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Old Feb 17th, 2016, 09:07 AM   #1
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More Adobe shenanigans... Any good alternative to Acrobat Pro?

I'm still fuming from my interactions with Adobe of the last 48 hours

Adobe has declared EOL on pretty much anything that is not CC and so it broke (or more accurately didn't fix) multiple problems in Acrobat Pro X due to the switch to El Cap. Apparently they fixed Acrobat 11, belatedly.

They are offering an upgrade route for a king's ransom: about C$400 (tax included) to get to DC Pro. This is where the fun begins: Having (very reluctantly) accepted to swallow this bitter pill, I paid for the upgrade, except that not all versions of Acrobat X are created equal! If you purchased it as part of CS5.5 (which I did), then it is not upgradable. Read this carefully again: a perfectly legal, registered copy of Acrobat Pro cannot be upgraded because it was part of a bundle!

(oh and they want C$1000 for the full version)

SO...

I use Acrobat mainly to scan, combine files and reduce their size. Typically I will scan to TIFF and let Acrobat operate its magic. An important feature of size reduction while retaining good quality is OCR: the ClearScan fonts make a real difference. But that's not worth C$1k !!!

Any alternatives to the bloodsucking monopolists? PDFs created from scanners at typically very large and I find Preview pretty useless at size reduction/quality preservation (either from and image or from a PDF).

Thanks!
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Old Feb 26th, 2016, 10:53 AM   #2
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You could try opening the scans in Pages??
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Old Feb 26th, 2016, 11:22 AM   #3
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pdfPen seems promising, but I don't like that they're using a cloud OCR service rather than processing the files on the computer.

https://smilesoftware.com/PDFpen
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Old Feb 29th, 2016, 01:57 PM   #4
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Thanks

Just discovered that VueScan had OCR and I have a full license. Will run a test regarding file size later...
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Old Feb 29th, 2016, 02:34 PM   #5
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Not sure about the other functionality, but I have used this application with success several times for reducing the size of a PDF.

https://panic.com/blog/shrinkit-1-2/

And... you'll like the price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moscool View Post
I'm still fuming from my interactions with Adobe of the last 48 hours

Adobe has declared EOL on pretty much anything that is not CC and so it broke (or more accurately didn't fix) multiple problems in Acrobat Pro X due to the switch to El Cap. Apparently they fixed Acrobat 11, belatedly.

They are offering an upgrade route for a king's ransom: about C$400 (tax included) to get to DC Pro. This is where the fun begins: Having (very reluctantly) accepted to swallow this bitter pill, I paid for the upgrade, except that not all versions of Acrobat X are created equal! If you purchased it as part of CS5.5 (which I did), then it is not upgradable. Read this carefully again: a perfectly legal, registered copy of Acrobat Pro cannot be upgraded because it was part of a bundle!

(oh and they want C$1000 for the full version)

SO...

I use Acrobat mainly to scan, combine files and reduce their size. Typically I will scan to TIFF and let Acrobat operate its magic. An important feature of size reduction while retaining good quality is OCR: the ClearScan fonts make a real difference. But that's not worth C$1k !!!

Any alternatives to the bloodsucking monopolists? PDFs created from scanners at typically very large and I find Preview pretty useless at size reduction/quality preservation (either from and image or from a PDF).

Thanks!
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Old Feb 29th, 2016, 03:58 PM   #6
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Thanks polywog.

I like Panic, I've been buying Transmit for eons (although these days I rarely use stand alone FTP). Nice attitude.


UPDATE: tried it out on a variety of files... no success: the files are not shrinking and therefore don't get saved
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Last edited by Moscool; Mar 2nd, 2016 at 04:29 AM.
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Old Mar 6th, 2016, 11:14 AM   #7
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I don't know if this will meet your needs, but I saw this app on the Apple App Store site, it appears to do what you want and it's FREE!

PDF OCR X Community Edition

I have not tried it out, I do not have any interest in the company or product, I just think it might solve your problem.

Have a good day
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Old Mar 6th, 2016, 11:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldeBullDust View Post
I don't know if this will meet your needs, but I saw this app on the Apple App Store site, it appears to do what you want and it's FREE!

PDF OCR X Community Edition

I have not tried it out, I do not have any interest in the company or product, I just think it might solve your problem.

Have a good day
Looks good. The full version is needed to go beyond 1 page. Expensive but not stupid. I'll have to run a comparison test between the various apps and post it here...
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Old Mar 7th, 2016, 07:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moscool View Post
Thanks polywog.

I like Panic, I've been buying Transmit for eons (although these days I rarely use stand alone FTP). Nice attitude.


UPDATE: tried it out on a variety of files... no success: the files are not shrinking and therefore don't get saved
Likewise, that and Coda. Although I'm a little miffed that Transmit for Mac STILL doesn't have panic sync, over a year later. Seems to me that could have been slightly higher priority than backing a game...
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Old Mar 14th, 2016, 07:09 PM   #10
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Update on file sizes using different methods

I finally got around to testing a mixed page (typed text + lots of handwritten notes). Here we go:

1) Pure TIFF:

- Canon scanner, native software, 300 dpi, 24 bit colour: 16.5 MB
- Canon scanner, VueScan, auto-resolution, 24 bit colour: 4.5 MB

2) TIFF to PDF conversion with Preview:

- First file: dialogue says 2.2 MB, actual is ... 15.3 MB (!!!)
- Second file: dialogue says 0.9 MB, actual is 4.3 MB (!!! again)

- Both files applying 'Reduce Size' filter: produces completely illegible file of 35 kB !!!

Intermediary conclusion: TiFF to PDF not quite the thing baby

3) Scans to PDF, no OCR

- Canon scanner, native software, 300 dpi, 24 bit colour: 2.2 MB
- Canon scanner, native software, output set to 'document': 1 MB
- Canon scanner, VueScan, auto-resolution, 24 bit colour: 0.9 MB
- Adobe acrobat driving Canon scanner w Descreen function and without OCR: 266 kB

4) Scans to PDF with OCR

- Canon scanner, VueScan, auto-resolution, PDF with OCR: 0.9 MB
- Adobe acrobat driving Canon scanner w Descreen function and with OCR: 475 kB

5) Optimised PDF (Acrobat 9 minimum):

- Adobe acrobat driving Canon scanner without OCR: 266 kB (no change)
- Adobe acrobat driving Canon scanner with OCR: 216 kB

Yes, for the more eagle eyed amongst you, I have managed to get OCR to work on Acrobat again, by standing on the loo on one foot at sunset while sacrificing a chicken

SO

In terms of quality, what do we have?

- OCR is a given, given its archival/retrieval qualities and almost no impact on file size
- VueScan with OCR is the crispest but still quite large. Excellent OCR.
- Acrobat OCR/optimised is good on printed text but lightweight on handwriting
- So Acrobat OCR/not optimised wins

Obviously, I could still play around with native resolution on VueScan, but I've already lost the will to live...
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