Review: PDFill lets you tweak PDFs any which way

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder PDFill

    PCWorld Rating

    PDFill provides a variety of options for PDF files, including encrypt, merge, and split.

PDFill is a remarkably full-featured PDF freebie. As well as the usual splitting, merging, encrypting, rotating, etc, it also has considerable other features, such as converting a PDF to an image, converting images to PDF (great if you do a lot of scanning), adding headers and footers, and converting postscripts into a PDF.

PDFill is very clear about telling you what your options are.

In a default installation, a PDF button appears inside Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel to start PDFill directly. You can also insert the same button into the Internet Explorer browser, and into the Quick Launch and SendTo functions of Windows. If you go this route, it integrates very tightly into your system, becoming the go-to program for any PDF editing needs. These options are voluntary, and you can easily de-select them at installation.

PDFill's nag screen isn't fun, but it does warn you about the upcoming watermark if you don't pay $20 for PDFill Editor.

PDFill consists of Editor, Writer, and Tools. Editor, whose interface resembles Microsoft Word 2003, is the paid $20 version of PDFill. If you decide not to buy it, Editor remains fully functional, but it stamps a watermark on any file it touches. PDFill Editor provides a variety of pro-level functions such as creating form fields; writing, drawing, or highlighting pages in a PDF; and exporting and importing form data; as well as the usual PDF file management tools of cropping, rotating, converting, and so on.

PDFill Writer creates PDF files by attaching itself to your PC printer function. When you want to create a PDF, select CTRL + P to open your printer dialog box then drop the box down and choose the PDFill Writer option.

PDFill Tools provides even more editing tools, some of which overlap with the paid editor. This includes merging, splitting, watermarks, rotating, cropping and much more.

The watermark that PDFill leaves on PDFs made with unregistered software might make it hard to appreciate some documents.

PDFill packs a punch when it comes to PDF editing functions, and the free version is fine for anyone who doesn't mind watermarks. That said, the $20 pro version is a really good deal, considering the features that you get.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    PDFill provides a variety of options for PDF files, including encrypt, merge, and split.

    Pros

    • Powerful software available for free, with a watermark
    • PDF button can be placed integrate with browser or Microsoft Office apps

    Cons

    • You get three programs installed to your PC, with no option to pick and choose
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