Adobe introduced the Portable Document Format almost 25 years ago. Since the early 1990’s, the PDF has been established as a standard for sharing and archiving documents all over the world. The format’s secret to success lies in the fact that it’s able to display content properly on any device or operating system you use.
The PDF has been the top choice for migrating from big piles of paper taking up a lot of space to electronic archives stored in digital folders. As analyzing an ever-growing amount of data has become crucial for staying competitive in the modern-day business world, it’s no wonder everyone opted for the searchable, reliable and durable file format.
Having said that, there are two main usability issues with PDFs:
- One issue is that scanned, image PDF documents can’t even be searched. All you can do is to read the content.
- The second problem is that even native, searchable PDFs are by their nature uneditable. Although this exact feature makes PDF the best format for file exchange, it limits their usability and often hampers overall office productivity.
The above mentioned issues spurred the development of software tools for converting and editing native and scanned PDFs.
One such tool is Able2Extract Professional 12. It allows its users to quickly, accurately, and safely create, convert, edit, annotate PDFs, fill and edit PDF forms, insert Bates numbering and much more.
Since it sounded like a robust and comprehensive solution for dealing with all sorts of PDFs, we decided to check it out.
So, without further ado, let’s see Able2Extract Professional 12 in action.
Able2Extract Professional 12 Review
Able2Extract Pro 12 is a cross-platform desktop solution compatible with the latest releases of Windows, Mac, and Linux. It’s packed with a lot of useful features, but here’s the rundown of its key capabilities:
- Create PDF from any printable file format and protect your PDFs with passwords to control how others use your documents
- Convert PDF (even scanned, image ones) to Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, CSV, various image formats, AutoCAD, HTML, and more
- Custom convert PDF to Excel and preview the output before conversion. You can tweak the row and column structure in the software itself, name table structures, and take advantage of advanced table analysis for the most accurate conversion output
- Edit PDF directly. You can add or delete text, insert images and graphics, insert whole blank pages to populate with content, customize text and images, or merge and split PDF, etc.
- Batch convert PDFs automatically
- Fill, create, and edit PDF forms
- Insert Bates numbering
Although the interface looks sleek and intuitive, the abundance of features can be overwhelming, so here we walk you through the how-to steps we used while testing it.
How to Convert PDF
To convert your PDF into an editable format, start-up Able2Extract and click the Open icon on Command toolbar (it’s the leftmost icon on the toolbar, check the image below). Once opened, select an area for conversion and chose the conversion type. Based on the file type you have selected, Able2Extract will present you with appropriate options for converting to that format before actually converting the file.
How to Perform a Custom PDF to Excel Conversion
The Custom PDF to Excel conversion will be your lifesaver when the table you are trying to convert to a spreadsheet isn’t well defined. Open the file, select an area and click on the Excel icon under the Convert to File Type menu. Then click on Define when presented with options for Automatic or Custom conversion.
On the right, you’ll see a panel with options to customize your table. There’s even an option to preview your PDF to Excel results before converting.
Here are screenshots of how that Show Preview feature works on a Custom PDF to Excel conversion with Able2Extract.
Here is a PDF table in Able2Extract with our data selected:
When the Show Preview option is selected, it shows us how the results will look in MS Excel below:
How to Edit PDF Content
To edit PDF, you should open the file and click on the Edit icon in the Command toolbar.
On the right, you’ll see the panel split into two sections:
- Content editing – This is where you can add text, shapes, and images or delete them. You can also redact any text you wish. Furthermore, you can select text in your PDF and delete it, and change its font, size, color, and more. Able2Extract Pro 12 recognizes blocks of text, so you can edit paragraph text and adjust its alignment easily.
- Pages editing – Here you can perform a number of modifications to your pages: Delete, Insert from PDF, Extract, Insert blank PDF page, Move, Rotate, Resize, Scale.
How to Perform OCR and Convert Scanned PDF
In order to extract data from scanned, image PDFs you need to select Perform Image-based Conversion (OCR) option. To do that, simply click on Edit in the taskbar and hover over OCR Options.
After that, proceed as described above for a regular PDF conversion–select an area and choose the conversion type.
How to Edit PDF Forms
If you have an interactive, fillable PDF form, you can fill it out easily with Able2Extract. But you could also do it in a browser or almost any PDF reader. However, the fact that you can edit PDF forms makes Able2Extract a PDF form handler powerhouse.
In order to make changes to the form fields in a fillable PDF form, open the file and switch to Edit mode as described previously. Below the first Content tab, you’ll find the PDF Forms tab. Once you select a form field in the document, you’ll be presented with various customization options in the Properties panel on the right. Furthermore, you can access additional properties (different for every type of form field) by clicking on the More… button.
The Technobugg Verdict
After taking Able2Extract Pro 12 for a spin, we can conclude that it has proved to be a first-rate, affordable alternative to Adobe Acrobat DC for dealing with PDFs. By comparing it to other competitors, we concluded that every tool has its advantages and disadvantages.
On the downside, Able2Extract can’t batch convert scanned PDFs, but we’re not aware of any other software that can.
On the other hand, Able2Extract shines when it comes to quick and accurate conversions. The Custom PDF to Excel option is its most distinctive and advanced feature that sets it apart from similar tools.
Should you go for Able2Extract Pro 12 as your top choice for all PDF needs, you won’t go wrong. You can download it here and try free for 7 days.