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-   -   More Adobe shenanigans... Any good alternative to Acrobat Pro? (http://www.ehmac.ca/showthread.php?t=140866)

Moscool Feb 17th, 2016 09:07 AM

More Adobe shenanigans... Any good alternative to Acrobat Pro?
 
I'm still fuming from my interactions with Adobe of the last 48 hours :mad:

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! :ptptptptp

(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!

Grazer5 Feb 26th, 2016 10:53 AM

You could try opening the scans in Pages??

John Clay Feb 26th, 2016 11:22 AM

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

Moscool Feb 29th, 2016 01:57 PM

Thanks

Just discovered that VueScan had OCR and I have a full license. Will run a test regarding file size later...

polywog Feb 29th, 2016 02:34 PM

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 (Post 2160138)
I'm still fuming from my interactions with Adobe of the last 48 hours :mad:

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! :ptptptptp

(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!


Moscool Feb 29th, 2016 03:58 PM

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

OldeBullDust Mar 6th, 2016 11:14 AM

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

Moscool Mar 6th, 2016 11:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OldeBullDust (Post 2176378)
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...

polywog Mar 7th, 2016 07:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moscool (Post 2171274)
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...

Moscool Mar 14th, 2016 07:09 PM

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 :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 :ptptptptp

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 :rolleyes:

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

screature Mar 24th, 2016 02:06 PM

Adobe is becoming less and less relevant. They have no one to blame but themselves.

Like Apple they have become lazy and fail to innovate any longer. They just rest on their laurels and expect people to keep coming back because they are Adobe.

I can still do everything that I used to (needed to do) do with my licensed Adobe product that I need to without their stupid online model. Whoever came up with that idea is an idiot and should be fired tout suite.

I have friends who are still conducting business with CS3 happily. If one can't then one does not have any real skills or knowledge.

Sue there are some bells and whistles that didn't exist before, but they are far from necessary for the experienced user.

wonderings Mar 28th, 2016 10:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by screature (Post 2192090)
Adobe is becoming less and less relevant. They have no one to blame but themselves.

Like Apple they have become lazy and fail to innovate any longer. They just rest on their laurels and expect people to keep coming back because they are Adobe.

I can still do everything that I used to (needed to do) do with my licensed Adobe product that I need to without their stupid online model. Whoever came up with that idea is an idiot and should be fired tout suite.

I have friends who are still conducting business with CS3 happily. If one can't then one does not have any real skills or knowledge.

Sue there are some bells and whistles that didn't exist before, but they are far from necessary for the experienced user.

There are real improvements in the application speed, I cannot imagine going back to CS3, even CS6 is a dog compared to the latest. I do agree and hate the subscription/thieving model. Would not hate it as much if I could keep a version after a full year of paying a subscription fee as I could then opt out and not head back to the dark ages before 64 bit apps.

screature Mar 28th, 2016 03:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wonderings (Post 2195362)
There are real improvements in the application speed, I cannot imagine going back to CS3, even CS6 is a dog compared to the latest. I do agree and hate the subscription/thieving model. Would not hate it as much if I could keep a version after a full year of paying a subscription fee as I could then opt out and not head back to the dark ages before 64 bit apps.

Yes there are a lot of automated features and whiz bang stuff in further iterations of Abobe CS. But if you know Adobe products well and have plenty of experience with them, personally I have to need to move to the subscription model.

I have CS5 and feel no need to go beyond that. IMO if you know what you are doing there is no need to go from a license based model to a subscription modal.

Sure I could be missing out on the coolest and newest, but I really don't care. I know enough about what I am doing that I do not need some algorithm that may or may not do what I want and then need to learn how to use a different program that I already know how to use.

It is people like me that Adobe abhors... People that have paid thousands of dollars to keep up to date with the software and re-learning over the years. But now that we are so well trained in using their products they are no longer interested in us because they cannot provide a product that we could possibly justify the expense relative to the "improvements" in their latest iterations. They know that. That is why they went to the subscription model so they could get "newbies" to buy in, it is obvious.

wonderings Mar 28th, 2016 04:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by screature (Post 2195570)
Yes there are a lot of automated features and whiz bang stuff in further iterations of Abobe CS. But if you know Adobe products well and have plenty of experience with them, personally I have to need to move to the subscription model.

