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Friday, June 13, 2014

A Review - Able to Extract PDF Converter

Converting documents from PDFs to editable formats.

It’s not something I have seen times when it’s been needed for converting data.

It might be a pdf of a drawing, manual, or chart that has been lost or corrupted. How to recover it without just recreating the entire document?

I’ve even seen drawings that have been created in a CAD system that’s been relegated to the virtual boneyard. The only thing left behind are the PDFs, information frozen in time, no longer able to be updated or changed.

That’s why Able2Extract exists. To take PDFs and convert them into a format that can be edited.

When I was asked to give it a try, the first thing I tried was converting a few pdfs I had created
from Autodesk Inventor.

Converting and PDF into AutoCAD
The PDF Converted into AutoCAD
I was impressed by how easily the conversion was made.

The drawings came across and were quickly turned into an AutoCAD dwg or dxf. Scale is preserved, so measurements can be dimensioned and added.   Dimensions converted to text, but that wasn't something that I would consider "world ending".

Translating documents into Word and Excel were pretty straightforward as well. I took some different documents from various sources, including some I created, and some technical documents I
downloaded, and was able to convert all of them with ease.

A PDF prior to coversion

The Word doc after conversion.  I didn't modify anything
The spacing at the top of the link changed slightly, but still pretty clean.

The custom settings for Excel extraction were logical, and it provides a nice preview to help make sure the document will come out the way it’s intended.

Here I have a sample from Excel, which is a pilot hole chart I printed from Engineers Edge.

The PDF during conversoin

The completed conversion

The only things I wasn’t able to convert were pdfs created as raster images, such as a manual on aircraft standards created in 1955. But let's face it!  That’s to be expected.

A pdf scanned from good ol' paper.  As a raster, this one won't convert.

Working with Able2Extract, I found the interface very easy to use. A wizard walked me through the steps I needed, and I found the icons to be easy to understand, and laid out in a logical order. The icons follow the workflow from left to right. Open, Select, Convert. Just like that.

So in short, what did I like?

• It’s easy to use, and it just works. It’s not difficult or tricky. I really was converting documents within minutes of installing it.

• The wizard that walked me through the steps of using it was a nice touch. I could have gotten by without it, but it’s nice to know it’s there.

• The icons were laid out very logically, the toolbars work from left to right.

What did I not like as much?

• Very little. It works simply, and works well. I certainly think that it’s capabilities give us an opportunity to look at making sure we keep our data secure.

In summary

I think that this is definitely a program that should be looked into if you’re looking to take data and convert it to a usable format. It’s a wonderful tool for those who have documents in PDF format,that need to have new life brought into them via editing and updating.  It's definitely worthy of your consideration

Finally, the Disclaimer
I was not compensated in any way for this.  I was just given a link to download the product, and then the freedom to try it out.  Beyond being supplied the product, I was free to formulate my own opinions

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