RecoSoft offers tempting PDF2ID plug-in for designers and ad departments

I recently took a quick trip - well, three hours - to Nashville to have lunch with David Blatner, author of more books than I can remember related to InDesign, QuarkXPress and other design programs. David was in town hosting a Creative Suite Tour event.

While there, we ran into Paramjit Chadha, who manages a software company - RecoSoft - based in Japan. A quick look at their Web site indicates they specialize in PDF conversion plug-ins. Paramjit told me a little about one of his products, PDF2ID, and I knew it was something I would be testing as soon as I could get my hands on it.

First, the good news. PDF2ID allows users to open PDF files in InDesign. Read that again. I didn’t say it allowed users to “place PDF files.” I said “open PDF files.” There’s a vast difference.

Like Q2ID (Quark to InDesign) and PUB2ID (Publisher to InDesign) from Markzware (yes, I suspect Markzware might be a little peeved about the similarity in software names), PDF2ID allows users to open PDF files in InDesign simply by selecting File>Open. This immediately opens the PDF file as a native InDesign file, meaning the contents can be moved and edited as if they were created in InDesign.

Now for the bad news. In the tests I did, there was a good bit of shifting when I opened PDF files in InDesign. Most of these were related to fonts that weren’t available - no fault of the plug-in.

Over the years I’ve seen speakers offer classes in PDF correction using Adobe Illustrator. I’ve never been a fan of this because you can never be sure the text hasn’t shifted - or changed - when a PDF file is opened in Illustrator. PDF2ID won’t fix all the problematic PDF files you receive from advertisers every day. However, there are lots of times when I wish I could open a PDF file in InDesign to use part of the contents on my page. PDF2ID is a great tool for this.

Would I spend $249 (US) for a plug-in to open PDF files in InDesign? It depends. Individuals might find this a hefty price to pay for a tool used sparingly. However, a newspaper would be wise to consider making PDF2ID a part of its design arsenal. As always, the decision is up to you.

PUB2ID is compatible with both PC and Mac. For more information concerning PDF2ID, visit recosoft.com.

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Tags: PDF2ID, slimp
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Members Opinions:
June 03, 2008 at 12:00am
Thanks for the kind comment, Kevin. It sure was a pleasure to meet you face to face. However, I think you're being a bit harsh on PDF2ID. Sure, it can't do a perfect job of converting PDF files -- anyone who knows what's inside PDF files knows that it isn't much! For example, there's rarely even any indication of what is a paragraph! Even so, PDF2ID does an amazing job of figuring that out for you. I wouldn't use it except in an emergency (if I couldn't get the original ID file), but that happens more often than I care to think about.
Best wishes,
David Blatner, indesignsecrets.com
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