Home Reviews Kofax Power PDF Software Review: Better Known As PDF Tank

Kofax Power PDF Software Review: Better Known As PDF Tank

by Ryder Lund
Kofax Nuance PDF Reader Review

Formerly known as Nuance Power PDF, Kofax’s Power PDF software was designed with business users in mind, putting emphasis on features like file conversion and OCR. Kofax took over Nuance Power PDF in February of 2019 in an acquisition, so it is more than likely that you have already encountered this software under its previous brand. Today we will be reviewing Kofax Power PDF, covering its features and performance, as we have put it through its paces with our standardized PDF editor tests.

Pricing, Availability, and Compatibility

Kofax Power PDF can be purchased for use on Windows and macOS, but there is a differentiation here in terms of available versions. As of now, Windows supports both Kofax Power PDF Standard and Power PDF Advanced, while the macOS version supports just the Power PDF Standard. There are no subscription options right from the get-go, and you can purchase a permanent, unlimited use license only. The Power PDF Standard versions, both for Windows and macOS will set you back US$129, while the Power PDF Advanced version (only for Windows) costs US$179. The interesting thing here is that the Standard versions for Windows and macOS are not the same. Standard Windows version lacks text and graphics redaction, as well as advanced formatting for stamping, while the macOS comes with those features right out of the box. The Advanced version has the benefit of being able to view protected PDFs and apply security properties to PDFs using Microsoft Active Directory or Azure Rights Management Services (RMS).

Once installed on a Windows machine, the Kofax Power PDF Standard takes up 900MB, while the Advanced version requires 1,1GB of drive space. The macOS version requires just under 1GB of drive space, which is completely reasonable.

In terms of system requirements, nothing special to see here, you can run Kofax Power PDF, as well as any other PDF editor on a really low-end machine as long as it meets these specs:

  • A computer with an Intel® Pentium® 4 or higher processor (or equivalent)
  • 512 MB of memory (RAM), 1 GB recommended
  • 1000 MB of free hard disk space for application files plus 50 MB working space during installation

Supported operating systems:

  • macOS 10.13 and above
  • Windows 10 (32-bit and 64-bit editions)
  • Windows 8.1 (32-bit and 64-bit Editions)
  • Windows 7 (32-bit or 64-bit Editions) with Service Pack 1
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1, 2012 R2, 2016, 2019 (Citrix, AD, WTS) (applies to Power PDF Advanced Volume only)

The best place to purchase Kofax Power PDF is the official website, as this ensures that you are getting the latest version of the software without any median in between you and the company.

Features, Single and Multi-File Management

Kofax Power PDF will appear quite familiar and appealing right from first sight, that is, if you have used Microsoft Office tools previously. The ribbon-style interface is clear and well-thought-out, making it easy to find your way around within the first couple of minutes of use. There is even the little search box in the top right corner of the ribbon where you can search for a specific tool that you need instead of clicking for it among the ribbon tabs.

A strong emphasis was put on providing in-app connections to popular file sharing and collaboration services such as Sharepoint, Documentum, Dropbox, iManage, Evernote, and more. The integration of these services into the software itself is not obligatory by any means, but it is a nice little time-saver if you need to collaborate with other individuals and there are plenty of options to choose from.

Being one of the most potent Adobe Acrobat competitors, it comes as no surprise that all of the basic tasks perform flawlessly. The overall feel and performance of Kofax Power PDF are excellent as everything is responsive and you always know what the program is actually doing. Here are some screenshots of the workflow of the most basic tasks within Kofax Power PDF:

Delete One or Multiple Pages

Delete One or Multiple Pages

Extract One or Multiple Pages

Extract One or Multiple Pages

Insert One or Multiple Pages

Insert One or Multiple Pages

Text Editing

Text Editing

We were particularly fond of Kofax’s ability to recognize text and other objects, offering editing tools straight out in the pop-out box. The process is quick and seamless.

