Disclaimer: I was contacted by Investintech for to try out the beta version of their newest version of Able2Extract for free. The review is my own opinions and is in no way influenced by receiving the beta version for testing.
I have had the opportunity to test the last two versions of this software and Investintech seems dedicated to improving this software to perform better and better and with newer features. In this case there is no exception.
In this review I was given a licence to test the full version as opposed to a “tester’s” license in which case I had to make a separate download to see what was the difference with what I tested and the full version and the new OCR engine. With that out of the way, let’s move on.
In this version they have improved the OCR engine. When I open a Word doc with embedded images it is converted to a PDF which then I can save it. When opening a PDF file I can convert it to a number of other file types and the OCR extracts the images and text and images can be extracted from a different PDF and added to a new one. This is where this software still really rocks. A lot of that hasn’t changed except for them being improved. Images and text can be added and deleted as well. There will be a note about what I don’t like coming up.
I was excited about the new features that this version had that was absent in previous versions. It has the ability to add sticky notes, redact, strike out, add a link, add shapes, add images, and more things like watermarks and stamps. You can change the redaction and highlight to any color you want. You can drag and drop the watermarks, images, or stamps wherever you want. That was the fun and cool part. Oh, it also has encryption and decryption for those sensitive documents.
However despite the coolness of the new features, the execution was quite a bit awkward. After clicking on the icon of what I wanted to do, I was not given an I-beam cursor for redaction, editing, highlighting, adding a hyperlink, etc. For images, watermarks, and stamps I wasn’t given the cross arrows that is a visual cue that I can pick up and move it. All I had was the pointer arrow, and I just happened to catch on.
When it came to highlighting the text for a lot of other procedures, I had to be reminded that I had to get a box on the page and drag it. For hyperlinks, I had to hover over the text I just highlighted to see if it was live; the text did not turn a different color. The pointing hand was my indicator. I couldn’t figure out how to get the sticky note to work. If my box was a bit off, then it would still do the job where I wanted it.
Adding or deleting text was also tedious and awkward. If I didn’t align the guide lines just right, then the added text would be off kilter when typing it in, and if it covered any it would overwrite it and not give an option not to overwrite (like Word). When it came to deleting I had to keep clicking the mouse. If I had to delete a whole paragraph, then that would suck. No just highlighting the text and hitting backspace or delete; I would be reminded of what I had to do (put my box in again). Of course it does have the handy-dandy undo button on the taskbar should I mess up.
If these new features were added in and had the user-friendly and universal approach that Adobe and Microsoft Office have with these new features (I-beam cursors, cross arrows and highlighting for what needs to be done then clicking the icon/or releasing), then this would rock! That would be the only changes that I would strongly suggest to make this software as cutting edge as it could possibly be with these new features. Add that in with what I really like them for, then we definitely have a winner.
As it is now I would rate it at 4/5 which is really good 🙂