I have CS5 and feel no need to go beyond that. IMO if you know what you are doing there is no need to go from a license based model to a subscription modal.

Sure I could be missing out on the coolest and newest, but I really don't care. I know enough about what I am doing that I do not need some algorithm that may or may not do what I want and then need to learn how to use a different program that I already know how to use.

It is people like me that Adobe abhors... People that have paid thousands of dollars to keep up to date with the software and re-learning over the years. But now that we are so well trained in using their products they are no longer interested in us because they cannot provide a product that we could possibly justify the expense relative to the "improvements" in their latest iterations. They know that. That is why they went to the subscription model so they could get "newbies" to buy in, it is obvious.

For me there was certain things I could not do without Indesign being a 64 bit app. Had some big problems when dealing with some variable data files when they got to large. I was using CS6 and was on a deadline working into the night to try and get this file ready to print and was just not getting anywhere. I decided to demo Adobe CC Indesign as I had read that it was now a 64 bit app and should be using more RAM then the CS6 version. Well that demo solved my problem, Indesign handled it like a dream. Now in most cases CS6 will work, but as files get bigger native 64 bit apps make a world of difference. Anyone using Adobe Creative Suite will eventually have to update unless they never plan on upgrading their Mac again. I really wish there was more choice, they should have kept the previous model, let us pay outright when we want and offer subscription for those who want it. I keep hoping someone is going to give some real competition for Adobe, it is sorely needed... looking at you Affinity!

Moscool Mar 28th, 2016 06:32 PM

Can't wait for the beta of Affinity's InDesign competitor. Their efforts in early 2016 are on creating a windows version of their vector design and photo apps.

screature Mar 29th, 2016 12:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wonderings (Post 2195594)
For me there was certain things I could not do without Indesign being a 64 bit app. Had some big problems when dealing with some variable data files when they got to large. I was using CS6 and was on a deadline working into the night to try and get this file ready to print and was just not getting anywhere. I decided to demo Adobe CC Indesign as I had read that it was now a 64 bit app and should be using more RAM then the CS6 version. Well that demo solved my problem, Indesign handled it like a dream. Now in most cases CS6 will work, but as files get bigger native 64 bit apps make a world of difference. Anyone using Adobe Creative Suite will eventually have to update unless they never plan on upgrading their Mac again. I really wish there was more choice, they should have kept the previous model, let us pay outright when we want and offer subscription for those who want it. I keep hoping someone is going to give some real competition for Adobe, it is sorely needed... looking at you Affinity!

I don't know the work that you do but I did 8'x 10" artwork for trade shows on a G5 Power Mac with just Adobe Photoshop 3 never mind CS of any iteration, and it did not take that long to process, so I am really not sure what you are talking about and that was when working for the marketing and communications department of a multinational company.

Obviously YMMV but for most users who know what they are doing I see no need to upgrade to the latest subscription mode or even a faster Mac. My 3.2 Quad-Core Intel Xeon with 24 GB 1066 Mhz DDR3 with a SSD as my boot drive serves me perfectly well and will probably continue to do so until it dies, or I do, whichever comes first.

screature Mar 29th, 2016 01:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moscool (Post 2195650)
Can't wait for the beta of Affinity's InDesign competitor. Their efforts in early 2016 are on creating a windows version of their vector design and photo apps.

InDesign is a great product, way better than anything Quark ever produced in terms of usability and price.

I have no problems with my InDesign CS5. I know it and it just works the way I want it to... If it ain't broke don't fix it.

wonderings Mar 29th, 2016 08:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by screature (Post 2195690)
I don't know the work that you do but I did 8'x 10" artwork for trade shows on a G5 Power Mac with just Adobe Photoshop 3 never mind CS of any iteration, and it did not take that long to process, so I am really not sure what you are talking about and that was when working for the marketing and communications department of a multinational company.

Obviously YMMV but for most users who know what they are doing I see no need to upgrade to the latest subscription mode or even a faster Mac. My 3.2 Quad-Core Intel Xeon with 24 GB 1066 Mhz DDR3 with a SSD as my boot drive serves me perfectly well and will probably continue to do so until it dies, or I do, whichever comes first.

