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Dazmondo77

Can anyone recommend an acrobat pro alternative?

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I'm a Mac user who has no choice but to use El Capitan as I need to use illustrator cs5 to plug the gaps of all the stuff that Designer doesn't currently do - but as theres light at the end of the tunnel, I would like to move to Mojave at some point but have the main hold back of Acrobat pro 9.5.5 and X being 32bit applications (so not Mojave compatible) - so just wondering if anyone can recommend an alternative that does all the print stuff - Check separations and ink density, Verify PDF/X standards conformance and all that, also with the ability to print nice sharp vectors and text to postscript printers for proofing purposes (something Affinity doesn't currently do), I've been searching around and theres loads of alternatives that do all the forms stuff, text edits, annotations, pdf merging, but I can't seem to find anything that will do the really important, piece of mind stuff before I send a pdf off the printers, apart from Calls PDF toolbox which is around £500  


Mac Pro Cheese-grater (Early 2009)
2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
48 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC Ram
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 - 2 GB
Ugee 19" Graphics Tablet Monitor
Mac OS 10.11.6 El Capitan

Affinity Designer, Photo and Publisher 1.7.1 + Betas when available

Binger.jpg.1f81574106cc2dea8ae65d0a572b9ef9.jpg
www.bingercreative.co.uk

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24 minutes ago, Dazmondo77 said:

32bit applications (so not Mojave compatible)

Mojave runs 32-bit applications but complains about it to alert the user that the next version will not run them.

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1 hour ago, Dazmondo77 said:

...but I can't seem to find anything that will do the really important, piece of mind stuff before I send a pdf off the printers, apart from Calls PDF toolbox which is around £500  

I'm afraid pdfToolbox is the only alternative. The maker, callas, is who licenses its technology to Adobe for Acrobat.

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Damn - in that case I hope Serif continues to develop for El Capitan as I'm gonna have to stick with Acrobat 9.5.5 which works great in El Capitan  - wish I could afford pdftoolbox - shame they can't do a trimmed down version for skint freelancers


Mac Pro Cheese-grater (Early 2009)
2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
48 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC Ram
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 - 2 GB
Ugee 19" Graphics Tablet Monitor
Mac OS 10.11.6 El Capitan

Affinity Designer, Photo and Publisher 1.7.1 + Betas when available

Binger.jpg.1f81574106cc2dea8ae65d0a572b9ef9.jpg
www.bingercreative.co.uk

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Take a look on https://www.qoppa.com/pdfstudio - I own the older Pro version and coming from Acrobat Pro X I am quite happy with it, although I am not sure if it does really everything you mentioned. You can try yourself the free trial here: https://www.qoppa.com/pdfstudio/download and at the moment they have promos 25 % Valentine discount + next version for free with purchase. Just note that it requires Java (at least the older version I own).

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Checking PDF's before I sent them off to the printers is something I've done for around 15 years, it's just a piece of mind thing just to check for errors and make sure spot colours and stuff are all intact - I can't imagine sending to printers without - it's flagged loads of potential errors over the years, stuff like missing spot colours, blacks with an ink density over 300% and vectors that rasterise - all easy fixes, can't believe theres nothing out there to plug the gap at a reasonable price 


Mac Pro Cheese-grater (Early 2009)
2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon
48 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC Ram
NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 - 2 GB
Ugee 19" Graphics Tablet Monitor
Mac OS 10.11.6 El Capitan

Affinity Designer, Photo and Publisher 1.7.1 + Betas when available

Binger.jpg.1f81574106cc2dea8ae65d0a572b9ef9.jpg
www.bingercreative.co.uk

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1 hour ago, Dazmondo77 said:

all easy fixes, can't believe theres nothing out there to plug the gap at a reasonable price 

I agree, it seems strange to me as well that no one seems to be filling this rather glaring hole in the market.

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As @fde101 says, 32-bit applications do run under Mojave, although I can't myself check the performance of your versions of Acrobat Pro or Illustrator.

One thing to consider, though, is that if you're using the Mid 2009 MacBook Pro listed in your profile, it's not Mojave compatible. Even Sierra and High Sierra won't run: I'm pretty sure El Cap is the end of the line.

I don't know if it's any help but there's also Markzware FlightCheck. It's not free, but it looks a bit less expensive than PDF Toolbox. I haven't used it myself.


