The Court Technology and Trial Presentation Blawg features articles, reviews and news of interest to lawyers and other legal professionals. This blog is published by Ted Brooks, a Trial Presentation and Legal Technology Consultant, Author and Speaker. Ted's trial experience includes the Los Angeles Dodgers divorce trial, People v. Robert Blake murder trial, and a hundreds of high profile, high value and complex civil matters.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Power PDF: Alternative to Adobe Acrobat Subscription

With the recent abandonment of the Windows XP operating system by Microsoft, many holdouts are now looking at replacing some old iron. Although I have been comfortably running Windows 7 since 2010, I recently decided to upgrade a couple of my trial laptops. This means getting a few software updates as well.

Adobe offers its free Acrobat Reader PDF viewer, which comes pre-installed on many new computers, or you can download the latest version. However, if you need to create and modify PDFs, perform redactions, or add Bates numbers, you’re going to need something a little more powerful. Unless you want to install an old full version of Acrobat, Adobe offers either a standalone upgrade version for $199 or a subscription plan for $19.99 per month for a single user. The subscription idea may work for some, but many prefer to choose when and if to spend money on software upgrades.

With the nature of law-related work, having full control over the documents is a must. As fate would have it, Nuance (makers of Dragon NaturallySpeaking, PDF Converter, PDF Reader) just released a new product called Power PDF, with two versions priced at $99 and $149. The Power PDF Advanced ($149) version is required if you want the added functionality of things like redactions and Bates stamping. They offer a 30-day trial of the software, which appears to be fully-operational.

Power PDF Advanced Desktop

Working with the software seems to be similar to Adobe Acrobat. If you know your way around Acrobat, you won’t have any trouble getting things done in Power PDF. Additionally, if you are making a computer switch, which likely includes Windows 8.1 at this point, everything is going to look a little different for a while anyway, so it might be a good time to consider any changes with other software.

Although there are some nice features, for the single-user license, I’m not sure $50 is enough of a difference to replace Acrobat. I would expect they will offer a discount in the near future, as they have already with the standard version ($89). Volume pricing is also available.

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