Ashampoo PDF Pro 2
Ashampoo PDF Pro 2 is a powerful PDF editor which makes working with PDF documents as easy as with any other document format in a word processor!
Ease of use really is the key here and what makes PDF Pro 2 such a pleasure to use is the simple, well designed interface combined with the editing mode which is on by default (so you can start editing the moment the PDF file is opened up).
There are a number of other useful PDF editing and manipulation features which I will get into during this review but if you need a simple, cheap and yet still powerful way to edit PDF files you really need look no further!
Key Features of PDF Pro 2
- One licence provides use on 3x PCs by default
- Well designed, clean and easy to use interface
- Start editing straight away
- Multiple export and converting modes
- Print drivers make creating PDF files easy from any application
- 256bit AES encryption and document security permissions
- Very cost effective compared to alternatives
PDF Pro 2 Usability
Installing PDF Pro 2
As with all Ashampoo software installing PDF Pro 2 is both quick and simple, the installer can be downloaded from the Ashampoo website and after just a few clicks everything will be up and ready to run.
During the install process the application will also allow setting PDF Pro 2 as the default PDF reader for the PC in use. Whilst not 100% necessary it does perform as a PDF reader perfectly well and so it would make sense to make this the default PDF application at this time.
There is also the option to install the PDF printer drivers during the install, these will allow the easy creation of PDF documents using other office applications such as PowerPoint and Word.
Altering and Editing PDF Documents with PDF Pro 2
Now that the application is installed we can begin using it as intended to edit PDFs. Once opened for the first time we will be greeted by a demo PDF which is a great place to start playing around with the program and getting a gauge for how things work.
One of the first things which becomes apparent is that the PDF in view is already editable, in other words, no special work is required to make any PDF which is opened editable. This makes using the application and in turn editing PDFs really simple and in many respects no more difficult then loading and editing a file in a word processor!
With PDF editing aside we also have various other tools to manipulate our PDF file, this includes the ability to insert or remove individual pages form the document. Such a tool is useful should our PDF document be missing some key information and the original document not available for editing. In such a case we can simply load up the document in PDF Pro 2 and using the “Pages” menu select one of the inserting options (see below):
Notice that as well as inserting pages form another document, PDF Pro 2 also allows inserting images straight from a scanner, potentially very useful within an office environment!
Another useful feature is that of find and replace. As was mentioned a little earlier once the document is loaded it behaves in a very similar way to any other Word document, this means we can use find and replace across the entire document just as we would in a word processor, excellent!
Finally, once happy with the amendments to a PDF file the document can be saved straight to a PDF file, Ashampoo offer two main options for saving our work. Firstly, we can simply export a single page (or collection of specified pages) as PDF files in their own right, we can also simply save the PDF file as it is maintaining all of the work we have done on it including any meta data associated with the file.
The third option is to save the document as a reduced size file, this will, in essence, flatten all of the work we have done on the file into the PDF and in doing so create a much smaller file (which is then harder to edit of course). This option also allows for editing the quality of the PDF file and (optionally) setting it to greyscale, both of which will help reduce the file size even further.
As well as saving the document into a PDF file the application also allows the converting of the PDF file into another format such as a “.docx” format. This means a PDF file can be effectively converted into a Word document and worked on using another word processor for ease of editing in the future.
There are various other tools included such as the ability to rotate and crop images, make alignment adjustments and set borders to name just a few, but these will probably only apply to the more advanced users. For anyone who regularly works with PDF files and needs to make regular small adjustments the basic functionality of PDF Pro 2 is excellent!
Creating a PDF using the PDF Pro 2 Print Drivers
Another useful feature of PDF Pro 2 are the included PDF printer drivers, these make the creation of PDF files from virtually any other application both quick and as simple as printing any other document to a physical printer.
Once “printed” the document will then be opened up in the PDF Pro 2 application ready for any further editing (such as adding a watermark). Once any adjustments are made the document can be saved as a PDF ready for publishing.
Securing Documents with PDF Pro 2
Another great feature of PDF Pro 2 is the ability to secure PDF documents using the built in encryption tools, this means any sensitive information within your PDF documents can be kept safe. The ability to control who uses your PDF and how can also be set using this same security tool.
To Encrypt a document simply go to the “Document” menu and choose the “Security” option, this will open the document security dialogue box.
As can be seen above, it is easy to set a password for simply opening the PDF in addition to a further password allowing users more control over using the PDF. For example, you could allow a wide collection of people the rights to open your PDF file but only a select few the rights to print it!
PDF Pro 2 Security
Ashampoo PDF Pro 2 makes use of up to 256bit AES encryption to allow PDF creators to secure their documents. Additional security can also be set by allowing a second (more secure) password be set allowing a select few users additional abilities for editing the document further and (if necessary) the right to print it.
Overall this is everything you could expect form a PDF editor security wise and it is great to see that Ashampoo have ensured this is included and working as well as it is.
Ashampoo have a great website and provide a comprehensive Q&A section which handles most problems you might encounter. Should you still need to get in touch with a support representative you can submit support tickets online.
PDF Pro 2 Pricing
Ashampoo PDF Pro 2 is priced at $69.99, this licence covers up to 3 PCs making it especially good value for small businesses or for those who work across multiple PCs.
Ashampoo have done a great job with PDF Pro 2, not only is it a serious PDF editor in its own right but is very cost effective compared to other offerings in the marketplace which essentially do the same thing. This value looks even better when you factor in the standard single licence actually covers up to 3PCs, this makes this tool unbeatable value for small business users and those who work across multiple PCs (Ideal if you use a desk PC at home and a laptop on the go!).
Economics aside, PDF Pro 2 has all of the PDF editing features you could ever need from such a tool and is built to the same highly robust standard you would expect from an industry leader such as Ashampoo!
All in all a great PDF editing tool at a great price, well done Ashampoo!