PLUG-IN CONVERTS PDF FILES TO INDESIGN FORMAT

PDF to IDThe PDF21D 1.1 conversion plug-in is simple to use and offers a few basic options: Full Format (which includes text and graphics), Extract Only Text, Extract Images Only, and Extract PDF Annotations Only. I’d expect most users to go for the default Full Format.

Going with the scenario of having a PDF but no original files, I opened the PDF from within InDesign via the Open PDF File menu. (Note: PDF2ID can’t work with password-protected PDFs.) The process of conversion is simple: Use the Open PDF File menu and the Conversion Options dialog opens. Use the default settings—they’re very good—and click OK. After a few font warnings, the InDesign file opens.

The conversion was good, but not perfect. The first thing I noticed was that the text flow was broken—most of the text that originally flowed from page to page was converted into separate text frames. It handled most graphics okay but had problems with some. Most of the issues have to do with the way PDFs are created, so don’t expect a clean conversion.

One of the best features is the creation of paragraph and character styles based on the text formatting. The styles are simply named numerically, so some cleanup is involved. Another new feature is OpenType font support—not supported in the first version.

You’ll have to weigh the results of this plug-in and the cleanup involved versus simply capturing the text via OCR and re-creating the graphics. I think the plug-in shows a lot of promise, but I’m not totally convinced that it will save that much time for complex jobs; but for simple jobs, it can pay for itself quickly. Hopefully, future versions will continue to improve the conversion.—David Creamer

PRICE: $249
FROM: Recosoft Corporation
WEB: www.recosoft.com
RATING: 4

LAYERS VERDICT
HOT Easy to use
NOT Text flow is broken; some graphics don’t export properly

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