Affinity Photo 1.6.7, Affinity Designer 1.6.1

Various betas

macOS 10.14

MacBook Air

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I've been researching this exact same issue for a while now and tried everything! except Callas because this starving artist will never be loaded with money enough for that! lol It's a ridiculous omission and almost absurd that more companies aren't trying to get in on this. I wish Callas had a 'lite' version.  For separations, right now I take my file over to Scribus to do color separations and it does them fine but I'm not sure it can do them as advanced as you need. But it's free and open source so you wouldn't lose out to try! Good luck! And if you do run across a solution, PLEASE let us know!

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3 minutes ago, Pariah73 said:

I've been researching this exact same issue for a while now and tried everything! except Callas because this starving artist will never be loaded with money enough for that! lol It's a ridiculous omission and almost absurd that more companies aren't trying to get in on this.

Any company can likely license callas technology and roll it into their pdf software like Adobe does. But I doubt they will.

Professional software costs money. If someone makes money from their work, it's mainly the initial cost that hurts. Upgrades are $199 if I recall. pdfToolbox also does imposition so there is that...

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2 minutes ago, MikeW said:

Any company can likely license callas technology and roll it into their pdf software like Adobe does. But I doubt they will.

Professional software costs money. If someone makes money from their work, it's mainly the initial cost that hurts. Upgrades are $199 if I recall. pdfToolbox also does imposition so there is that...

What I find difficult to understand is that Callas is the only game in town as far as the particular features the OP is looking for.  And nobody is saying they want it for free. While that's always nice, for something like that, most people expect to pay but not all of us can afford Adobe prices and Callas prices. I'm happy for anyone who can, naturally.

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22 minutes ago, Pariah73 said:

What I find difficult to understand is that Callas is the only game in town as far as the particular features the OP is looking for.  And nobody is saying they want it for free. While that's always nice, for something like that, most people expect to pay but not all of us can afford Adobe prices and Callas prices. I'm happy for anyone who can, naturally.

I imagine that the market is relatively small. If you want sticker shock, there is an add-on for Acrobat that many/most professional print establishments use and is far more capable. 

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oh trust me, the market for us starving artists is by no means small :D Companies are really missing out by not competing more with Adobe on this. I have some alternatives to try out but I'm annoyed at having to sign up for a free trial. Erg. When I'm done being salty about that, I'll try them out and hopefully find a cheaper alternative to Adobe for color seps. @Dazmondo77  In the meantime, though, Scribus works just fine for me and it happens to be free. Not sure if it meets the needs of the OP, though.

 

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6 hours ago, Jens Krebs said:

Enfocus Connect

Pitstop is also $$$ and looks like it requires Acrobat but Connect has a "Connect You" version for a single user that is $149 for a permanent license and that looks like it might do the trick at a much more reasonable price than most of the rest of what is out there...  I will need to experiment with the demo later when I have some time.  That one might have some potential.

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I had similar problems and needed to move away from Adobe Acrobat.

I tried several possible alternatives none of which completely matched the abilities of AA.

Eventually I settled on this:

PDFpenPro

Smile offer a Free Trial period so there is nothing to lose by giving it a whirl?

Best regards,

G

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1 hour ago, Gelphyn said:

PDFpenPro

This does not appear to have ANY of the functionality being requested:

 

On 2/20/2019 at 8:15 AM, Dazmondo77 said:

Check separations and ink density, Verify PDF/X standards conformance and all that

 

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1 hour ago, AffinityAppMan said:

Check out PDF Elements on the Mac.

Again, does not appear to do ANY of the things being asked for here.  All about editing, signing, etc. - nothing on that page suggests it can do separations, ink density checks, standards compliance validation...

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After trying LOTS of PDF programs, I can say I haven't found a single one that does color seps. Tried PDF Exchange, PDFSam, PDF Architect, Bullzip, Sumatra, PDF Creator, PDFill (which had the best value -$20- for pro if you can deal with the hideous interface) Foxit Reader (trial of Phantom PDF) Nitro..there's some more that I can't remember. Only program I've discovered is Callas PDF uh..something..anyhow it's just as expensive as AA. Horribly neglected field of software IMO. I ended up creating a PDF in AD, then handing that off to Scribus for color separations. Not perfect but it works.

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