Just a few months back, I was invited by the folks over at InvestinTech to examine the premium version of their all-in-one PDF solution: Able2Extract Professional 11. It was a pleasant experience reviewing the Windows variant of the app and although it was not perfect, I found it to be a cost-efficient answer to all my PDF requirements.
Last week, I got another email from InvestinTech to have a go at the updated version of their app: Able2Extract Professional 12. It’s not live yet and won’t be available for download until Dec 6, 2017. Expectedly, there was a disclaimer from the company saying that things were not fully polished yet and they were working to resolve a few bugs.
Like last time, I will be focusing primarily on the ease-of-use and flexibility of the built-in PDF creation, editing, and management features. But let’s get started with the basics first:
Able2Extract Professional 12 Price and Availability
Note that Able2Extract Professional 12 will go on sale starting Dec 6. I’m not privy to any insider information suggesting that InvestinTech plans to offer a discount on the new product. However, I don’t think they will make any significant changes to the earlier stated price of just under $150 for a full license.
Able2Extract Professional 11 also has a 30-day subscription plan that costs nearly $35. I assume this plan (or at least a modified one) will be there for the next build of the app too.
There is a seven-day trial period for users to see whether this product is worth the investment.
Able2Extract Professional 12 will be available on Windows, Mac, and Linux OS platforms.
What’s New: Able2Extract Professional 12 Features
As an app that aims to cater to all your PDF requirements, Able2Extract Professional 12 comes packed with the following abilities:
- PDF Creation: Allows you to create PDF files from the scratch.
- PDF Editing: You can edit any PDF file relatively easily
- PDF Conversion: Enables you to convert PDF files to an array of different formats including (but not limited to) doc, .docx, .html, .cad,
- PDF Merger: For joining two or more PDF files seamlessly with just a few clicks of the mouse.
- OCR Compatibility: You can use this feature to convert scanned documents etc
All these were already present in the previous builds of the app. The forthcoming version adds three new features to that list which includes:
- PDF form filling and editing
- Adding and removing bates number
- Advanced batch conversion
Granted, none of these are very “high-profile” changes, but they can definitely play a key role in boosting the overall functionality and performance of the app.
The first time I used Able2Extract, I was instantly wowed by its no-nonsense approach to user-interface (UI) design. It’s simple, to-the-point, and includes no unnecessary gimmicks.
I am reasonably confident that even my granny who is not exactly known for her technological quotient (TQ) will be able to operate it with moderate efficiency without requiring much training.
You can get familiar with all the key functions by clicking on the FILE tab – it’s all tucked in there.
To open a new PDF document, just click on FILE > OPEN. You can also choose to open multiple documents simultaneously in multiple tabs.
Converting your PDF files to another format of choice is just a one-click task – literally! All you have to do is open the PDF document, select the content you want to convert, and click on the format you want to convert it to, as shown in the image below.
Alternatively, you could also access the conversion option from the FILE tab in the main MENU.
You can also customize your conversions by using additional settings found in VIEW > CONVERSION OPTIONS.
One drawback is that the app doesn’t support OpenOffice (LibreOffice) as a valid export format in the GUI. However, you can enable it using the conversion options menu (similar to Able2Extract Pro 11).
Also, you get an error if you try to convert your PDF files to one of the Microsoft Word formats without having the program installed.
The conversion works really well, and by and large, retains the original format and page structure.
The processing is somewhat slow, but not by much. Unless you are converting a seriously large number of massive PDF files, you wouldn’t notice any significant differences. (It would perhaps make more sense to make conversion tasks multi-threaded spread over multiple cores.)
Also, conversion to LibreOffice may occasionally run into some formatting issues (purely based on past experiences).
Just like its predecessors, Able2Extract Professional 12 makes collaboration easy by offering a range of annotation options such as the ability to add sticky notes, highlight parts of the content, attach external files, and so on.
You can add or delete annotations using the toolbar on the right-hand-side of the screen.
Similarly, to add text, shapes, or images to the content, click on FILE>EDIT and then choose the required option from the sidebar on the right.
You can also delete unwarranted parts of a page by selecting and then clicking on the DELETE option on the sidebar. Alternatively, you can also hide sensitive elements in the content by selecting and then clicking on the REDACTION option.
To delete one or more pages, select the page number on the left sidebar and then click on the DELETE option on the right sidebar as shown in the image below.
There is a slew of other editing features that you might want to get familiar with by exploring the various options on the sidebars.
You can also use the app to merge and split your PDF files. This feature comes handy in performing tasks like splitting a big report into several smaller parts or combining many invoices into one large PDF document.
Creating a new PDF file is easy. Say, you are working on a report that you want to publish as a PDF file.
All you have to do is save your report in a supported file format such as .doc, .docx, .xlsx, or .jpg, just to name a few.
Next, open Able2Extract 12, click on FILE > CREATE PDF and then select the file containing the report. The app will handle the rest for you.
For privacy, you can protect your documents with a password. You can find the password and other privacy/security features in the PDF CREATION OPTIONS (VIEW > PDF CREATION OPTIONS).
Advanced Batch Conversion
It seems the improved batch conversion feature is one of the highlighting features in the updated app. It definitely makes life easier if you have a huge collection of files to convert.
Unfortunately, the flow isn’t quite streamlined as of yet, but it gets the job done with little to no inconvenience on your part.
I hope InvestinTech adds the ability to convert into multiple formats simultaneously in the next version of the app (that’s a key feature missing in the forthcoming version).
The batch conversion also requires you to provide a kind-of captcha, which is possibly to prevent you from abusing the PDF distiller service.
One annoying issue you might encounter during batch conversions comes in the form of an error message when one of the files you’re converting has the same filename as one of the files already present in the destination path.
Other than that, the process is more or less smooth.
Overall, I’m pleased with the presentation of version 12. I understand this is not the final product and new features may potentially be added to the final release. But for a PDF conversion solution, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better product for 2017. It’s quick, easy, accurate, and most importantly it gets the job done.