Paddle Mini PDF Bundle – Cheap, but is it worth your money?

We all like a bargain, and PDF software is usually not cheap, so when a nice discount comes along, it’s worth to take a look. 

Paddle, the bundler of Mac applications and design resources has a PDF mini bundle for $4. It includes two applications:

I am always interested in learning about new PDF tools, so I spent some time to see if these two applications are worth the money.

The applications certainly look interesting: 

PDF Protector

This tool is marketed as a simple tool to help you to protect and unprotect PDF documents. And it certainly does protect and unprotect files, but what you end up with is certainly not your document anymore. You may remember my post about how the Mac OS Preview application destroys PDF files. PDF Protector is built on the same technology as Preview, so when you protect your PDF file, the same damage is done as would be if you would save the file in Preview. This means that interactive elements and multi-media content will get corrupted. I’ve tried to protect a file that started out as a 350KB file containing form fields, JavaScript and video content. After running it through the PDF Protector – which overrides the original file without warning, just like Preview – I ended up with a file that was “squeezed” to 61KB. And of course, all that interactive content that I added was either gone, or got corrupted. 

PDF Squeezer

The PDF Squeezer is designed to reduce “the file size of large PDF documents.”, and it is doing that by “compressing images and removing irrelevant information”. The software allows you to specify a target resolution for images. In theory, this sounds good, but again, it uses the same technology as Preview, and it causes the same problems as Preview and PDF Protector. My sample PDF file (the same as used for PDF Protector) does not contain images, and I ended up with a file that was about 76% smaller – but interestingly enough the result was bigger than the file produced by PDF Protector (82KB).

The only redeeming quality of the PDF Squeezer is that it does not overwrite the original document – the user has to click on the “Save” or “Save As” button.

The Verdict

Don’t waste your money, save yourself four bucks and keep on looking for good and cheap PDF software. 

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