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Walkthrough: Getting started with FlexiPDF

Thursday, 01 December 2016 17:47

Dear SoftMaker customers,

SoftMaker has recently launched a new program: FlexiPDF 2017, the all-around PDF editor that lets you edit PDF files as easily as with a word processor.

In this blog post we want to show you how FlexiPDF can help you do your daily work. We will guide you step by step through this powerful PDF editor and demonstrate its important features.

Working with text – as comfortably as with a word processor

A PDF file consists of one or more pages. A page can contain text, images, tables and drawings. You can edit all of these elements with FlexiPDF. The first section of this blog article is about the text.

With FlexiPDF you can edit text as if you were using a word processor. After opening a PDF file, select the text editing tool from the toolbar, and you're ready to go!

You can now simply click on existing text and start writing. Enter text, highlight text portions you want to work with, and delete, copy or move them. You can also select an area with the mouse, giving you a new text frame that you can immediately fill with text.

Since plain text is rather boring, FlexiPDF lets you format it as you like. Adding text formatting such as bold and italic is just as easy as changing fonts. The color of each text element can be selected twice: once for the normal fill color, and secondly the color of the outline of the letters.

Change tracking included

If you later want to see what changes you have made to the text, turn on the built-in change-tracking function. This works similar to TextMaker by highlighting text that has been modified or deleted. Activate change tracking with the File > Preferences > Editing command. In the dialog box that appears, place a checkmark in front of "Show changed text in" and select the color in which the changes should appear:

As you will see in the following screenshot, all edited text is automatically marked – here with red:


Text editing across sections and pages

The weakness of some other PDF editors is to offer only individual text blocks or frames for editing, but not the entire body of text as a logical unit.

FlexiPDF, on the other hand, allows you to edit text across paragraphs, columns and pages. You link the paragraphs of existing PDF files together so that they represent a single block of text. This has the advantage that inserting and deleting text does not simply result in longer lines, but the text body is extended or shortened downwards, even over several pages, as you are accustomed to in TextMaker or any other word processor.

Just click the Text link tool:

Then you can select the textboxes to form a contiguous body of text:

This is the same as if you had several linked text frames in TextMaker. Text flows automatically between these frames.

However, you can go a step further: after these steps, select Text > Text Box > Merge Vertically to get a continuous text frame. FlexiPDF adjusts the paragraph spacing between the former text frames so that the layout of the page is not changed.


Integrated spell check

FlexiPDF helps you create PDF documents that are free of spelling and typing errors. To check text for spelling errors, first make sure that you have set the correct language. To do so, select File > Preferences, activate the "Spelling" tab and set the language of the PDF file here:

Then run Edit > Check spelling to perform a spell check.

Comment and highlight

You often work on PDFs in a team, and every colleague has comments to make. To ensure that no important information is lost along the way, you can use FlexiPDF to insert various types of comments and highlights into PDF documents.

Just click one of the icons in the Comment toolbar:

In addition to text comments, various drawings are also available, as well as a text highlighter and stamps, both preset and customized.

Note: If you find that you do not see a certain toolbar, you can use the menu item View > Toolbars to activate it.

Arrange pages

With FlexiPDF, you can easily insert, move and delete pages. This is particularly convenient with the Thumbnails sidebar. To display it, select View > Thumbnails. Here you can now re-order pages with simple drag-and-drop. At the top of the thumbnails, you'll also find buttons to insert, delete, and rotate pages:

Create new PDF documents

FlexiPDF lets you not only edit existing PDFs, but also make new ones. You can create PDF files from any Windows application that has a print function.

Whether it is a web browser, an e-mail program or a business application, just select the "Print" command in the program and pick the "FlexiPDF" printer driver:

This won't create a print-out in the usual sense, but saves the current content into a PDF file that is then opened in FlexiPDF for further viewing and editing.

Images and drawings

With FlexiPDF you can insert, position and edit images and drawings just as easily as in a word processor. Insert new images with the command Object > Picture > Insert and create new drawings with the tools under Tools > Drawing.

