Here you will find ten fantastic tools for using and manipulating PDF documents. Each entry has a description of its main features, and lets you know what the tool runs on, i.e. Mac, Windows or online. The list is in no particular order as many of the tools do different things. Suffice it to say, that if you deal with PDF documents on a regular basis, then two or three of these tools are going to come in very handy for you.


1 – PDF-to-Word Converter

This is an online tool, and it is mentioned first because it makes working with PDF files so much easier. They are notoriously difficult to copy and paste onto word processor documents, and some PDF files will not allow copying of any sort. This tool will change the PDF into a word processor document in a very short time, and it will not format the piece with massive gaps between paragraphs. It will create Doc and RTF files from PDF files.


2 – Foxit

This may be used with Linux/Windows and is a PDF reader. It has a few tools and features for marking up the text and making notes. There is five levels of security with the tool, and it has an advanced multimedia insertion tool. The security is not for the document, even though it does protect the document, it is actually for the notes and multimedia that you put onto the document. When you save the notes, etc, it is saved on top of the text. It is not saved as a document amendment or edit. If you do not want other people to see what you have added, then the five levels of security will help you.

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3 – PDFescape

This is an online tool, and is one of the many free PDF tools you may find online. It is ideal if the PDF is a form that needs to be filled in. You may fill in the form and then save the PDF document, or print it off. It is not a sophisticated PDF manipulation device, but is good for writing things on top of the PDF text.


4 – Preview

This is a good PDF reader for the Mac. It will open PDF files very quickly and add notes to the document. You may highlight parts of the text so that the text stands out, and you may also add links and notes on top of the text or in the white spaces. You may merge different PDF documents into one, and add keywords to the file. The keywords allow you to easily search and find certain areas/pages very quickly. Some people also use this tool as an image viewer because it has a few editing tools.


5 – PDFHammer

This is a set of tools that you can use to edit PDF documents and may be used online. You may edit text, images, document properties and the pages if you wish. To gain access to some of the tools, you may have to upgrade to the advanced version.


6 – PDF-XChange

This is a tool that you can use with Windows. It is a very popular PDF reader that has a number of extra features. You are able to markup your pages, extract text, turn pages into images, and customize the interface. There is a 256 bit AES encryption feature, and a great number of other features too. The tool is very fast and very lightweight.

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7 – ILovePDF

This is an online tool that you can use to merge PDF files together. Or you can split up PDF files to create a number of different PDF files.


8 – Adobe Acrobat

This tool may be used with Windows or the Mac. The software may be integrated into your web browser, which allows you to use the services too. There are lots of commenting tools and there is a reasonable amount of security to help stop people seeing your documents, and seeing your notes. It is also able to detect malicious PDF documents and stop you from opening them. You can buy the bigger and more advanced versions that will allow you to create documents with very tight security. It is often used to make documents that cannot have their text copied and/or pasted.


9 – 7-PDF Web Portal

This is an online tool that will convert your files into PDF files. It is a fairly flexible tool that is able to read a number of documents so that you may turn them into PDFs.


10 – Nitro PDF

This is a tool for Windows. There is a free version that will allow you to look at PDFs, and there is a pro version that will allow you to create PDFs. You can convert text and type notes onto a PDF page. The more advanced versions give you a few more tools to help you edit your PDF files.

By Korah Morrison


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