I was given a copy of the PDF Editor from Iceni Technology to review. The contents of my review are as follows. Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this software for evaluation purposes, and I wasn’t paid anything to evaluate and review the product.
When first looking at the PDF Editor software, I thought to myself, “Interesting. It looks as if someone has written a word processor backwards.” Basically, the Infix PDF Editor software allows you to work in two different workflow methods, either from a blank document forward to a finished PDF file, or from a PDF file imported into the software and back into a PDF (or a few other file types). Since I’m all about desktop publishing, I requested a copy of the software to review when the opportunity revealed itself.
To review the software, I have to put aside my biases and my prior experiences. I have to consider them, but I have to consider them relatively with the product I’m reviewing. I’ve used Adobe products for a long time, and they do PDF production very well. (They invented the thing; they ought to be good at it, I suppose.) As such, Adobe products are all suites of software designed to do virtually everything that you can imagine for the purposes for which they are designed. That’s fine. For those who use Adobe products, you’ll probably not find much new in the Infix PDF Editor, but that doesn’t mean that this software doesn’t have a place in the desktop publishing world.
In other words, if you use Adobe and love Adobe or you have a word processor that spits out perfect PDFs, you won’t need Infix. If you hate Adobe, can’t afford it, or want to try something else, the Infix PDF Editor could be right up your alley.
Let’s get on with it.
What the Infix PDF Editor Does Well
There are several tiers of the PDF Editor, and the pricing is rather competitive, in my opinion. From the free PDF Form Filler–which allows you to fill out PDF forms not optimized for filling-out–this is a great option. For those needing either basic or advanced functionality, there are two different options offered at reasonable prices.
Aside from that, two unique features that I, personally, haven’t seen in a PDF editor are:
– Tools for translators: make translations of a source document, and the software does its best to fit the translated text into the formatting of the original. This could save lots of time and money in reformatting a translated version of a document.
– Find/Replace and Fit in Original Formatting: like the translating tool, you can find/replace words, phrases, or even entire sentences, and the software will try to fit the text as best it can into the original document. This isn’t perfect, but it can still save a publisher time and money when changes need to be made after building the PDF file (such as quick proofing prior to submission).
Things I Didn’t Like
In playing with the software, I discovered a bug. The problem lies in importing PDF files produced by certain third-party software. Since I work in a number of programs when making my finished products, I pulled in a PDF export of one of my books which was finalized in Open Office. Even though the fonts had been imbedded in the exported document, Infix PDF Editor either couldn’t or didn’t import the fonts in the local environment or it isn’t setup to recognize modified font names. Basically, Open Office had renamed fonts, and the Infix editor had trouble with that. (To illustrate, I had an Arial font with italics, and that was exported as a special, stylized font file unto itself called something like “ArialItalicsNormal” instead of just “Arial”. This caused havoc on the editing process.)
I could still edit my file, but I had to set the fonts correctly first. I cannot confirm if this occurs in any file other than an Open Office PDF export, so you may be fine pulling in documents from other programs. I’ve let Infix know about this bug, and I’ll post an update here if they tell me about a fix later on.
Note: This isn’t a huge issue for me, and it shouldn’t be a biggie for most users. Besides, they’ll probably issue a shiny new patch to deal with the problem in due time.
The Final Verdict
I would give the Infix PDF Editor a 4.5 out of 5 stars. The half a star is knocked off only for the aforementioned problem and for the fact that it’s not, generally, a revolutionary idea. The software, however, is quite good at what it does, it’s stable, and it should be very useful for users unfamiliar with Adobe or other PDF-exporting word processors. If you’re looking for another option to Adobe, Open Office, or Microsoft Office, you may want to give the Infix PDF Editor’s free trial a whirl and see how you feel about it. For some users, simplicity trumps features, and Iceni Technology’s editor is nice and easy to use with plenty of tutorials to help out new users.
Who Would Benefit From This Product?
- People who dislike, cannot afford, or cannot figure out Adobe’s (or other’s) PDF products.
- People who don’t want to buy extremely expensive software packages to make updates to PDFs post-production. (i.e. Authors who receive PDF versions of their formatted books from their freelancers.)
- Anyone looking for an easy to use word processor and PDF editor who don’t have a word processing suite of choice already (or those looking to switch).
Until next time!