If you activate the Drawing toolbar with View > Toolbars, things become even easier: this toolbar offers all drawing tools in one place and shows them permanently.

Tip: If you insert images straight from your mobile phone or digital camera, this often results in unnecessarily large PDF files. In case you want to create small PDFs for posting on the internet, reduce the quality of embedded images to save space. Select Object > Image > Resample to find numerous options to reduce file size.

Search and replace

Any free PDF reader finds text in a PDF file. FlexiPDF can do more, like search for text in a particular font or formatting... or make global replacements in several documents simultaneously... or replace a font with another font instantly.

Under Edit > Find & Replace > Find select "Font" to search only for text locations created with a specific formatting:

If you want to search multiple documents for a particular term, you can find the appropriate options under Edit > Find & Replace > Replace in Files.

It is just as easy to replace fonts. Click Edit > Find & Replace > Replace Font to open a dialog box that allows you to do just that.

Automatic text recognition (OCR)

Would you like to search your scanned documents for content? FlexiPDF Professional makes this possible. The built-in optical character recognition creates one-click searchable and editable PDF files from your documents.

You have two options: either you scan your documents directly into FlexiPDF, or you can open scanned documents and then perform OCR.

Scanning and OCR directly in FlexiPDF

To create documents in FlexiPDF from paper originals so you can search and edit the contents, run the command File > New > From Scanner:

Please make sure to check "Recognize Text (OCR)" and set the desired PDF style.

Text recognition in existing PDF files

If you already have a scanned PDF document that you would like to make searchable and editable, simply open it via File > Open and then run the OCR function, which is located under Document > Recognize Text (OCR).

Forms

With FlexiPDF you can fill both interactive and static forms.

If you have an interactive form, you can edit it using the Hand tool found on the Edit toolbar:

One click, and you can fill out text boxes, select entries from dropdown menus, and activate checkboxes.

FlexiPDF also provides a powerful way to fill in static forms, the Text Plus tool:

This tool automatically recognizes areas that represent input fields and lets you fill them as if you had an interactive form:

This unique feature is especially useful for the many PDF files used by organizations (such as public offices and government agencies) that are actually forms but are not created as PDF forms. Other PDF readers have to pass on this!

Your documents are secure

Protect your PDF files from unauthorized opening, editing, printing and copying of text. With AES encryption, your documents are secure. Under the menu item Document > Security, you will find numerous ways to secure your documents.

If you want to make parts of your document illegible ("blacked out"), FlexiPDF Professional is the right choice for you. To redact text, simply select the desired text areas using the text editing tool and click on "Redact Selected Text" in the Redact toolbar:

You can also redact images with the button to the right.

Please note: Once you have saved the final version of your document, these redacted areas can no longer be restored. You can pass on such a file without hesitation to third parties. Nobody will be able to reveal the redacted content.

Thank you!

We hope you have enjoyed our walkthrough of FlexiPDF. You can test FlexiPDF before you buy – download a free trial today here.

Enjoy using FlexiPDF!

 

29 comments

  • SoftMaker posted by SoftMaker
    Sunday, 24 September 2017 08:00

    Antony: Extracting just the comments to a text file is currently not possible. I will forward your suggestion to product management.

  • Antony M posted by Antony M
    Wednesday, 20 September 2017 08:43

    Dear Sir/Madame,
    I would like to ask if FlexiPDF Standard/Professional includes an automatic extraction of all highlighted comments/annotation from a PDF (e.g. xchange editor does that), to a .txt/doc ?
    Or is it required that I change the format to e.g. .doc for such actions ?
    Thank you.

  • SoftMaker posted by SoftMaker
    Thursday, 29 June 2017 07:23

    Michael: With FlexiPDF, you can edit all kinds of PDF documents maintaining the existing layout, also PDFs with headers and footers.

    You might want to try it yourself. You can download the free trial at http://www.softmaker.com/en/flexipdf-download

    The trial version of FlexiPDF offers the full feature set of FlexiPDF Professional 2017, but it adds watermarks to all edited pages.

