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  1. #1
    Recommend alternative to Adobe Acrobat
    Recently upgraded to Catalina which is working great but I did not do my research before hand. I was using Office for MAC 2008 and Adobe Acrobat 9 neither of which are now supported by Catalina.
    The Office I can work around but I have PDF files (templates) that I use on a semi regular basis. Could anyone recommend an alternative to Adobe Acrobat?
    Something that fingers crossed will open the PDF files without too much loss of formatting.

    Many thanks
    glucke

  2. #2
    Recommend alternative to Adobe Acrobat
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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  3. #3
    Thanks for this. I have looked but do not think that there is enough of an edit feature available.
    As an Office alternative I was thinking about Libre Free Office, do you have any knowledge of this package

    Regards
    glucke

  4. #4
    Recommend alternative to Adobe Acrobat
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    Libre office is a fine alternative to MS Office, but you will find subtle differences in formatting between the two versions.

    I don't use (or care) about the office apps during my day to day, so I'm fine with plain old text. If Office-type apps are a huge part of your workflow, then you should purchase the Office 365 Home for $100/year. That's barely $10 a month, or a couple of Starbucks coffees.
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  5. #5
    Probably going the 365 route and continue looking for a pdf editor
    Regards
    glucke

  6. #6
    Recommend alternative to Adobe Acrobat
    IWT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glucke View Post
    Recently upgraded to Catalina which is working great but I did not do my research before hand. I was using Office for MAC 2008 and Adobe Acrobat 9 neither of which are now supported by Catalina.
    The Office I can work around but I have PDF files (templates) that I use on a semi regular basis. Could anyone recommend an alternative to Adobe Acrobat?
    Something that fingers crossed will open the PDF files without too much loss of formatting.

    Many thanks
    glucke
    Following on from our Moderator's comments -

    If it's just something that will open PDFs, then Preview is brilliant.

    If you want a great deal more in terms of creation, opening, editing, marking, and so on - then PDFpen or its pro version, PDFpenPro are pay-for apps that work extremely well on a Mac. And much cheaper than the Adobe Acrobat Suite.

    If, on the other hand, you are really wanting an "Microsoft Office for Mac", then, as our Mod said, the 365 subscription service is a good bet. In addition, it offers use on up to six computers (Mac and Windows) and 1TB of free cloud storage per user! See here if interested - Compare All Microsoft Office Products | Microsoft Office

    Ian
    Ian

  7. #7
    Recommend alternative to Adobe Acrobat
    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Ditto to Ian's recommendation. I've never used PDFpen myself, but I've long been under the impression that it's the gold standard for PDF editing on macOS. It's not inexpensive, but if this is something you heavily rely on, I'd say give it a hard look.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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  8. #8
    Recommend alternative to Adobe Acrobat
    chscag's Avatar
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    Also....

    Keep your eyes open for special app bundles. PDFPen (not the Pro version) is frequently offered as part of a bundle. I haven't seen any bundles thus far this year, but usually they're offered by Macworld Magazine.

  9. #9
    Recommend alternative to Adobe Acrobat
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glucke View Post
    Thanks for this. I have looked but do not think that there is enough of an edit feature available.
    Adobe Acrobat Pro is a true PDF editor, Preview is not. (A true PDF editor is a program that can erase existing text in a PDF and replace it with new text. Some also include OCR capabilities as being part of a true PDF editor.) There are a number of true PDF editors for the Macintosh. The most popular Acrobat Pro alternative is:

    PDFpen/PRO
    PDFpen for Mac - Smile

    I prefer this product, which I believe is a superior product:

    Kofax Power PDF for Mac
    Kofax Power PDF for Mac helps individual users create, convert, edit and share PDF files. | Kofax
    (Uses the unparalleled full OmniPage Pro OCR engine.)

    If you don't like either of these products, let me know, and I can give you a list of all of the true PDF editors for the Macintosh. But I doubt that you will find any of them to be more satisfactory.

    Now the bad news...some of the formatting created when using Acrobat Pro is *proprietary*. NOTHING else will render such PDF's perfectly. This is annoying because PDF's were supposed to be an open standard. That's what we get for using anything having to do with Adobe.

