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Old 12-15-2005, 07:02 AM   #1
dthomsen8
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Default Alternatives to Acrobat?

What alternatives are there for the expensive Adobe Acrobat production program?

I have three ways to create a PDF, all of them fairly old. The old distiller seems to make the smaller PDF, an important consideration for web developers, especially those of us who have to consider dial-up users.

For printing production purposes, I understand why many of you must use the latest Adobe Acrobat, but others may have different needs.
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:21 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dthomsen8
What alternatives are there for the expensive Adobe Acrobat production program?
Besides Acrobat there is something called Jaws that is often raved about. For the Creator and Editor together, the cost is less than $150 U.S.

There are probably others. The main consideration, it seems to me, is not what your PDF needs are (as that could change) but the quality of the PDF. And, I suppose, ease of use. I will say, though I have not used it, that Jaws looks very easy to use.

They have versions for both Windows and Mac (began as Windows only).

   
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:24 AM   #3
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What alternatives are there for the expensive Adobe Acrobat production program?

There are plenty of programs that can be used to make a docuument in PDF, and the document can then be read by the (free) Acrobat Reader. But all the PDF documents I've downloaded from the Web have been made with Acrobat apparently (it can be faked). You can see the 'Document Properties' with Acrobat Reader, and it shows the programs that have been used to make the PDF.

   
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:46 AM   #4
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Macromedia's Flashpaper utility has the capability of producing pdf as well as Flash documents.

   
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Old 12-15-2005, 09:04 AM   #5
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Default Quality of a PDF?

But how would I evaluate the quality of a PDF? I have three methods of creating a PDF, but the resulting size is a consideration. Sometimes the result of one method is over ten times the size of another.

The Jaws Creator is $84, and the Editor is $59, according to the web site.



Quote:
Originally Posted by ktinkel
Besides Acrobat there is something called Jaws that is often raved about. For the Creator and Editor together, the cost is less than $150 U.S.

There are probably others. The main consideration, it seems to me, is not what your PDF needs are (as that could change) but the quality of the PDF. And, I suppose, ease of use. I will say, though I have not used it, that Jaws looks very easy to use.

They have versions for both Windows and Mac (began as Windows only).
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Old 12-15-2005, 11:02 AM   #6
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KT:

Besides Acrobat there is something called Jaws

The name is easy to remember, though I prefer PDF Factory, which is about the same vintage. You just have to choose the PDF Factory printer and tell it where you want the PDF file. There are any number of programs to choose from on the PDF site, though I can't speak for the quality of any that I haven't tried.

   
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Old 12-15-2005, 11:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dthomsen8
But how would I evaluate the quality of a PDF?
Pragmatically, I guess. Does it open in Reader? Does it print and print well, for you and others who test it for you.

   
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:52 PM   #8
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I am pretty sure there is a link on the Adobe website that allows you to upload a file and get a pdf in return.
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Old 12-16-2005, 12:28 PM   #9
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Don:

I am pretty sure there is a link on the Adobe website that allows you to upload a file and get a pdf in return

Yes, there is: and there is a link in the top righthand corner of Acrobat Reader 7 that invites one to create a PDF document on-line.

   
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Old 12-22-2005, 01:23 PM   #10
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I suppose "expensive" is a relative thing. I haven't upgraded my "Distiller" package because I have no reason to. The latest AcroPro version is more expensive than I need.

But the purpose of "standards" is, after all, standards. There's Acrobat, which is THE STANDARD from the creators of PostScript(R) and then there's everything else. If you are a working professional, you probably need the absolute certainty of using THE standard, and I can assure you that those of us who bought Acrobat in the very first days, spent less for the software than we wasted on imagesetter output without it.

From that point of view--professional production--it has never been expensive, it has always been the cheapest alternative. Cheapest, because with any other product you open up the inevitable question that you just aren't using THE STANDARD. Which always will come back to bite you, or at least to rear it's ugly head.

If you're in the business, you need it, and it pays for itself. If you aren't in the business, or it can't pay for itself...I'd say get by with whatever justifies itself for what you are doing.
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