[Review] PDFTiger

{rw_text}Giveaway of the day for September 24, 2009 is:

PDFTiger

Version reviewed:

v1.0

System Requirements:

Windows XP, Vista, 2000 or ME. Pentium Processor or better; 128MB RAM or more; 20MB HD space for install

Software description as per GOTD:

PDFTiger is a desktop application that quickly and accurately create PDF documents from Word, Excel, Powerpoint, txt or Images. PDFTiger can also convert PDF files into editable MS Word Documents, Rich Text Documents, Plain Text Files, Images, HTML Files, and Shockwave Flash SWF Files. In batch mode PDFTiger will convert more than 10,000,000 files at a time.Features:

  • All To PDF Creator – Convert Word, Excel, TXT, PowerPoint and All Printable Files into PDF Documents.
  • PDF To All Converter – Convert PDF Documents into Word, TXT, JPG, HTML and Flash Files.
  • Image To PDF Maker – Convert Scanned Images(BMP, JPG, TIF, GIF etc) into PDF Document.
  • Batch Mode – Batch Convert More Than 10,000,000 Files at One Time.

————————-{/rw_text} –>

{rw_good}

  • Straightforward and easy to use.
  • Has a PDF creator (printer) and a PDF converter.
  • PDF converter supports batch processing.
  • Allows you to convert PDF to .DOC/.RTF/.TXT/Images/.HTML/.SWF.
  • Can create multiple images to one PDF.
  • Fast conversions.

{/rw_good} –>

{rw_bad}

  • Once you start to create a PDF (use the printer), it won’t let you stop/close the window.
  • Conversion accuracy from PDF -> Word/RTF/HTML is pretty bad.
  • PDF -> .GIF does not support color.
  • Text boxes are used for text in .DOC/.RTF.

{/rw_bad} –>

{rw_score}
{for=”Ease of Use” value=”9″}Point and click. There is only one annoyance: when you start to use the PDF printer, it won’t let you stop/close the window.
{/for}
{for=”Performance” value=”5″}Converting PDF to some formats works, while others fail.
{/for}
{for=”Usefulness” value=”5″}Without proper PDF -> Word/RTF I don’t see this program being very useful.
{/for}
{for=”Arbitrary Equalizer” value=”6″}This category reflects an arbitrary number that does not specifically stand for anything. Rather this number is used to reflect my overall rating/verdict of the program in which I considered all the features and free alternatives.
{/for}
{/rw_score} –>

{rw_verdict}[tdown]
{/rw_verdict} –>

PDFTiger is a software that aims to serve as an all-around PDF tool. Not only does it have a PDF printer to allow you to create PDFs, but it also has a PDF converter allowing you to convert PDFs -> .DOC/.RTF/.TXT/Images (JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIF)/.HTML/.SWF.

This is what PDFTiger looks like:

2009-09-23_234035

Everything is point and click. On the left side of the program window you see “Create PDF” and two buttons there. As I mentioned earlier, PDFTiger installs a PDF printer on your computer. Clicking on “Create PDF From File” just uses that PDF printer so in essence it would be easier for you if you just went to File -> Print -> Select qvPDF as your printer for whatever file you want to turn into a PDF with PDFTiger. On the other hand, however, “Create PDF From Images” is a little bit different:

2009-09-23_234708

“Create PDF From Images” is different because it allows you to insert multiple images and turn them all into one PDF.

On the right side of the program window you see “Convert PDF” and options to convert a PDF to .DOC/.RTF/.TXT/Images/.HTML/.SWF. Click on whichever one you want, add the files you want to convert, and convert:

2009-09-23_234941

The PDF converter supports batch processing so you can convert multiples PDFs -> whatever at once. One thing to take notice is by default the “Output Path” is c:/output. I didn’t like that so I changed it; I suggest you do the same.

That being said, while PDFTiger is fairly easy to use and conversions are fast, I noticed the conversions of PDF to .DOC/.RTF/.HTML are pretty bad. PDF to Images and SWF (Flash) work just fine though aside from the lack of color in .GIF. Check it out for yourself:

PDF 1
PDF 2
PDF 3

PDF 1/2/3 -> .DOC, .RTF, and .HTML

PDF 1/2/3 -> Images, .SWF

***Please ignore the fact that only the first page was converted. This is a limitation in the trial version I used to write this review.***

Also take note of how text boxes were used for the .DOC and .RTF files which is just dumb and annoying in my opinion.

