I have been making do with Adobe Acrobat v4 for about 15 years now. I haven’t needed anything more complex than what it offers when I put PDF files together and I got it as payment in exchange for some graphic work I did for a guy at work so it was essentially free.
But in order to use it, I have to move all the files I need edited over to the Windows XP computer. The silly thing also just went stupid and wouldn’t let me make a link on a page.
So, it’s time to look at an upgrade. The main requirements I have is that the program needs to be a lot less expensive than Acrobat Pro and has to be fully installable on my computer as a product you pay one time for. I’m also not interested in the Software as a Service model that Microsoft and Adobe have switched to for Office 365 and Acrobat DC with their monthly subscription fee. I want to buy it one time and use it as long as I need to, even if that’s into the year 2034.
I’m open to suggestions on the rest. If the program has full drag and drop editing capabilities to reposition and adjust elements on the page without having to convert it into some other program like OpenOffice.org’s Writer or Drawing, that’s good. To give you an idea of just how far behind Acrobat 4 is, you can easily move text left and right on a page, but if you want to move it up or down, you have to go into the properties of that line of text, adjust the vertical position by changing the line spacing, save the document, exit, and then come back into it in order for that new position to be fully registered at that spot.
I use Word to create my PDFs. I wouldn’t have the slightest idea how to create a PDF in the manner you mention.
If you’ve got a full PDF editing program, you can do things like replace pages, move them to a different order, set bookmarks, make links from one page to the next, make a link perform an action like go to a website or open another file, insert one PDF file inside another, etc.
What I was talking about was let’s say you have a picture of a cloud in the lower right corner and you want to move it to the middle left. Or if you’ve got a sentence in the Times New Roman font at 13 point in red, but you want to change it to Helvetica at 56 point in blue at a 47 degree angle. That’s the kind of manipulation the program will need to do.
A buddy of mine swears by Bluebeam.
They use a fancy one at Newcastle University, I’ll ask my dad what it is tomorrow.
Edited to add silly reply: Tried using Apple’s Pages app? It’s as good as making PDFs as it is at page layout!
Whatever you do, avoid novaPDF. It’s crap for any purpose it was allegedly designed for.
My boss bought a similar one many years ago, I think it was called Foxit, that was also horrible. As I recall, it would successfully open a PDF, but we never got it to do anything that might be considered a feature.
The Bluebeam link didn’t work, but I found it. Bluebeam Revu Standard is $249 plus $49 for “maintenance”, whatever that means, so that’s not too much lower than just buying Acrobat Standard DC at $300. From what I can see, the only features in Acrobat Pro I’d use would be the auto-OCR and auto-optimization to reduce file size, so Standard would be what I’d get.
And Adobe’s “Creative Cloud” turns out to be a little too “creative”, deleting users files completely.
Adobe has released an update to fix the issue, but it’s Adobe. The update may or may not work, and further updates may or may not recreate the problem.
Looks like versions 9 and 10 of Acrobat Standard in the retail packaging are still available from a few places for $60 and $150 respectively, so that’s an option.
Until I figure out which way I want to go, I’m running Acrobat Reader XI again. The washed-out look of DC where you can’t tell where document’s borders are was bugging me.