Lightning PDF is an Avanquest product that provides economical software to convert PDFs into multiple formats, including Microsoft Office, image and text formats, and EPUB. While it lacks some advanced tools found in the best PDF editors, its ability to recognize and edit multiple languages sets it apart.
You can drag and drop PDFs into the PDF editor, but it opens each in its own separate program. If you wish to combine files, you need to add the files individually. Other PDF creators we reviewed drag and drop into the same program as tabs or windows, making it easy to organize, combine and manipulate individual PDFs. You can also convert documents to PDF by using the Print button in other programs and selecting Print to Lightning PDF. It also has OCR to convert scanned documents into files you can search and edit.
You can make changes to the text. It keeps the formatting you have in that text box if it’s in a font it recognizes. Otherwise, it reverts to the default font. You can delete and rewrite existing text, but you cannot alter it. The word-processing capabilities are sparse ??? you can type in the basic fonts; bold, italicize and underline words; and change sizes, but not colors. However, it does edit in sixteen different languages, a great advantage if you work with PDFs in multiple languages.
You can add images, watermarks and digital signatures as well as make comments and other editing markups. However, this software does not have a redact-text tool to search out and delete specific information. This feature, important for businesses that deal with sensitive information, lets you create a sanitized version of a document for distribution to people outside your office or business. It also lacks the Bates numbering feature, which is essential for working with legal documents.
While it doesn’t save to some of the less popular file formats, like XML or CSV, it does convert PDFs to Microsoft Office files, image formats, TXT and RTF. It stands out from many of the other convert PDF software we reviewed in that it converts to EPUB as well. This popular format for electronic books makes this an especially useful software for publishers or businesses who want to offer eBooks as part of their marketing campaign. It compresses files for faster loading on the web or email, but it does not optimize for mobile devices, nor does it save as PDF/A, which is the standard for archiving PDFs.
Customer support consists of a third-party system that sometimes directs you to tutorials or answers for other programs. The live chat was not operating during its stated hours, and the phone numbers were not to technical support. There is a user guide, however.
Lightning PDF has several features that set it apart from the other PDF conversion software we reviewed. Specifically, it can convert to EPUB and edit over 16 languages. It has the basic conversion and editing features and is straightforward. However, it lacks some advanced features, like text redaction and Bates numbering. As such, it’s a good software for general businesses that deal with multilingual documents.