Tuesday, October 16, 2007

PDF-XChange Viewer review

If you want something better or want more than Adobe Reader but don't want or cannot justify the quite expensive Adobe Acrobat, Tracker Software Products has made the free PDF-XChange Viewer.

Testing the Viewer I must say it's a great product.

Below is an AutoCAD DWG file I printed to PDF and then annotated as a test.


Here is some of the things this free PDF viewer can do.

  • Add Comments and Annotations to any PDF file (subject to security settings) - unlike the Adobe Viewer which requires the PDF creation tool to be 'certified' by Adobe !
  • Markup pages with text and objects
  • Type directly on any PDF page, not just Adobe enabled forms documents - in Typewriter mode.
  • Export PDF pages or entire files to any one of the supported Image formats including BMP, JPEG, TIFF, PNG and many more ...
  • Extract text from a PDF page/File
  • Make your navigation of large or complex PDF files both simple and enjoyable switch the extended functionality of our 'Loupe' and the 'Pan' Window tools
  • Fill and Save Adobe Forms to disk, email or 'post' !
  • Full Javascript Engine included
  • Updated JPEG2000 Compression support - improving speed.
  • And many more features such as Rotate and 'Save',  Email files etc ...

Crop pages and Delete pages are not available in this version even though there are menu items for them. (Version 1.0 Build 0026) It seems like there is a PRO version coming and it might be that you need to buy that one for added functionality.

Notice that if you have added comments, annotations and markups they are still editable from within Adobe Acrobat.

There is also a SDK for the viewer but it's not free.

I've developed using their PDF-XChange SDK Pro API before and it creates the best and smallest PDF you can find. I used it to add text and images to existing PDF's in an automated way after they were approved in a document management system (ProArc from Software Innovation). I also solved so that PDF documents were printed in correct sorted order when printed from ProArc.

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