Nuance launches Power PDF, adds collaboration tools

Nuance launches Power PDF, adds collaboration tools

Summary: Nuance's Power PDF is aimed at being an alternative to Adobe Acrobat Professional.


Nuance Communications on Wednesday launched Nuance Power PDF, which aims to take share from Adobe Acrobat Professional.

The company, best known for its voice recognition software, has a document management unit that is aimed at the paperless office concept. In addition, Nuance has a healthcare unit that turns physician dictation into documents.

Power PDF converts PDFs to editable Microsoft Office documents, assembles documents across files, reviews PDFs and integrates Nuance Dragon Notes for voice recognition.

Nuance also said Power PDF can connect to cloud document and storage vendors such as Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Docs, Office 365 and Windows SkyDrive as well as content and collaboration management systems from Autonomy, Documentum, SharePoint, and NetDocs.

PowerPDF adds side-by-side document comparison, commenting and workflows for batch PDF creation or conversion as well as stamping and watermarking.

As for pricing, Nuance Power PDF is $149 with volume discounts. Power PDF Standard, which targets home offices and small businesses, is $99.

Adobe charges $199 for Acrobat Pro and has a cloud option for $19.99 a month.

PowerPDF_Charts and Column_screenshot
PowerPDF_Advanced Processing_screenshot


Topics: Enterprise Software, Collaboration, Social Enterprise

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  • Activation Woes

    I have Nuance's PDF Converter, and constantly run into issues with activation. I can't tell you how many times I've had to call them because I bought a new PC and couldn't get my existing copy of Nuance PDF Converter to work despite having uninstalled it from my old PC. They are worse than Microsoft in this regard. Hopefully Power PDF gets rid of this business model.
    • activations improved

      I've used various versions of PDF Converter from v4 to present. The activation system was much simplified with version 8. But I also experienced all sorts of terrible activation issues prior to that version.
  • Tablet Power PDF

    Surprisingly Reader in Windows 8 has a power feature that often missed. I knows the difference between your finger and your pen on a digitizing touch screen. You can take notes directly on your PDF and save them away. There are other methods to add notes to a PDF but they are cumbersome compared to Windows 8 Reader.
  • I take it this is basically PDF Converter Pro ver 9

    I have used both Acrobat Standard 9 and various versions of Nuance PDF Converter Pro ver 7 for years. I find that Converter Pro can do ALMOST anything Acrobat can do -- AND its OCR is actually better. For instance, Acrobat can't OCR white text on a black or gray background and Converter Pro can. I've had a number of times where Acrobat's OCR result was just gibberish but Converter Pro 7 worked great.

    One thing I don't like about Converter Pro (and I assume it hasn't changed with this version) is the help tends to be very sparse. Often to find out how to do something in Converter Pro I have to check Acrobat's help and the same keystrokes apply to Converter Pro.

    One thing Acrobat can do that Converter Pro can't is Acrobat lets you specify a range of pages to be OCR'd but Converter Pro only lets you OCR the entire document. If you want to only OCR sections, you have to split the PDF, OCR each section and then reassemble the sections.

    Most folks don't know the history of Converter Pro. Adobe sort of "snuck up" on Microsoft with both Photoshop and Acrobat. By the time MS realized those were important areas (image editing and unalterable documents), Adobe was firmly entrenched. When MS threatened to put out a PDF clone, Adobe basically told them, "This is OUR turf. We're NOT Netscape! If you do, we'll sue your butts off for anti-trust violations. And we're big enough that we can go toe-to-toe with you on legal fees!"

    MS backed off, but what it did for PDFs was fund Nuance's development of the first version of Converter Pro. (At one point Microsoft also invested in Corel to keep it from going under, which kept WordPerfect on the market, to avoid complaints that Word is a monopoly.)

    By the way, Nuance's flagship PDF product is OmniPage. Awhile back I downloaded the trial version and ran it on scans of a yearbook. The output was absolute garbage. It considered EVERYTHING possible text. One page that had two photos and two sentences it showed as having over FOUR HUNDRED "OCR suspects", i.e., it recognized the group photos of students as text but couldn't accurately OCR the "text".
  • Don't confuse Converter and Converter Pro.

    By the way, Nuance has several PDF products with CONFUSINGLY SIMILAR NAMES AND PACKAGING but VERY different capabilities. The only one with ALL the features is Converter PRO.

    Although the other products have many less features, often Pro sells for LESS. Current Pro versions routinely can be found in the $50-60 range from Amazon or similar vendors.

    Also, Pro 8 really just added collaboration, cloud, etc., features -- things that most users actually don't care about. So if possible it's a good idea to download a trial version first. You may find that the previous version can do everything you actually need, and at a better price.
    • older versions

      I had version 8, I liked it better than previous versions mainly because of ease of activation (non-draconian activation methods). Now with the newer nuance version (Power PDF) out, version 8 looks pretty affordable on ebay. I have tried the demo of Power PDF and don't see much functionality I care about, it seems to be mainly a facelift comparable with the Office 2013 interface. The dialogs after the first click seem mostly the same.
  • Price Correction

    Adobe Acrobat Pro is $199 for an upgrade. It is $449 to purchase new.
  • Is it the same as PDF Converter?

    Is Power PDF the same product as PDF Converted but re-branded or is it a different product?

    As for alternatives to Adobe Acrobat, you can also go with PDF Studio Pro at $129, for Windows, Mac and Linux (same key works across different OS):
    • it looks rebranded to me

      Power PDF looks like PDF Converter with a face lift to me. I am trying the Power PDF demo after spending at least a couple of years with version 8.
  • Power PDF is great, unless you have a Mac, or Bootcamp or other Virtual M/C

    I trialled Power PDF and went off and purchased it straightaway. I find the user interface better than its much more expensive rival, it doesn't seem to hang either.... Until that is I tried to install it on my work laptop which is a MacBook Pro running either Parallels or Windows 8.1 natively under Boot Camp. Massive fail... It simply doesn't work. Nuance reply, this isn't a supported configuration, please contact customer support for a refund. I'm not happy.