Dear Adobe…

Last night, I was using Adobe Acrobat 9 on my wife’s MacBook.  Doing a little OCR on a scanned PDF.  And it was awesome.  But my computer is about 5x faster, so I thought, “Hey, I’d really like this on my computer.”

And so I searched for “adobe acrobat” (obvs).  Then I thought, “HOLY CRAP!”  I debated whether I could get past the student verification, and when I realized that was a negative, I thought, “Better not get rid of this Mac—it’s got a lot of expensive software on it!”

In case you’re wondering, there are 5 useful features of Adobe Acrobat:

  1. You can rotate pages (and save the file).
  2. You can make a PDF into a form.
  3. You can reorder and renumber pages.
  4. You can reduce the size of your PDF by compressing images and reducing the fonts saved in the file.
  5. You can OCR a scanned PDF, which makes the text selectable (and a cool feature, ClearScan, actually makes fonts based on the image figures to reduce the file size and make it more readable).

Everything else it can do?  Just fluff.  Ok, signing a document is handy if you actually need to do that.  And changing the properties is also useful.  So we’ll make it 8 useful features.  5 + 2 + 1 extra for something someone else might use.

You don’t need Acrobat to create PDFs, just edit them.  And it’s not worth $300.  $50?  Definitely.  Heck, don’t tell Sav, but I probably would have bought it if it had been $50.  All I wanted to do was reorder and rotate some pages in our HOA’s CC&Rs, then do that fancy OCR stuff (OCR isn’t new, but it’s handy).  But if it came to it, to save $300 bucks, I would go down to the courthouse and scan them myself, or even type the whole things up myself.  And then I could print my own PDF.  Heck, I’d do it in \LaTeX and would be able to create awesome PDFs.

My point is, what’s the point of selling $300 software if you could sell 10x more by reducing the price to $50?  Heck, I’m sure they’d sell more than twice as much if it was just half the price.  Could have made $50 last night, but instead I’m going to learn how to do everything Adobe Acrobat can do with open source software, and then I won’t ever have to buy Acrobat.  $50 now is better than $300 never.

Currently listening to “Wing Cap Theme” by Nintendo (from Super Mario 64)

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