The PDF format is now the standard for publishing and print-based industries. As you would expect, numerous free and inexpensive PDF readers are available, but relatively few inexpensive PDF creator apps exist. The second version of Foxit’s Phantom PDF creator is a great tool.
Word-processing programs such as Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT) Word and OpenOffice Writer have features that let users create PDF documents with a Save As option. Even some Web-based solutions make opening and creating PDF files a bit less costly for non-business users. With all of these products, what shows on the screen or printed page is exactly what the file’s author intended.
If all you have to do is read a PDF document, Foxit’s free Reader is all you need. It has a small footprint and offers fast performance to the free Adobe (Nasdaq: ADBE) Reader. Its 22 MB of space make it very compact.
Foxit’s Phantom PDF Suite 2.0 can be an ideal choice for an integrated document tool. You can try it as a fully functional product for free for 30 days. The US$129 price tag is wallet-friendly if you decide to buy it.
This latest version, released on April 27, has some impressive improvements over its predecessor. It is a Windows platform product designed to run on Windows 7 (32-bit & 64-bit), Windows Vista Home Basic as well as Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate and Enterprise versions. It also runs on Windows XP Home, Professional or Table PC Edition.
Phantom excels in file-handling capabilities. You can create multiple files one-to-one or merge all the files into one document. A side panel facilitates drag-and-drop commands to create, reorder and view them in thumbnail sketches. You can also print from the thumbnail image as a single PDF page with a right click or a control/shift.
Another useful feature is the ability to edit document properties from previous authors. And it provides the ability to undo/redo up to 1,000 versions. This makes it easy to save different versions under different names.
Another improvement in Phantom 2 is the ease to insert multiple pages by scanning in more documents or directly entering new content.
Document editing is a key feature in Phantom 2.0. PDF tools are typically weak when it comes to editing. With Phantom PDF Suite you can directly edit content or add comments, highlights, stamps and other embellishments with the annotation tools.
Phantom 2.0 has the ability to insert images and videos and it supports many formats.
Just click Add Movie and the box-drawing appears to point to the location of the video. You can also drag and drop the video box to any desired location within your document.
Security is also a plus in this version. You can password-protect documents, add certificate encryption, and sign with digital certificates. Once secured, the document cannot be altered without having the security removed. You can even add a date after which the file expires and cannot be opened.
Posted by Pamela Louderback