Having the right tools at your disposal is essential for any entrepreneurship looking to stay afloat in the business arena. Nowadays, it’s not enough to get the job done; you have to do it before your competitors. And do it better.
This is where various software tools and services ranging from HR and accounting to CRM and document management comes into play. The emphasis here is on the document management software. In fact, some of the most renowned business professionals identified document management software as one of the most critical factors in their business processes.
Why? Because in the long run, an efficient document management system pays off. There’s a whole myriad of document management software that can help your business streamline the document workflow, but we’ll point out one particular category– PDF software.
The “go green” movement is gaining traction with companies ditching paper documents for the e-alternatives such as PDF (Portable Document Format). PDF software plays a vital role in it. A professional PDF software can help you break the shackles of paper dependency and truly set your office on course to becoming paperless.
PDF software has been around for a while now, but only recently have companies grasped their true power and realized what they bring to the table. Picking a solution that’ll match your company needs is by no means easy. In the following list, we’ve rounded up the top ten features your PDF software should have. Hopefully, we’ll give you some better insight on what to look for and help you find the software that will meet your needs.
1 PDF to Word conversion
A PDF software tool suitable for office use must be capable of performing accurate PDF to Word conversion. Most of the time business information is stored and shared as PDFs; there are circumstances when you need to work with that data and export it into Word. For instance, adding a paragraph or two into the PDF is a dreadful endeavor. Doing it in a word processor like MS Word, not as much. Therefore, the need to extract the data into MS Word is essential.
2 PDF to Excel conversion
More often than not, valuable tabular data is trapped inside a PDF document. Take data analyst and accountants for example. They work with such data on a daily basis. To analyze that data and get the job done, they need to have that data in Microsoft Excel, the industry standard for generating and working with spreadsheets. Just like with PDF to Word conversion, a good PDF solution should be advanced enough to convert complex PDFs to Excel.
3 Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
OCR technology helps you deal with scanned PDF documents. In plain language, these documents are basically photos, and your computer doesn’t recognize any elements that the document contains, neither textual nor any other (photos, tables). Optical Character Recognition allows the software to search and convert scanned PDFs to other file formats. Since a good portion of PDF files that are circulating are scanned, PDF software with a good OCR engine is a must.
4 Batch Conversion
Time is money, that’s business 101. A PDF tool that can batch convert multiple PDF files at once and save you a lot of time… ergo, a lot of money. What this feature does is allowing you to speed up the data extraction process by converting tens or hundreds of PDFs in one go. If you want to improve your document productivity and boost your efficiency, opt for a software package that can batch convert PDFs to all the major file formats.
5 Text Editing
Yes, we know, PDFs are not meant to be edited. However, there are times when making edits to the textual content is necessary. Imagine working up against a tight deadline and you get a PDF contract that has a wrong date in it or some minor errors. Instead of converting it to a more friendly format like Word, fixing the mistake and converting it back to PDF, a proper PDF tool should be capable of editing it in a few clicks. Though seldom used in some industries, text editing is a major feature to look for.
6 Page Editing
It goes without saying that a PDF software tool that can edit PDF content should be able to edit pages too. Like with text editing, maybe you don’t have to manipulate PDF pages on a day-to-day basis, but it’s better to have a tool that can do all of that than to later on regret picking out a PDF tool that can’t. You never know when you’ll need to edit a PDF page. Pick a tool that can delete, add, move, resize, scale and merge PDF pages and you’re set.
Good collaboration is one of the key elements of success. A PDF software program that has numerous annotation options can significantly improve cooperation among team members that are working in remote locations. For example, employees from different departments often work simultaneously on a joint project. Needless to say, this can lead to severe communication issues and to losing track of the team’s progress. A PDF tool that can add various markups to important documents can help ensure that everyone stays on the same page all the time.
8 Password Encryption
As you already know there have been a lot of security issues lately with data leaks emerging here and there. PDF documents that contain privileged business data should be handled with care and due diligence. To make sure your confidential data remains protected from prying eyes, invest in PDF software that comes equipped with security features such as password encryption and various file permissions.
If you’re among those who like to play it extra safe, look for a tool that is capable of redacting sensitive data. Redaction is the process of permanently removing any sensitive data from a PDF file. This feature goes hand in hand with password encryption. It allows you to add an extra security layer on top of password protection and file permissions. Consider this kind of feature obligatory if you work with documents that contain confidential information such as invoice details, bank account info, social security numbers.
10 Form filling & creation
Last but not least, a professional PDF tool should be capable of handling PDF forms. Many companies get their competitive edge form data collection and analysis. There’s no better way to collect precious business data than to use PDF forms. Though even some of the basic and free PDF tools are capable of form filling, a great tool will be equipped with advanced features such as form creation & editing.
There you have it–the ten features that you should be looking for in a professional PDF tool. A solution that encompasses these features under one roof is more than capable of dealing with any PDF task you might throw at it. This list is by no means definitive, however. Instead, consider it as a good starting point. For instance, if you’re not an accountant, the PDF to Excel feature might not be that important to you. On the other hand, if you are, it will be the most important deciding factor for you. Take some time to examine your PDF workflow and opt for the solution that’ll help propel your business forward.