Acrobat alternative Nitro Pro 8 drops version, adds more OCR

Nitro PDF Pty Ltd has just released Nitro Pro 8, the latest version of its self-titled “Acrobat alternative” tool for creating, editing and converting PDFs. Version 8, also available as a dedicated 64-bit build, promises faster conversion times, smaller PDF files, automatic OCR implementation and auto-save and recovery technology.

Nitro Pro 8 also sees the product drop its two-tier pricing structure, losing the non-OCR release in favor of a single option incorporating IRIS’s OCR engine for $119.99. The launch also coincides with details of a new partnership with PC manufacturer Lenovo, which will see Nitro Pro bundled with new Lenovo computers going forward.

New features in Nitro Pro 8 include a new auto-save and recovery feature, which automatically backs up open documents every 10 minutes (users can tweak this setting via the File > Preferences > General menu).

Now that OCR functionality is provided as standard, Nitro Pro 8 adds a number of new OCR-friendly features. It now automatically detects scanned image-based documents and offers an option for applying OCR to the document to provide a layer of editable and searchable text. OCR is automatically applied when converting image-based documents to editable files such as Word documents.

Version 8 also adds a Smart Alignment tool for typing text into non-interactive PDF forms and scanned documents -- this detects annotated elements and snaps to an invisible grid so text can be entered aligned neatly.

Nitro Pro 8 also promises vastly improved conversion times and output file sizes, generating fully editable Word documents in half the time taken by Nitro 7, and taking up much less space too, particularly after editing, annotating, combining and saving PDFs.

Promising to provide all the “essential” tools businesses need, Nitro Pro 8 launches with more business-friendly features including Autonomy Worksite integration, which has been added to its DMS (Document Management System) integration tool.

Despite costing almost two-thirds less than Adobe’s Acrobat Standard, Nitro Pro 8 has quickly carved itself a successful niche in the PDF editing market at both personal and business level, and now boasts usage in over 50 percent of Fortune 100 companies. Part of this is down to its competitive price, but Nitro also attributes its success to high-quality customer care: “Nitro’s commitment to customers makes it one of the stars… for all of the metrics that matter -- satisfaction, efficiency and scale,” says Sam Boonin of cloud-based help desk software, Zendesk.

Nitro Pro 8 32-bit and Nitro Pro 8 64-bit are both available as free, fully functional 14-day trial downloads for PCs running Windows XP or later (including the forthcoming Windows 8). A 1GHz processor and 512MB RAM is required, plus Microsoft Office 2003 or later for Office integrated features. Nitro Pro 8 retails at $119.99, while version 6 and 7 users will be able to upgrade for $49.99. Those with a valid Software Assurance licence will be able to upgrade for free.

Photo Credit: cybrain/Shutterstock

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