Saturday, October 14, 2006

easyPDF to the Rescue

As the sun was coming up this morning, I found myself in dire straits because my Adobe Acrobat trial version had expired and I desperately needed to produce PDFs for the association's October 2006 newsletter.

I visited, hoping to buy a copy of the software online. I was so determined to finish this issue that I was even willing to spend a few hundred dollars just to get Acrobat. So you can just imagine my dismay when I learned that only a handful of countries can buy Acrobat online. Apparently, the rest of us have to go through resellers or distributors.

With the deadline hanging over my head, I couldn't afford to wait until Monday to contact the Philippine distributor. So I did a quick Google search for Word to PDF converters. After less than five minutes of searching and following links around, I managed to stumble across a product called easyPDF Printer Driver.

I downloaded their trial copy and by Jove, it worked like a charm! The resulting PDF was perfectly WYSIWYG, right down to the positions of text boxes, frames, images, headers, and footers.

From there, it was a no-brainer for me to pull out my credit card and plunk down $14.95 for a single user license. The license key appeared on screen right after the card transaction went through, so it was fairly short work thereafter to generate the PDFs with password protection on and content copying disabled (and also without the trial easyPDF watermark). By the time I emailed the files to our association webmaster, I felt like a huge weight had been taken off my shoulders. Whew!

I'm sure Adobe Acrobat has got a lot more features compared to easyPDF, but since I only need very basic Word-to-PDF conversion right now, easyPDF fits the bill perfectly, and costs only a fraction (less than 3.4%!!) of Adobe Acrobat.

Frankly, I can't remember a time when I've been this lucky with an impulse online purchase before... which is why I found the experience worth blogging about.

A few conclusions from this experience:

  • It's really true that when you're the brand leader, people will pay (and in fact will not think twice about paying) a premium for your product.
  • Even if you're the market leader, you can lose sales when your product isn't available for purchase at the time and place when people need to buy it.
  • Given how easy it is to find anything on the web, doing a quick Google search before you buy anything online can save you a whole lot of money.