I work in pre press at my family print shop. When you get into things like variable data that has you producing a 15,000 unique pages pdf is where you notice and need the power you get from a 64 bit app. 24gigs of RAM is basically useless in apps like Indesign if they are not 64 bit as it can only use about 3 gigs of that. I know photoshop switched to 64 bit well before Indesign, but not sure if it was for CS6. There are better options for what I had to do, but they are costly applications and are way over kill for the basic VDP (variable data print) needs I have.

And I completely agree, Quark is a relic, very happy to not have to use that app ever again. I did out of curiosity download the latest demo of Quark Xpress and it looks basically the same and the features they add just do not seem like features at all. Indesign is my favourite app in Adobe CC, one I use daily and can do about 95% of what I need for all things print.

screature Apr 9th, 2016 02:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wonderings (Post 2195818)
I work in pre press at my family print shop. When you get into things like variable data that has you producing a 15,000 unique pages pdf is where you notice and need the power you get from a 64 bit app. 24gigs of RAM is basically useless in apps like Indesign if they are not 64 bit as it can only use about 3 gigs of that. I know photoshop switched to 64 bit well before Indesign, but not sure if it was for CS6. There are better options for what I had to do, but they are costly applications and are way over kill for the basic VDP (variable data print) needs I have.

And I completely agree, Quark is a relic, very happy to not have to use that app ever again. I did out of curiosity download the latest demo of Quark Xpress and it looks basically the same and the features they add just do not seem like features at all. Indesign is my favourite app in Adobe CC, one I use daily and can do about 95% of what I need for all things print.

What kind of work are doing that require a 15,000 page pdf to be printed? I have never heard of such a thing. Just saying, that astounds me, certainly not the norm.

pm-r Apr 9th, 2016 02:57 PM

Wow!!! That must be some government project that would take 15,000 unique pages, no one else could afford to do so … or was it a bit of a misprint error…??? ;)

By comparison “The average non-condensed English Bible has around 1,200 pages.

heavyall Apr 9th, 2016 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by screature (Post 2204490)
What kind of work are doing that require a 15,000 page pdf to be printed? I have never heard of such a thing. Just saying, that astounds me, certainly not the norm.

Not uncommon with variable printing.

We recently had one that was a daytimer book, where thousands of copies were made, each one entirely customized with different text, covers, pre-printed important dates, etc, all handled as one continuous print run on the press.

I don't recall the final page count, but the pdf was over 2 GB.

screature Apr 10th, 2016 01:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by heavyall (Post 2204634)
Not uncommon with variable printing.

We recently had one that was a daytimer book, where thousands of copies were made, each one entirely customized with different text, covers, pre-printed important dates, etc, all handled as one continuous print run on the press.

I don't recall the final page count, but the pdf was over 2 GB.

Ok I see what you are saying, but that kind of work is uncommon in general. I suspect that kind of work is relatively rare among users of InDesign on a per capita basis.

heavyall Apr 10th, 2016 06:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by screature (Post 2205258)
Ok I see what you are saying, but that kind of work is uncommon in general. I suspect that kind of work is relatively rare among users of InDesign on a per capita basis.

True. Most individual users wouldn't even know how to set it up even if that was what they wanted -- they would hire someone like us who does it all the time.

wonderings Apr 11th, 2016 08:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by screature (Post 2205258)
Ok I see what you are saying, but that kind of work is uncommon in general. I suspect that kind of work is relatively rare among users of InDesign on a per capita basis.

Variable data printing is not uncommon and one of the biggest growing forms in print. Now when you seriously get into VDP (variable data print) you move into software that handles it better. Still a lot of printers like myself will use it for simple variable work.

screature Apr 11th, 2016 12:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by heavyall (Post 2205633)
True. Most individual users wouldn't even know how to set it up even if that was what they wanted -- they would hire someone like us who does it all the time.

Quote:

Originally Posted by wonderings (Post 2205978)
Variable data printing is not uncommon and one of the biggest growing forms in print. Now when you seriously get into VDP (variable data print) you move into software that handles it better. Still a lot of printers like myself will use it for simple variable work.

It may be the case, but as I said before, not common in general.

At any rate I do not see how this is really relevant to Adobe justifying a subscription based model as opposed to a license based model. They could have retained licensing for their software, whether 32bit or 64bit.

