Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Geek frustrations

A long time ago, I bought Adobe Acrobat 5.0. Worked great for converting Microsoft Office files to PDF. Then my system crashed, and I didn't reinstall MS Office because OpenOffice had native PDF export capability. I upgraded Adobe Reader to 8.X, and have been keeping up with the updates like any good citizen. Up until a few weeks ago, I could open files in Acrobat 5.0 if I needed to make some changes to a PDF file that I got from someone else.

This morning, I tried to do that. I needed to delete a blank page out of a PDF file report. So I tried "open with Acrobat 5.0" from Windows Explorer. It opened in Reader 8.0. Then I tried going into my Program Files and opening Acrobat 5.0 manually. It opened Acrobat 8.0. What the hell!

OpenOffice 3.0, which is currently in beta, is supposed to have the ability to import PDF files into Draw, edit capabilities, and then export ability in a hybrid file that should work. That seems like a temporary solution. What we need is an open source program that can manipulate PDF formatted files natively.

Help is on the way. GNUpdf is under development. Let's hope it doesn't take that long.

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