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Easy PDF editing with Docudesk

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours putting the finishing details on renting several of our Cancun timeshares.  In the process I had to fill out some forms telling the resort the names of the people who would be staying in them.  The forms were sent to me as PDFs, and I was supposed to manually fill them in, and send them back via fax.  Ugh… painfully slow, plus nobody can read my handwriting anymore.

Enter DocudeskDesk UNPDF Professional can convert PDF files into word processing documents, spreadsheets, editable bitmaps, and web pages.  Simply load the PDF file into unPDF Pro, punch the convert button, and seconds later, out pops an editable .DOC file (if you're a Microsoft Word user).

I converted the form, filled out in word, dropped in a scanned signature, and then used the Office 2007 Save as PDF feature to convert the whole thing back into a PDF file again.  Easy Peasy!

By the way, the Save as PDF feature in Office 2007 is a fabulous feature. It lacks only one feature that would make it truly useful — print to PDF.  One of the most common scenarios that I experience is having to PDF a web page, and for this, the Office 2007 feature is useless.  It can only save files from within the Office 2007 applications, not the browser. 

Docudesk has Print to PDF covered as well, though.  Their DeskPDF is an inexpensive and easy to use PDF printer driver that enables you to convert any document to PDF.  I used it yesterday to extract two pages from a five page PDF document, and send them as a much smaller PDF document.

Docudesk deskUNPDF and deskPDF are a pair of highly useful utilities. For simple PDF editing jobs, they're hard to beat.  Best of all, Docudesk has a bundle of the two for just $59. 

{ 8 comments… add one }

  • Alec December 2, 2007, 6:07 pm

    I've used PDF995 Jason, and wasn't that happy with it. But yes, it's definitely another option.

  • Jason Yeung December 2, 2007, 9:14 pm

    PDF995 is pretty decent for printing to PDF – and it’s free :)

    – Jason

  • Brad Templeton December 2, 2007, 10:50 pm

    My own blog thread on this…
    http://ideas.4brad.com/wanted-better-tools-fill-o

  • MGU December 3, 2007, 12:18 am

    Alec, I think you could do the following:

    1. Drag the PDF file to a Word document.
    2. Open it. (Also at this time copy it. But we will come back to that).
    3. Fill out the opened form.
    4. Go to Print and make a PDF file. Transfer the completed PDF form file to Desktop.
    5. Drag the new PDF file from desktop to a new e-mail and send it to womsoever you wish.

    Go back to 2 above. You could:

    3. Open another Word document.
    4. Paste the Copy onto the new document.
    5. Fill out the form.
    6. Continue from 4. above.

    Either of these would be a lot easier and quicker than the process you outline which , incidentally, I don't understand at all.

    Dad MGU

  • Alec December 3, 2007, 4:01 am

    Can't do that on a PC Dad. Must be something special on Mac's. Adobe makes a business out of charging $400+ for Adobe Acrobat Professional which allows you to do what you just described.

  • Alec December 3, 2007, 5:48 am

    Brad, I think the right solution is just fillable forms. It sucks to have edit bitmaps, as you point out.

  • stevex December 3, 2007, 8:29 am

    Two more options (assuming you have Adobe Acrobat, not sure that's a fair assumption):

    – Use the typewriter tool in Acrobat. It's great for this kind of thing because you can whip it out and type right onto the form, then print it to a fax printer driver if you have one, or just print it and fax it.

    – Bring it into LiveCycle Designer (the form design tool that comes with Acrobat) and turn the fields you want to type into into editable fields.

    PDF supports fillable forms, through either AcroForm or XFA. XFA forms are newer and better technology (google XFA, the spec is online – it supports digital signatures, encryption, scripted validation, and other stuff) but aren't supported as well (or at all) in non-Adobe tools.

  • MGU December 3, 2007, 5:07 pm

    I believe there are hybrid computers that have both PC and Mac operating systems. They are probably impossibly expensive. Nevertheless, a machine of that sort might be the solution to the problem you faced.

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