Deleting Text

Deleted Text

Image editing is done almost at the same level of convenience, though we did need to acknowledge the image as an object before being given the tools to actually edit the image:

Image Editing Workflow

Image Editing Workflow

Image Editing Tools

Image Editing Tools

As you can see, the workflow of all of these tasks is as simple and efficient as possible. When paired with a familiar user interface such as the one of Kofax Power PDF this is all really simple to do.

Batch processing is also an option in Kofax Power PDF, although it is somewhat hidden out of the highlights. There are plenty of options to customize and adjust batch processing tasks and these perform quite well:

Batch Processing Options

Batch Processing Options

Let’s move towards some of the more demanding and niche tasks, such as comparing documents. This is a tool slowly finding its way in more PDF editors, but not many execute it well enough. Kofax, on the other hand, features an awesome compare document tool that surpasses even that of Acrobat, as it performs much more responsive. The preview of edits and changes is clear and easy to navigate through:

Compare Workflow

Compare Workflow

Compare Results - Moved Image

Compare Results – Moved Image

Compare Results - Cheeky Text Edit

Compare Results – Cheeky Text Edit

Compare Results - Object Removal

Compare Results – Object Removal

This makes Kofax Power PDF suitable for enterprise and legal use, where there might be a strong demand for comparing contracts often, where it is critical to get the most accurate results with a clear preview of the changes that have been done to the document.

In terms of user interface customization, Kofax Power PDF gives you an option to modify the quick access toolbar, located on the top left of the tool ribbon. You can change its position from the top to the bottom of the ribbon and add as many commands as your horizontal resolution allows you to. Not the most featured user interface customization, but definitely a welcome addition to the feature set.

Quick Access Toolbar Customization

Quick Access Toolbar Customization

Signing and authorizing documents within Kofax Power PDF has been done up to par with the industry’s standards, closely following Adobe’s solution. These signatures can be formatted as visible or invisible, but the key point here is that they carry some weight to them. A valid digital ID is necessary in order to sign the document in Kofax Power PDF and it can be encrypted up to SHA256 RSA algorithm, as seen below:

Signature Certificate Properties

Signature Certificate Properties

Current Certifications, Standards, and Regulations

Kofax Power PDF is fully involved in compliance with PDF/A, PDF/X, and PDF/E standards, making it a valid choice of PDF editor for any kind of enterprise use. The included Compliance Checker tool will enable you to check whether or not the document you want to check has all of the necessary certificates as described. You can go through PDF/A-1a, PDF/A-1b, PDF/A-2a, PDF/A-2b, PDF/A-2u, PDF/A-3a, PDF/A-3b, and PDF/A-3u. The PDF/X standard is supported as PDF/X-1a, PDF/X-3, PDF/X-4, PDF/X-4p, PDF/X-5g, and PDF/X-5pg. Finally, the Kofax Power PDF also allows you to check for compliance within the PDF/E-1 standard.

In terms of security certificates, there are two main features here, self-signed certificates and CA-certificates. The self-signed certification is used to send files between two individuals that trust each other, so no CA (Certificate Authority) is required. The CA-certificates are intended to be applied when files are shared between two or more people who do not know or trust each other to the fullest extent, acting as a third party for file transfers.

What Does Kofax Power PDF Do Best?

After our thorough testing, we can say that Kofax Power PDF is the best PDF editor if you need to compare documents on a daily basis. The precision and convenience at which this software performs comparisons are second to none. Subjective impressions aside, facts indicate that it does this faster than Acrobat Pro DC while following closely in terms of other features.

Conclusion

Kofax Power PDF is a powerful PDF editor that will not leave you asking for more in any scenario. It performs basic and advanced tasks swiftly and correctly. We did not experience a single issue with this software and recommend it wholeheartedly for enterprise use, as it is also packed with certification features and complies with a wide variety of PDF industry standards. Individual users can also benefit strongly by using Kofax Power PDF, at least those looking for a permanent license. We would imagine that not everybody requires a PDF editor for at least three years, which is the sweet spot where investing in Kofax Power PDF surpasses Acrobat DC Pro’s annual payment model. As a long-term solution, Kofax Power PDF is definitely one of the best programs in this category for both individual and enterprise users.