  • Michael posted by Michael
    Thursday, 29 June 2017 06:21

    If I have PDF file with headers &/or footers will I be able to edit in Flexipdf maintaining the existing layout?

  • SoftMaker posted by SoftMaker
    Thursday, 22 June 2017 09:05

    Matthias: The integrated PDF printer driver lets you create PDF files from inside any Windows application which enables you to print.

    However, the PDF files created that way are always opened in FlexiPDF after creation. You can then use the GUI of FlexiPDF to save them in the desired location.

    Using the integrated PDF printer to save PDF files to a specific folder without any GUI is not possible with the current version of FlexiPDF.

  • Matthias posted by Matthias
    Tuesday, 20 June 2017 08:45

    Can I install FlexiPDF as a "save as pdf" printer so the Flexi PDF printer will save all print jobs to a PDF file in a specific folder?

  • SoftMaker posted by SoftMaker
    Wednesday, 25 January 2017 09:19

    EG Gordon: Yes, the OCR engine is available in the trial version of FlexiPDF, too. However, watermarks will be added to all pages created or edited with the trial version. This watermarks can then be removed by purchasing the full version of the software.

  • EG Gordon posted by EG Gordon
    Tuesday, 24 January 2017 16:49

    Does the trial version include the OCR engine?

  • SoftMaker posted by SoftMaker
    Thursday, 12 January 2017 08:38

    Manuel Schiller: We're currently discussing this topic with our developers.

    If you are interested in our future product development, you might want to subscribe to our free newsletter - it always keeps you up-to-date:

    http://www.softmaker.com/en/support/newsletter

  • Manuel Schiller posted by Manuel Schiller
    Wednesday, 11 January 2017 18:08

    This looks like something I might want to try. Will there be a Linux version at some point in the future?

    Thanks, Manuel

  • SoftMaker posted by SoftMaker
    Monday, 12 December 2016 14:16

    Jorge: This feature is not available in FlexiPDF 2017. However, you can use the web browser Google Chrome to convert web pages into PDF files with preserved hyperlinks. Just use the built-in feature "Save as PDF" to do so.

  • Jorge posted by Jorge
    Saturday, 10 December 2016 00:47

    Just read about FlexiPDF, and it sounds interesting. I have a question: Adobe Acrobat X has a feature to "convert" Web pages to PDF. This is different from the "print to PDF" function, which Acrobat also has. "Convert to PDF" often results in a better output than "print to PDF," and it also preserves clickable hyperlinks in the converted page.

    Does FlexiPDF include this "convert to PDF" feature?

  • SoftMaker posted by SoftMaker
    Wednesday, 07 December 2016 10:48

    Ralph Haines: With FlexiPDF, you can insert screenshots and text into PDF files. However, for editing the screenshot itself, an image editing program might be more suitable.

  • ralph haines posted by ralph haines
    Wednesday, 07 December 2016 03:21

    i have taken a screen shot of a page witch includes
    text,lines ,objects, boxes.
    all i wish to do on this screen shot is add text.
    can you help
    please advise
    regards
    ralph

  • SoftMaker posted by SoftMaker
    Tuesday, 06 December 2016 16:48

    Mikhail Ivanov: Yes, FlexiPDF is available with a Russian UI, too. Just select Russian as setup language, afterwards the user interface is also set to Russian.

    FlexiPDF is currently available in the following languages:
    Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Chinese (simplified), Chinese (traditional)

  • Mikhail Ivanov posted by Mikhail Ivanov
    Tuesday, 06 December 2016 06:14

    FlexiPDF is working with other languages: Russian and others?

  • SoftMaker posted by SoftMaker
    Monday, 05 December 2016 10:57

    Shankar: Yes, FlexiPDF can handle bookmarked, encrypted documents. FlexiPDF supports both 40-bit and 128-bit encryption, also supporting AES.