It seems that what is being implied is that subscription based software is being defended because Adobe only offers 64bit to subscribers. IMO that is not a very good reason to defend the subscription based model because basically what Adobe has done is to say if you need 64bit you need to subscribe and basically continue to pay forever, as opposed to a one time payment for a license. I know of no other software company that does that.

wonderings Apr 11th, 2016 01:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by screature (Post 2206130)
It may be the case, but as I said before, not common in general.

At any rate I do not see how this is really relevant to Adobe justifying a subscription based model as opposed to a license based model. They could have retained licensing for their software, whether 32bit or 64bit.

It seems that what is being implied is that subscription based software is being defended because Adobe only offers 64bit to subscribers. IMO that is not a very good reason to defend the subscription based model because basically what Adobe has done is to say if you need 64bit you need to subscribe and basically continue to pay forever, as opposed to a one time payment for a license. I know of no other software company that does that.

I agree and would buy outright when I want to upgrade rather then pay monthly. All I was saying was the update to indesign made a very big difference to me and really forced my hand to go with adobe CC because I was having trouble with indesign handling large files. With Indesign CC and a native 64 bit app those problems went away. I really wish Adobe went back to the old model, have CC for those who want to pay it monthly but have an option for those of us who would rather pay once and keep the software for as long as we want.

Randy B. Singer May 4th, 2018 10:29 PM

Adobe Acrobat Pro is a high-end true PDF editing program (not just an OCR program or a program that can merely insert some text). Nothing is quite as good, but there are competitors that may be good enough, at vastly lower cost.

The key features to look for in an Acrobat alternative (for it truly to be an alternative to Acrobat) are the ability to delete/replace existing text in a PDF, and to do OCR.:

PDFpen/Pro ($75/$125) (PDFpen Pro is extremely popular with folks in my user group)
http://smilesoftware.com/PDFpen/index.html
http://smilesoftware.com/PDFpenPro/index.html#
tutorials
http://macsparky.com/search?q=pdfpen

PDF Studio Pro ($129)
http://www.qoppa.com/pdfstudio/

Wondershare PDF Editor Pro ($100)
http://www.wondershare.net/mac-pdf-editor/?icn=nav
http://www.wondershare.net/shop/buy/...ditor-mac.html

PDFelement ($99)
http://macappware.com/software/pdf-editor-pro-mac/

PDF Converter Mac ($100)
http://www.nuance.com/products/pdf-c...-mac/index.htm

iSkysoft PDF Editor Pro ($100)
http://www.iskysoft.com/pdf-editor-mac.html

Lightning PDF Professional ($80)
Lightning PDF Professional 9 for Mac | Nova Development
https://shop.novadevelopment.com/sto...?on=1072945399

Able2Extract ($150)
http://www.investintech.com/prod_a2e.htm

Personally, I like PDF Converter Mac the best, because it includes the superb OmniPage Pro OCR engine. However, the company that it comes from is so shady, and offers such poor customer support, that I can't actually recommend this product. So, instead, I recommend that you consider PDFpen Pro.

Moscool May 5th, 2018 05:04 AM

Thanks for the comprehensive review Randy.

For some reason Acrobat Pro X is back from the dead and that's what I keep using. Of the list above I would stay clear of Wondershare because they're in hte habit of brutally terminating support for apps without warning (their Video editor vanished overnight and the Music app is no longer supported)

François

chrismccoy Feb 7th, 2019 02:28 PM

i prefer pdfpenpro or pdf expert myself

Randy B. Singer May 5th, 2020 01:07 AM

A followup...

New on the scene is this product, and it is very competitive with Acrobat Pro at a fraction of the price:

Kofax Power PDF for Mac ($129)
https://www.kofax.com/Products/power...andard-for-mac

Kofax licenses the OmniPage Pro OCR engine for excellent OCR.

CubaMark May 5th, 2020 07:33 AM

The OmniPage Pro OCR product was the king back in the day. My needs are met with VueScan and Preview, so Kofax isn't high on my list of future purchases. Still, nice to know there's an alternative to the evil Adobe empire...

Macfury May 6th, 2020 12:20 AM

Good memories of that program!

Quote:

Originally Posted by CubaMark (Post 2719942)
The OmniPage Pro OCR product was the king back in the day.



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