Soda PDF 7 Review
Soda PDF 7 Review
The PDF (Portable Document Format) was created by Adobe in 1993. It is without a doubt the most popular format for creating and sharing of electronic documents and is now an international standard for all kinds of documents.
There are many good programs for reading PDF files, for example Foxit Reader, Sumatra, and others. They are more than enough for ordinary users because they have all the features for viewing, printing and reading. But the functionality of these PDF readers is very limited and not suitable for anyone who wants to edit an existing PDF file or create a new one. For such purposes we need a more advanced and powerful tool. There are a quite a few professional PDF programs. The most popular is Adobe Acrobat, but it is very heavy and can be too expensive for many users.
Today we want to present you to a very good program which has extremely powerful, useful features and is also a great alternative to Adobe Acrobat. The name of this excellent program is Soda PDF Professional and was created by the company LULU SOFTWARE. Soda PDF includes very powerful, easy to use, tools for viewing and editing PDF files. You can create PDF files from more than 300 formats, convert PDF files into text, HTML and images. It also has support for Optical Character Recognition (OCR). It is available in three different version- Standard (which includes Convert, Edit and Insert modules, $59), Professional (adds three additional modules- Review, Forms and ‘Secure and Sign’, $89) and Pro+OCR (the same as the Professional version but with an extra OCR module, $119). A detailed comparative table can be found on the official site.
The system requirements are as follows:
1. Windows XP-8.1 (32 and 64)
2. Pentium III processor
3. Ram-512MB for Windows XP 1GB for Vista, 7 and 8.
4. 100MB of free disk space.
First of all we have to download the program from the official site. The installer is not large, just about 10 Mb; but keep in mind, that it is a special online installer and you need an active Internet connection to download the rest of the program and activate all of its features. During the installation process you can customize the program, namely, create a Soda PDF account (it is essential, because you get up to 1GB of online storage for backing up your PDF documents and an opportunity to synchronize your desktop documents with the online account. You can skip that step and set it up later if you want), integrate your virtual drive with OneDrive or Dropbox (just sign up, and edit, convert, etc. any PDF documents saved there), migrate all data from Soda PDF 6 to Soda PDF 7 and, finally, customize the default options of the program- 1.Units (centimeters, points, inches, millimeters), 2.Documents View (single, facing, continuous, facing continuous, 3D view), 3.Page View (Actual size, Fit page, Fit width).
The interface of the program is very easy to use and highly customizable. It has a so-called ribbon interface and consists of twelve tabs- 1.View, 2.Create, 3.Convert, 4.Edit, 5.Insert, 6.Review, 7.Forms, 8.Secure and Sign, 9.OCR, 10.Help, 11.Modules and Packages, 12.Activate.
The View tab allows us to customize viewing preferences. You can choose the most convenient viewing mode for you: view a document as 1) single page, 2) Continuous, 3) Facing, 4) Continuous Facing , 5) 3D View, and 6)Full screen. All these viewing features are very nice but the most interesting one Soda PDF includes is an additional 3D View. Thanks to this feature each PDF file in the program can be viewed as an ordinary paper book. You can turn the pages with your mouse. This is really a very great innovation! You can zoom in or zoom out of the PDF with the special buttons, rotate your document to the right or left, find words with the special tab, “Find”, take a snapshot of the selected page, and even compare documents then change them. The tab “Select” allows you to copy the selected area of a PDF file and paste it to the clipboard. Additionally, the special buttons located on the right or left allow you to view links, attachments, layers and signatures available in the current document. You can also bookmark the document, but this module is available only as an add-in module and is bought separately.
The second tab Create is designed for new PDF documents or the conversion of an existing file. It supports more than 300 file formats including not only the most well-known such as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel, but also other little known files. The Create module is free and can be added to the program after creating a Soda account. You will receive a license key immediately via email. It integrates into your Office suite (for example, Microsoft Office) so that you can easily convert your Word and Excel documents directly within SodaPDF. This program can also convert graphic files to PDF. Additional features included in the program are: merging different files to a PDF document, Batch Import and creating PDF files directly from your scanner.
The third tab is Convert. The program supports conversion to Word, PowerPoint, Excel, HTML, TXT, Image and RTF. But keep in mind this module is extra and it costs $20.
The fourth tab is Edit which allows you to manage PDF documents. The program offers a lot of various tools for editing PDF documents. You can easily change the font (make it bold or italicized, underline or draw the line through the letter, change the text color, increase letter size), add text to the PDF document, cut or copy the selected area and save it to the clipboard. Additionally, Soda PDF has plenty of tools for page editing- you can move pages within the document, delete and extract them; rotate pages and choose the paper size, select margins, etc. This module is also purchased separately and costs $30.
The fifth tab is Insert. This tab is for image editing of the PDF document. You can insert an image into the PDF file and then edit it. Also you can add page numbering or even watermark the document. This module costs $9.
The sixth tab, Review, allows you to add Sticker notes to your PDF documents. You can use the special rectangle and oval tools for this purpose. Soda PDF has a very useful “Stamp Tool”. With the help of this tool you will be able to stamp your PDF document. You can customize the stamps easily and choose your favorite stamps from a list. The special “Pencil” tool allows you to create a comment. The “Attachment” tool gives you the opportunity to open, save and add attachments to the current document. This module costs $20.
The seventh tab, Forms, allows the creation of invoice and survey forms. You can customize forms, add text, buttons and fields, etc. It costs $9.
The eighth tab Secure and Sign is specifically designed for protecting PDF files against unauthorized distribution. Nowadays PDF documents are the standard in many countries around the world and it can be essential to protect them. Soda PDF Professional allows you to protect files with a password or a special certificate. You can also sign a PDF document with a digital signature. The Secure and Sign module costs $20.
A very useful feature available in Soda PDF professional is Optical Character Recognition (OCR). It allows the program to recognize text manually or automatically. This includes importing text from an image or a scanned document into a PDF file. This module costs $30.
1. Open, read and edit PDF files
2. Create PDF from almost any kind of file
3. One-button PDF creation From Microsoft Word and Excel
4. Scan paper documents to PDF
5. Convert text files into PDF
6. Insert and edit text, adjust font, size, color and more
7. Edit images-rotate, crop, delete, etc.
8. Split pages of PDF documents
9. Encrypt PDF files with 128-bit and 256-bit level security.
1. You cannot convert e-books to PDF and vice versa
2. Only 14-day trial version. Too little time for testing the program
3. You must buy modules for enhancing the features of the program