Review of PDFelement7:
Having used PDFelement6 Pro for some time, the first thing that strikes a user when opening PDFelement7, and this is a very welcome difference to strike this user, is a much "cleaner", more intuitive user interface. The familiar main menus are there, but when it comes to actually working on an open pdf document, ie., editing text or manipulating an image, the requisite tools in PDFelement7 are available through discrete buttons. These are located in the top, and right and left hand margins around the active document. These buttons are labelled but also have pop-up tool tips which amplify the function which that button activates. Getting used to the position of these buttons is likely to take a little practice -- moving from right margin, to top margin to left margin requires thinking, but this is part of the change a user of the new PDFelement7 needs to navigate.
Not being a fan of having to go the long way around, I have been relieved/reassured by the (so far) faultless way PDFelement7 has efficiently opened every document or image I have tried, from whatever origin -- web, local network, thumb drive or folder. This is something I definitely could not say about PDFelement6, whihc ultimately led me to return to the Mac OSX app Preview, as my preferred "Open (all) wilt..." selection in the Get Info window associated with a PDF file. Such was the frustration of having to open many documents from within the File menu of the PDFelement6 version. Using the document icon <double click> method, PDFelement6 Pro often failed to open PDF documents. In my view, being apparently free of this limitation, PDFelement7 promises to now be a genuine alternative to the Mac OSX Preview; an alternative with a bit of editing muscle.
In the rest of this review, I will focus primarily on two of the functions of the new version, and hope this provides a representative of my experience of engaging with it. Plainly there are many more features to explore in PDFelement7, and no doubt others will comment. These two caught my attention.
Whilst the range of text editing/image manipulation tools is good/sufficient for most circumstances, there does appear to be one tool not available in PDFelement7. This may not be critical for every user of course, but I know of a number of art students for whom the function I have in mind is a regular "go to". The apparent "omision" is this: PDFelement7seems to have eft off the option to flip an image; there is a button to effect a rotation of an image, and even though the online tutorial video (admittedly this is PDFelement6) does "promise" -- it is in the title of the video: "Flip Images in PDF on Mac with PDFelement" -- to demonstrate how to "flip" an image, what is shown is the dexterity of the rotate image function. The flip option would reverse the image, not just change the orientation by a succession of degrees. To be able to flip/reverse an image is a very useful function/option, especially when a user is working with an image and is experimenting with it graphically. Students who scan their work and save it as a PDF, to either email to others, or as part of the process of preparing the image for linocut work, would find the inability to actually flip/reverse the image a real limitation.
The form filling function in PDFelement7 works, although it requires care to begin with, particularly with complicated forms. Once a form is opened, and the "Add or Edit PDF Form" button is clicked (left hand margin button menu) there are basically two choices available. First, the actual form can be modified -- actually there is scope to effectively create a new form -- eg., the text/enter boxes can be renamed on the form. This is achieved by highlighting/double clicking each text box in the form -- then using the pop-up window, which appears from the right side of the form to make the various edits available, and there are a number of these. It is also possible to add features to the form, like check boxes, radio button sets, drop down menus etc. The second option, ie to fill in the form, is accessed by clicking a button called "Preview" at the top right hand corner of the form window (I wonder if "Preview" is a little unclear; maybe something like "Enter" or "Enter Details"). Once in this layout, it is easy to move from text box to text box, entering the required data. The check boxes included in many forms can be easily selected by a mouse click. Printing the form, once filled out, is from the File menu, with a preview available. The form remains consistent and the entered text is well placed in the text boxes.
Overall PDFelement7 marks a step forward in sophistication, and i am expecting to learn much more about its other functions, as I continue to use it. I would certainly recommend PDFelement7.