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Customer Review

142 of 145 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A few steps forward over version 7 - but with a few issues, July 17, 2012
This review is from: PDF Converter Professional 8.0 (DVD-ROM)

After waiting for a response from Nuance, no luck there, I decided that I had to try to fix the problem with broken PDF creation (see below). It did not help to "Repair" in Windows. I did get it to work by uninstalling PDF Converter Professional 8, deleting the Program folders and reinstalling the software.

I am now back in action, but there are clearly issues with this software. So add a star, but not as many as I would were it defect free. You should not have to go through this rigmarole to make it work.



Following comments on the Nuance self-support forum, I have just carried out a few quick experiments.

It turns out that this version of PDF Converter Pro is, for some people at least, seriously broken. So much so that it is useless.

The problem area is in scanning to create searchable PDF files. These are files with a text overlay on top of an image of the scanned page. This software is supposed to be able to do that. A couple of people, including me, find that it does not work.

I scanned a page and tried to turn it into a "Searchable PDF". All I get is the error:

"Failed to convert the document"

That's it, no clues or further explanations. And this is a file created by scanning into PDF Converter.

I had not noticed this defect because I usually scan into PaperPort. That does produce searchable PDF files.

Because this is a serious bug, I reckon that this is now worth just two stars, if that.


If you look at the reviews of PDF Converter Professional 7.0 you will see lots of tales of woe, especially around the issue of activation, Nuance's mechanism to prevent piracy. The good news is that version 8.0 has an activation system that is much less sensitive. It does not complain when you mess round with USB drives for example. I haven't tried anything more drastic.

Apart from that, PDF Converter Professional 8.0 is a reasonable step forward from its predecessor. It adds Cloud connectivity if that matters to you. And at least they manage to get it to work with both PaperPort Anywhere and Nuance Cloud Connector, which is more than you can say for PaperPort. But that hardly makes it startlingly improved software.

Bugs remain in the software itself. In particular, integration with Firefox is wonky. It leaves bits of stray toolbar hanging in mid air. It is also very slow to let you select text for copying. You have to wait some seconds before that bit kicks in. This seems to be much slower than version 7.

Nuance has also not fixed the failure to create thumbnails in Windows. You still have to install Adobe Reader to get that.

The final complaint is that the "Optimization" process that should reduce the size of PDF files is not up to the batch process that I am used to in Acrobat 7. It does not reduce file sizes anything like as much. "Reduce File" gets some space back, but it does not seem to shrink images and generally achieves a pathetic level of shrinkage.

It does a reasonable job of saving PDF files in Word format. I had trouble with multi-page tables, but that is mostly down to Word's shortcomings when you try to merge tables.

Once again, Nuance has changed the names of bits to confuse users. The printer driver to create PDF files is now called Gaaiho PDF. It still seems to be a Zeon thing.

In all, a small step forward but no great revolution. Still significantly cheaper than Acrobat.

Finally, Nuance has quietly beefed up its support area by relaunching its forums where users can share problems and experiences. If you get stuck, try that.


Look for "PDF Products (Windows/Mac)".

Or visit the Google PaperPort Group, which also covers Nuance's PDF products.

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 11, 2013 8:33:25 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 11, 2013 8:35:45 AM PST
Adam Torres says:
With regard to the "optimize pdf" feature, if you accept the default setting, you are correct, it often does not reduce the file size. My suggestion would be to go to the 'Images' tab and tweak the settings, Since most often you will be working with a scanned black and white document, I would change those settings. The default B&W image compression is 'CCITT 4.' Sadly this compression method is ineffective. I switched to 'JIBI2' and 'Lossy.' I also changed the 'downsampling to' from the default 300 to 275, and the 'for images above' from (the absurdly high) 450 to 300. Using this setting I have seen the Optimize feature shrink down 10+ MB files to less than 1 MB.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 11, 2013 9:44:19 AM PST
It is not the size reduction that cannot match Acrobat. As I wrote the "Optimization" process "is not up to the batch process that I am used to in Acrobat 7".

The key word there is "batch".

No one has yet worked out how to write a batch file in PDF Converter Professional that achieves automatically the shrinkage that you can get manually.

Posted on Jun 6, 2013 2:05:56 PM PDT
Creation of thumbnails requires a type of file called an iFilter. That lets Windows Indexing service recognize the file contents. Basically, the software vendor (e.g., MS Office) has to write a filter, which winds up being installed along with the main program.

Most likely, Nuance DID install an iFilter but it wasn't running. You wouldn't want it running if Adobe Reader is installed because it would be duplicating the functionality of Adobe's iFilter.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 6, 2013 2:40:23 PM PDT
There is some confusion here between indexing and "thumbnailing". The iFilter is necessary if you want the "Indexing service [to] recognize the file contents".

The contents are not the same as the image of the cover page, which is the thumbnail.

In any case, I installed Adobe Reader because PDF Converter Professional did not create thumbnails. I will have another go at removing Adobe Reader to see if I can get desktop thumbnails without it. But as Nuance's support has acknowledged that its software doesn't create thumbnails, I don't hold out much hope.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2013 10:23:41 AM PDT
If you're on a 64-bit system, you won't get thumbnails. Why Adobe has not addressed this is beyond me. A fellow named Leo Davidson developed a fix, which you can download from his website. (The domain is pretentiousname.)

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 8, 2013 2:24:24 AM PDT
I get thumbnails here. Windows 7, 64-bit.

It is the only reason why I have Adobe Reader on my PC.

Posted on Mar 5, 2014 4:33:09 AM PST
Nuala Ronan says:
Michael, thanks for this thoughtful review. I am running Windows 8 and Office 365 2013 with file suffix that include an x....e.g. .docx. Do you have experience with MS 2013 and Nuance PDF converter 8.0? I see in the small print that it is supposedly compatible but wanted to get some user experience feed back before I buy.

Thanks in advance for your time.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2014 7:25:06 AM PST
I am not familiar with Office 365 2013. I have not felt the urge to upgrade from Office 2010.

You may find people with more experience of this combination in the PaperPort Google Group:!forum/paperport

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 5, 2014 7:43:59 AM PST
Nuala Ronan says:
thanks, I will review the forums
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