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PDF Converter Pro for Mac: A versatile tool for PDF files

Mel Martin

PDF Converter Pro (US$34.99, currently on sale in the Mac App Store) is a powerful multifunction tool for converting and tweaking PDF files.

The app has a wide variety of conversion options and is able to output to Microsoft Word, Excel, Powerpoint, EPUB, HTML, text (plain and RTF), .jpg, .png, .gif, .bmp and .tif file formats.

A lot of PDF Converter Pro's power comes from its built-in OCR capabilities, which turn a scanned PDF file into an editable document. The app also notifies you that the PDF you are working with started as a scan that was run through the optical character recognition engine. PDF Converter Pro can do batch conversions of up to 50 documents.

How did PDF Converter Pro stand up to a test? Very well. I gave the app some complicated PDF files made up of technical manuals loaded with diagrams. PDF Converter Pro created an editable Word file that had all the graphics in the right place. It was impressive, though the OCR mode was not perfect. There were a few misspellings in areas with very small print and some line drawings got garbled, but overall the accuracy of the app was good.

Another bonus of PDF Converter Pro is that conversions are fast. A 42-page manual took less than a minute to convert.

PDF Converter Pro is a great app if you find yourself with lots of PDF files you want to edit. I'd like to see it add more Mac-oriented conversion options, like Pages, Numbers and Keynote, but those applications can open many of the document file types the app produces. I saw some negative comments online about the OCR accuracy but I personally found it to be quite good despite those user complaints. How well PDF Converter Pro manages scanning depends on the quality of the original text.

Gallery: PDF Converter Pro | 2 Photos

The app description indicates that you can convert regular files to PDF. I can't find any place to do that in the app, and OS X handles that conversion anyway for most documents through the Print to PDF capability.

PDF Converter Pro is usually prices at $79.99, so the sale is a good deal even if the sale price is still expensive for a casual user. The app requires OS X 10.6 or greater and works fine on Mountain Lion.

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