen to capitalize on the growing concern for the future of the planet by presenting companies with a way to lessen paper consumption and environmental impact. While paper consumption depends more on corporate culture and business processes than a third-party file format, Nitro's sustainability approach is commendable. Founder Karl De Abrew of Nitro PDF Software stated, “In today’s office environments, we should be moving as quickly as possible towards the goal of less paper consumption [...] With the launch of Nitro PDF Professional 5, we offer companies a secure, affordable and simple way to put an end to needless paper waste." With v5 of PDF Professional, Nitro places an emphasis on form-related tasks like authoring, commenting, form-filling and digital signatures. New features also include automatic hyperlink creation. Several enhancements to how images are managed within PDF files were also made. Specifically, the ability to edit vector objects and directly insert TIFF and JPEG files was added. And freehand drawing and deletion tools are now available, along with the improvement of document security management. Nitro follows Microsoft's lead with the development of a "ribbon" graphical user interface, coupled with the enhancements described. In the fresh new GUI, complex menus and toolbars are replaced with organized tabs and commands relevant to the task at hand. Nitro PDF Professional also channels Microsoft Office with its desktop office suite integration. Though v5 has a rich feature set and a competitive price at US $99, we think it is worth your while to read a CNet review of an earlier version of the product. The review is not entirely positive, and while the new version is light-years beyond the one reviewed by CNet, the perspective adds valuable context. Nitro PDF Professional 5 is certainly the latest and greatest version available but before you or your company makes a significant commitment to an Acrobat alternative, you should arm yourself with knowledge. If you are looking for a solution to PDF creation and management woes, learn more about, and purchase directly from, the Nitro website. To play a bit at devil's advocate, however, this article by Gerry McGovern makes a strong case for avoiding PDF completely.