    The trial version of FlexiPDF offers the full feature set of FlexiPDF Professional 2017, but it adds watermarks to all edited pages.

  • Igor posted by Igor
    Monday, 05 December 2016 10:30

    thank you, it's a very informative article.

  • SoftMaker posted by SoftMaker
    Monday, 05 December 2016 08:48

    Fred Shepherd: You can scan a stack of documents, apply the OCR function to all pages and then save each page as a single PDF file via "Document > Pages > Extract". However, afterwards you'll have to rename the PDF files according to your invoice numbers.

    Feel free to try it yourself. You can download the free trial at http://www.softmaker.com/en/flexipdf-download

    Please note: This feature is only available in FlexiPDF Professional.

  • Shankar posted by Shankar
    Saturday, 03 December 2016 01:42

    Will it work on encrypted, bookmarked PDF files also?

    Will trial version works for certain period or certain pages or files only.

  • Fred Shepherd posted by Fred Shepherd
    Friday, 02 December 2016 17:21

    Can FlexiPDF scan a series of documents (invoices), OCR each one, and output the individual documents to separate PDF files using the invoice numbers as file names?

  • SoftMaker posted by SoftMaker
    Friday, 02 December 2016 15:51

    Brian: Yes, FlexiPDF enables you to re-number the pages of an existing PDF document.

    You can find a detailed tutorial on page 98 of the manual which you can download at http://www.softmaker.net/down/manual.pdf

    Please note: This feature is only available in FlexiPDF Professional.

  • SoftMaker posted by SoftMaker
    Friday, 02 December 2016 15:34

    Eric: Thank you for your suggestion to make a comparison between FlexiPDF and Qoppa PDF Studio. I'll forward it to the product management.

    With FlexiPDF, you can resize and crop pages with ease.

    Feel free to try it yourself. You can download the free trial at http://www.softmaker.com/en/flexipdf-download

  • SoftMaker posted by SoftMaker
    Friday, 02 December 2016 15:10

    Gordon Wellman: The passport application form you mentioned seems to be a static form as it's described in the article above.

    Thus, you can fill it in with FlexiPDF by using the "Text Plus" tool. FlexiPDF is one of the few PDF editors which offers a pretty convenient way to fill in such (static) forms.

    With FlexiPDF, you can also change the formatting of the text you inserted in the fields.

    Feel free to try it yourself. You can download the free trial at http://www.softmaker.com/en/flexipdf-download.

  • SoftMaker posted by SoftMaker
    Friday, 02 December 2016 14:25

    Charles Haynes: You can find a comparison table at http://www.softmaker.com/en/flexipdf-features.

    I'm curious since other customers asked for such a comparison, too (and couldn't find it on our website themselves).

    Do you think this table is too hard to find on our web? We'd appreciate to get a brief feedback as this helps us improving our website.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Brian posted by Brian
    Friday, 02 December 2016 12:09

    I need to add a page to an existing Pdf and retain and update the page numbers, i.e. add a page after page 25, and have the new page as number 26, and all the following pages readjusted to take account of this page. Can Flexi-PDF do this?

    Thanks.

  • Eric posted by Eric
    Friday, 02 December 2016 07:24

    Can you do a comparison between FlexiPDF and Qoppa PDF Studio? I use PDF Studio a lot but sometimes I get frustrated. #1 frustration, it cannot change the nominal dimensions of a page, so if someone has generated a PDF with messed up page sizes, and I want to make them all letter size, there's no direct way to do that. Can FlexiPDF change a page size?

  • Gordon Wellman posted by Gordon Wellman
    Friday, 02 December 2016 04:41

    I have a need to fill forms that are preformatted The ones that have a box or series of boxes of variable length where words have one box per character.

    DS-82 passport application is an example.

    Entering data and controlling the format in those forms is beyond most of the editors that I know.

    Is flexiPDF able to handle those forms?

  • Charles Haynes posted by Charles Haynes
    Thursday, 01 December 2016 22:45

    How can I compare the two versions of FlexiPDF?

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