    Quote Originally Posted by glucke View Post
    As an Office alternative I was thinking about Libre Free Office, do you have any knowledge of this package
    After years of refinement, LibreOffice is a bit of a disappointment. The biggest disappointment is that it still can't perfectly open and be relied on to perfectly render Microsoft Word documents that have complex formatting in them. Before you throw up your hands and pay Microsoft's usurious price for a brand new copy of Office, may I recommend that you check out:

    FreeOffice (free)
    www.freeoffice.com - FreeOffice for Windows, Mac, Linux and Android
    FreeOffice is impressive in it’s features, and it may be all that you need. It can open both current and older Office file formats (almost always *perfectly*!!!), but will only save in the latest formats. There is a commercial version with a few more features that you can check out if you like FreeOffice.
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  10. #10
    Recommend alternative to Adobe Acrobat
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Before you throw up your hands and pay Microsoft's usurious price for a brand new copy of Office
    $7 a month is "usurious?"

    Compare All Microsoft Office Products | Microsoft Office

    It's ok to not like subscriptions for software, but $7/month for Office is hardly usurious, IMHO.
    Jake

  11. #11
    Recommend alternative to Adobe Acrobat
    chscag's Avatar
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    I do like both the FreeOffice and the pay version of SoftMaker Office (I have both), however, while they will open MS Office documents, both products do not render the documents correctly. That requires going thru the document and resetting things like margins, borders, and even in some cases the fonts. This can be especially annoying when opening older MS documents.

    While I'm not a fan of subscribing to software, my copy of Office 365 (I only use Word) renders every document, old or new correctly. Some of the documents we use were originally created with older versions of MS Office for Windows.

    As for LibreOffice, it's a non starter for me. Terrible rendering of older Office documents and bloated software with a lot of unnecessary fluff. (My opinion)

    If you're someone who does not need to edit older MS documents, then the FreeOffice version is a good choice. If you do need to edit older MS documents and are not concerned with the rendering or layout, the pay version of SoftMaker Office is an excellent purchase.

  12. #12
    Recommend alternative to Adobe Acrobat
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    $7 a month is "usurious?"
    It's $84 a year IN PERPETUITY. If you find that reasonable, that's fine. Others may find that to be excessive for a piece of software.
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  13. #13
    Recommend alternative to Adobe Acrobat
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    I do like both the FreeOffice and the pay version of SoftMaker Office (I have both), however, while they will open MS Office documents, both products do not render the documents correctly. That requires going thru the document and resetting things like margins, borders, and even in some cases the fonts.
    I don't have that problem at all. I have opened a huge number of Word documents with FreeOffice at this point, and I've yet to have one that hasn't opened and looked perfect. I suspect that you have a problem with the equivalent of the Normal template in FreeOffice that is screwing up your documents' formatting. Lots of folks in my user group, and elsewhere, have switched to FreeOffice and not a single one has reported such a problem.

    I recommend that others, if they are considering an Office substitute, download FreeOffice (it is FREE, after all) and give it a try, and see how it works for them. I strongly suspect that it will work fine.
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  14. #14
    Recommend alternative to Adobe Acrobat
    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randy B. Singer View Post
    It's $84 a year IN PERPETUITY. If you find that reasonable, that's fine. Others may find that to be excessive for a piece of software.
    Not in perpetuity, just while I need it. Given that previously (and now) it cost $249 for a single user license, $7/month doesn't become more costly until after three years, and also given that it's automatically updated for that same $7, it's not worthy of ALL CAPS exclamations. And I actually have the multi-user license for $10/month and have five copies installed for that price, plus the iPad/iPhone versions, all included. So I avoided $1,245 for five licenses and instead pay $10/month, for eternally updated and upgraded software. I'm ahead on the cost for ten years. Not bad, I'd say. Of course, YMMV.
    Jake

  15. #15
    Recommend alternative to Adobe Acrobat
    Raz0rEdge's Avatar
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    If a tool is important enough for me, then I have no problems paying for it. Free is great, but free is not always the answer.

    Anyway, I think we've sufficiently answered the original question, so we're done here.
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    Regards
    ...Ashwin


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