I don’t know about you, but for me one of the main uses of a PDF converter is to go from PDF -> .DOC or .RTF. After that .HTML is important. PDF to Images and .SWF is the least important. The problem with PDFTiger is it converts to the least important formats well but screws up the most important formats.

Compare the above results to the PDF to Word (.RTF) done by eXPert PDF Pro 5:

PDF 1/2/3 -> .RTF

Admittedly eXPert PDF Pro 5 also did not perform the best on sample.pdf but the rest are done extremely well. In general, the quality of the conversions done by eXPert PDF Pro 5 is just superior.

The last thing I want to point out is one annoying thing. When you activate the printer and send something to qvPDF to print to PDF you get this window:

2009-09-24_002450

Once you get to this window, there seems to be a bug where if you click “X” to close it, the window just won’t close.

This review was conducted on a laptop running Windows 7 Professional 32-bit. The specs of the laptop are as follows: 3GB of RAM, a Radeon HD 2600 512MB graphics card, and an Intel T8300 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processor.

{rw_freea}

eXPert PDF Pro 5

eXPert PDF Pro 5 is a multifuction PDF tool. It creates PDF (has a PDF printer), can do batch PDF creations, has a PDF to Word/RTF converter, and has the ability to edit PDFs.

While eXPert PDF Pro 5 does not support batch PDF to Word (.RTF) (it does one by one) , it does support batch files -> PDF conversions which PDFTiger does not. Also note the PDF to Word and Batch PDF Creator will not have shortcuts on your desktop. You need to go to the eXPert PDF Pro 5 folder to access them (or via Start Menu).

PDFtoWord.com

Excellent online PDF to .DOC/.RTF converter; converts with great accuracy. The only problem is it can be a little slow and it has a 2 MB file limit for your PDFs.

To do PDF -> Images using a simple screenshot program, like FastStone Capture, will work (albeit it may be a bit difficult and annoying).

CutePDF

One of the best PDF printers out there.

Zamzar.com

Online PDF converter which can convert PDFs to images, HTML, DOC, RTF, etc.

{/rw_freea} –>

{rw_verdict2}PDFTiger is easy to use, has quite a few features, and works fast. While the PDF creation feature I have no major quarrels with, I have problems with the PDF converter. The most useful PDF conversions (to .DOC/.RTF/.HTML) do not work very well while the least useful (to images/.SWF) work just fine. So unfortunately I have to give PDFTiger a thumbs down. However my recommendation is a bit weird today. Even though I am giving PDFTiger a thumbs down, if you need to do PDF to images/.SWF, you should get PDFTiger because I don’t know of any other free program that does PDF to images/.SWF so easily and accurately (besides Zamzar.com but that is online based). Otherwise eXPert PDF Pro 5 is the best choice in my opinion; eXPert PDF Pro 5 will not only do great PDF to Word (RTF) conversions but it is a PDF editor, PDF printer, and PDF batch creator. If you prefer not to get eXPert PDF Pro 5, you can use PDFtoWord.com and CutePDF.
{/rw_verdict2} –>

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15 comments

  1. Ozzie

    @ Ruchir: lol! I thank you for the advice – but what I am really looking for is a program that I don’t have to be logged on to use. This is because I have a very slow and unreliable internet service and also because when I study I tend to move my comp and work offline so I can settle in somewhere comfortable rather than in my spinally challenging study chair. However, as alternative in a fix, this might come in very handy. So how about a small shrine?

  2. Ruchir Basal

    @ Ozzie,
    Hello there.I hope you didnt forgot shrine offer.If not,I am soon mailing my photo,so that the real person alone is worshipped.Haha.I hope u have a reasonably fast net connection.Just visit Acrobat.com,make free ID.Login,amazing interface,browse any file on ur PC-jpf,doc,txt,Acrobat will instanly convert to unimaginable PDF thing.It is saved in your account,you can share if you like.There is a great buzzword editor like MS Word,Then you import any file,immediately download on PC,it is stored on web also.E.G. import a pdf file in buzzword,edit,add comment as in PDF Editors,export on your HDD as .doc,.xml,.docx..epub,html zipped,rtf,txt,odt any format.All this created by maker of PDF Format and free too.You can do netmeeeting with other Acrobat users.Backup,to pdf from pdf,sharing,much more.No 99$ only joy.But remember haan

  3. Roy Smith

    I tried this today from GOTD and I wasn’t aware that it also
    downloaded a Printer Driver program based on Hp Printer Drivers and it gave my HP printer problems until I managed to uninstall it.

