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While there are a large number of PDF converters on the market at the moment, there are few that can claim enough functionality so as to place themselves as a real competitor to Adobe Acrobat. The recent upgrade by Nuance of its PDF Converter to Enterprise 7 looks set to do that and, the company says, at a third of the price.

Nuance has been working with Microsoft (news, site) on converters since 2003 when they developed PDF Converter that had the unique abilities at the time of being able to convert PDFs into editable and fully formatted documents.

Nuance PDF Converter

Since then Converter has gone through numerous upgrades to arrive at the newly released v7.0 that combines a number of new -- and impressive -- features along with the older tried and tested ones.

In particular, Nuance (news, site) cites the new visual document drag-and-drop assembly abilities that enable users to pull office documents together into a single PDF, and the ability to embed the converter into the major web browsers using a new Web PDF toolbar.

There are also a number of features that will help enterprises that are looking to go paperless, like one-click document scanning and mark-up in addition to collaboration and workflow functions enabled by easy connection to SharePoint.

The Microsoft link has also been maintained with the inclusion of support for Siverlight rich media within PDF files as well as a Windows 7 jump-list to make repetitive tasks easier to do and achieve.

PDF Management Features

With the new version of Converter Enterprise 7, Nuance has focused on managing documents across the enterprise and includes a number of new features that are designed to enable easier sharing and storing of documents, and of course their creation as documents in one direction, or as PDFs in the other. New features include:

  • PDF Document Assembly: This is a new component that enables users pull different documents together from existing Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents and combine using a drag-and-drop tool that can combine them into a single document.

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Enterprise 7 Document Assembly

  • Web PDF: Embed the new Web PDF toolbar enabling users to customize the way they work with PDF files on the web. The toolbar can be embedded in Firefox, Explorer or Chrome, enables them convert a PDF for annotation and then turn it back into a PDF. It can also turn static forms into electronic forms.
  • Excel Converter: This enables users to convert multiple PDF files and combine them into a single Excel sheet. It can also work with Corel WordPerfect or PowerPoint documents.
  • PDF Search: This is one of the most interesting features in the new release giving users the ability to search a single PDF document or several PDF documents at the same time and does so by searching items that have a distinct pattern in the document like a phone number or email addresses. Keyword search and mark-up is also possible.

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Enterprise 7 search

  • PDF Workflows: Enables users to open, edit and save PDF documents directly from major enterprise content management systems including SharePoint, Autonomy’s iManage WorkSite, Open Text’s DocsOpen and LiveLink. The product also includes connectivity to Nuance eCopy ShareScan.

What will also attract attention not just from small enterprises but from big ones too is pricing. First of all there is a simple license agreement, with no seat counting or auditing.

Then Nuance PDF Converter Enterprise 7 is US$ 149 with volume discounts available through the Nuance Open License Program. PDF Converter Professional 7, targeting individuals and small workgroups, is US$ 99.