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Recommended alternatives to Adobe Acrobat

Posted on 2015-02-08
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Last Modified: 2015-02-12
I installed the new Adobe Acrobat XI on an office workstation a few days ago, but it wouldn't print PDF from IE.  I spent 2 hours with an Adobe technician remotely logged into this computer who was not able to get it to work.  When we tried installing and using the Chrome browser it did work, so she concluded it was not their problem and that we should talk to Microsoft about fixing Internet Explorer.

Of course, we have other workstations in the office with this same version of Windows, Internet Explorer and the same version of Adobe -- I even took the technician to one and showed her we could print, but no matter, not Adobe's problem!

This is not the first time we've had problems with Adobe. I think it's time we consider alternatives. I found several reviews at http://www.pcworld.com/article/2096946/5-cheaper-alternatives-to-acrobat-for-pdf-editing.html, but no mentioned our specific needs In the feature lists. I thought I'd get some EE recommendations.

Our needs are simple: we need to print PDFs from web browsers (and the free Adobe Reader still works OK btw). We need to append scans from a Fujitsu scanner to existing PDF files. Scans and resulting PDFs need to be text-searchable. We need to print everything to PDF (which the free PDF 995 does flawlessly). That's it! We don't edit or rearrange PDF pages.

Recommendations?
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Question by:jmarkfoley
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Michael74 earned 167 total points
ID: 40597570
You could look at a product like CutePDF. It creates a virtual printer which takes the input and converts it to PDF. I have never had an issue with this product
http://www.cutepdf.com/

There are also other applications that will do the same thing eg http://www.primopdf.com/
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by:Wilder1626
Wilder1626 earned 167 total points
ID: 40597571
What i use to print web page in PDF is called BullZip.

Very good results since many years.

You may want to look at it. Easy install and easy to use and multiple options.

http://www.bullzip.com/
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by:John Hurst
ID: 40597578
We use Cute PDF on occasion at clients and it works.  For the most part, it works.

I have Adobe XI on Windows 8 Pro 64-bit and Windows 7 Pro 64-bit and it works in harmony with IE11 and prints. So it does work. I use it frequently to re-arrange PDF pages, which you say you do not do.

If you wish to try to fix, try the following:  Uninstall Adobe completely. Go to Programs and Features, Windows Features and disable (uncheck) Internet Explorer. Restart (you will be required to restart). Go back and enable IE again. Restart (you must).

Now in IE, run IE Tools, Options, Advanced, Reset and check the box to delete personal settings (complete reset). Now go to IE Tools, Add-ons and remove all or most Add-ons.

Restart again and install Adobe. See if it integrates and prints.

At this point, if you still have issues, create a new, test Windows User Account (Profile). Log into the new Windows Account and try Adobe there.
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by:John Hurst
John Hurst earned 166 total points
ID: 40597584
Also , Foxit makes a PDF editor that may prove useful to you.

http://www.foxitsoftware.com/PDF_Editor/
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by:jmarkfoley
ID: 40599032
John Hurst:
I have Adobe XI on Windows 8 Pro 64-bit and Windows 7 Pro 64-bit and it works in harmony with IE11 and prints. So it does work.
Yes, we have other computers in the office with IE11 and Adobe XI, so I know it works. I am a bit miffed at the Adobe tech for considering the issue resolved since it worked OK with Chrome.

I will try your suggested fix, though the Adobe tech spent 2 hours trying to fix it (though that might be more of a comment on the tech's abilities).

Re. cuteFTP and BullZIP - do any of you know for sure (i.e. have done it) if these programs will work with a scanner and can append to the end of an existing PDF? That's really what we need.
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Expert Comment

by:Wilder1626
ID: 40599049
What i always used with Bullzip are:

PDF Printer
You can print any document, applications, web pages into PDF format, and it also supports Terminal Server and also Citrix Metaframe.


PDF to Word converter
You will be able to convert existing PDF documents into Mocrosoft Word. Once converted, you will also be able to update your Word file.  convert your existing PDF documents to Microsoft Word format to update and re convert to PDF

And a lot more...

Multiple setting are available on Bullzip:
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Multiple format available for conversion
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You can set default Document properties and PDF quality settings
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You can also set a default Watermark stamp on each PDF with a logo for example:
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You can also set some security on the files created
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You can also upload your files to a server after it was created.
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Hope this will answer your questions
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Expert Comment

by:Wilder1626
ID: 40599067
Sorry, it also can do Appending/prepending documents.

Please have a look at this link for multiple features:
Bullzip features
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Expert Comment

by:Michael74
ID: 40599436
Yet another option that I have used is Win2PDF which definitely has append/prepend options
http://www.win2pdf.com/doc/index.html?merge-pdf.htm
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by:jmarkfoley
ID: 40600071
John Hurst:
If you wish to try to fix, try the following:  ...
Spent another couple of hours doing everything you suggested, still no printing from IE. Also tried from another user on same computer, nope. IE11, WIN7 and Acrobat XI do work on other workstations in the office. Sigh! Removed Acrobat XI and installed free Reader XI and it prints just fine! We are returning this Acrobat to Adobe tomorrow.

I will begin researching these other suggestions. Wilder1626, BullZip out to give you a cut of sales from EE subscribers! Lots of features, thanks for the info.

However, still no one has definitively mentioned working with a scanner. Here's the Acrobat UI:
PDF from ScannerFrom the Acrobat interface, the user can select 'PDF from Scanner' and it will scan right into the Acrobat application. If a file was first opened it will append the scanned material to that file. This is the main thing we need Acrobat for as Reader doesn't scan to PDF. And I stand corrected: I was informed that we do rearrange pages.

Can any of the recommended programs do this scanning bit?
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Expert Comment

by:Michael74
ID: 40600078
Bullzip has the functionality to create a PDF from a scanner
http://www.addictivetips.com/windows-tips/quick-easy-way-to-scan-a-document-to-pdf-file-format-trick/

but I cannot say if it will append to an existing PDF in one go
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Expert Comment

by:Wilder1626
ID: 40600440
Yes, like i was saying in my last post, you can append with bullzip.
This is how you would do it.

Print a new document by selecting Bullzip
select bullzip
Go in Merge tab and select the PDF file you want to append your new PDF file in the Append PDF section, and hit save.
How to append
This will create a new PDF file with both combined.

You can also make the append to the bottom or the top.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40600509
The Foxit product I noted above also does scanning. You might consider it.
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by:jmarkfoley
ID: 40605606
Thanks all, we are going to try the recommended products CutePDF, Bullzip and foxit. I will leave it up to the users which one to pick.
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by:jmarkfoley
ID: 40607330
Gentlemen, I've posted a follow-up to this question at http://www.experts-exchange.com/Web_Development/Document_Imaging/Adobe_Acrobat/Q_28616314.html
testing issues ...
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