Adobe Acrobat Pro bills itself as the "original PDF converter" and gives users a variety of tools for managing, creating and publishing documents to or from PDF format. It also features tools to make PDFs searchable with OCR software.
Its full features list is long, but here's an overview:
The company also offers a fully functional trial (Windows only for now).
Adobe may have created the PDF, but its Acrobat Pro software is far from a newsroom workhorse -- at least when it comes to OCR and converting PDFs into spreadsheets. If it's not already installed on your office computer, it's not worth the investment for these tasks alone.READ OUR FULL REVIEW »
It takes less than a minute for Adobe Acrobat to transform this lined PDF table of Bernie Madoff's customers into an almost perfect spreadsheet reproduction. The resulting Excel file is clean and complete, requiring a little effort before journalists can dive into the data.READ OUR FULL TEST RESULT »
This collection of scanned-in memos from the Obama-Biden transition wasn't much of a match for Adobe Acrobat, which recognized the text with only a few minor errors. It even handled italics well.READ OUR FULL TEST RESULT »
Acrobat's OCR feature was able to fill this PDF collection with searchable text with only a handful of missing words. Even most of the Arabic names in the original document were translated accurately into the resulting PDF.READ OUR FULL TEST RESULT »
Acrobat took its time wading through this 1,600-page collection of forms from North Carolina legislators, but its attempt to make the poorly scanned document text searchable shows the program is a good first step when trying to locate keywords in lengthy PDFs.READ OUR FULL TEST RESULT »
The headers from the Microsoft Access database that generated this report of housing violations cause scores of missing data after Acrobat's done converting it into a spreadsheet. All those omissions throw the accuracy of the software's results into question.READ OUR FULL TEST RESULT »
Acrobat Pro's lack of customization options mean an inability to parse line breaks properly in this long table of political appointments from the Clinton administration. That makes the data too messy and the spreadsheet impossible to sort and filter.READ OUR FULL TEST RESULT »
Acrobat's not the program you want to handle a tricky PDF with an embedded font, like this list of contributors to Gov. Jan Brewer's border fence project. It failed two different ways using two different methods.READ OUR FULL TEST RESULT »
The relatively poor quality of this partial-text PDF of congressional reports was too difficult for Adobe Acrobat to translate into a fully text-enabled, searchable document. Much of the text was garbled and misinterpreted, so be wary of using this product if your document was hastily scanned or features unclear text.READ OUR FULL TEST RESULT »