    And here I say I managed to uninstall it with tongue in cheek because I had to use Revo Uninstaller to do the job as PDF Tiger left 802 registry entries and 55 files/folders behind AFTER its uninstaller had done its not very good job!

    I agree with Ashraf’s verdict and rejected it is!

  4. Ozzie

    @7777: Huh? Not getting you. I do what I do, where I do it, for love not money – hence $100 or thereabouts is way out of my league. I was thinking that maybe it would be around the $20-$30 mark – in which case, given that it is something I really need and have long searched for, I would shell out for it. But the price tag floored me – and they even charge something like $30 for a 30-day trial period! What the … ???? Never heard of that before! Why is it so difficult to find an either free or affordable program that can accurately convert PDFs? I remain frustrated.

  5. 7777

    @Ruchir Basal: don’t some of those av have a convenient “submit suspicious file” command? I’m pretty sure avira has that. “someone” :-) could also google similar to:
    site:kasperky.com PDM.Worm.P2P
    (each av tends to assign different name to their find)

    you could also drop the setup exe onto uniextract. or i think is possible to pull tiger’s setup out of the gaotd setup.exe, then drop that on uniextract (for purpose of separately scanning files inside)
    of course, you can leave that to the av guys.

  6. 7777

    @Ozzie: heh, ~$100 of worship :-)

    (other comment… )
    i’d forgotten about OO.o as pdfprinter.

    this gaotd (and review here) are timely, since…

    pdfcreator refuse to install on xp. though i discovered i can share it from vista (kind of weird for a pdf driver?), it actually runs at the vista pc (and may input a different file than sent. i haven’t experimented moch to see how the file is “mischosen”)
    anyway, FWIW

  7. Ruchir Basal

    9/24/2009 7:48:14 PM Detected: PDM.Worm.P2P.generic C:\USERS\RUCHIR\APPDATA\LOCAL\TEMP\WE2C47A.TMP PDFTiger Setup
    9/24/2009 7:48:14 PM Terminated: PDM.Worm.P2P.generic C:\USERS\RUCHIR\APPDATA\LOCAL\TEMP\WE2C47A.TMP PDFTiger Setup
    9/24/2009 7:48:24 PM Cannot be deleted: PDM.Worm.P2P.generic C:\USERS\RUCHIR\APPDATA\LOCAL\TEMP\WE2C47A.TMP PDFTiger Setup
    This report is generated by Kaspersky Internet Security 2010 fully updated.You can judge for yourself whether it is safe or not.I rely on Internet Security Suites of Norton, Mcafee, Kaspersky.If other two dont detect anything,one may install without much trouble.This download is directly from Giveawayoftheday website to hard disk,then installing.No question of infection from any USB or other medium

  8. Ron

    @Ozzie:
    I know what you mean about prices. I got tired of near misses for full conversions from freeware, so I broke down last year and bought Nuance 5.0. Does everything I want. The current version is 6.0, so you can probably find 5.0 on the web for about half the price oof Able2Extract.

    hth

  9. Ozzie

    @ Dr Nitin: My blood rushed when I saw your recommendation for Able2extract, thinking I would happily pay for a good conversion tool … so I quickly found their website and … my blood instantly stopped rushing when I saw the actual price tag: $99.94. Gulp! Way beyond my means. So back to the drawing board.

  10. Tim

    Another free alternative (since the “pdf to others” function is poor anyway) would be Open Office by Sun. The suite is very comprehensive and allows for very easy PDF creation and you can also open Microsoft and other file formats into it to edit/convert to PDF.

    Just a thought.

  11. Dr Nitin

    Dear Ashraf
    In my opinion Able2extract software is the benchmark for these type of softwares. As this is not freeware I have tried its trial version. the conversion is just fantastic. And all such free pdf converters should try to achieve this standard.
    Dr Nitin

  12. Ozzie

    Thanks for the review, Ashraf. I have tried so many different PDF to Word converters (including eXPert PDF) and all have disappointed to varying degrees. A PDF converter that can actually do the task well is without doubt Numero Uno on my wish list. If anyone knows of one that can actually convert PDFs into readable plain text, I will erect a shrine to them in my study and worship at it each and every day.