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This week in PDF: Online PDF-to-Word service launched

November 20, 2008

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This week in PDF has seen the release of a free PDF-to-Word conversion service, the announcement of a PDF-based marking tool, the granting of a patent for a PDF collaboration solution, another release from Adobe, and a recap on a free Web-to-PDF service.

First up, Solid Documents has released a free online service for converting PDF files into Word documents.

"Solid Documents offers the best PDF to Word conversion in the industry and wants to change the way we allow people to test drive our technology," said Michael Cartwright, CEO of Solid Documents. "Now anyone can convert PDF files into Word documents from their web browser without downloading and installing our trial version."

The free service can be accessed online at freepdftoword.org.

In other news, Bali-based company Mitrais is developing an open source student assessment solution on behalf of ReMarksPDF Pty Ltd, a company established by the University of New England. The PDF-based system will be designed to be as versatile as possible. For example, a play can be marked by an electronic marking rubric stored on the system. Any student assessment that can be converted into PDF -- including media elements (video, audio, text etc) -- can be marked using the system. ReMarksPDF will provide students with feedback including audio and emoticons, legible comments and backed up copies of marked assignments as the basis of future student electronic portfolios. For more information, read the original press release.

Rosebud has been granted a patent for its unique collaboration method, "Method and Software for Enabling N-way Collaboration Work over the Network for Computers". The patent is the culmination of a 6½-year application process. In essence, Rosebud allows multiple users to concurrently annotate and work with multiple PDF documents. Rosebud ensures that all collaborators can follow the changes made by others in real-time. Rosebud is also platform-independent, which also permits collaboration across various platforms. The first offering based upon the Rosebud technology is called "Rosebud for PDF", a SaaS solution that plugs-into Adobe Acrobat and enables PDF documents to be presented, reviewed and edited among multiple participants, either concurrently or independently. For more on Rosebud, check out the official website.

Adobe has also released a new Platform-as-a-Service called Cocomo that enables developers to add collaboration features to applications. Adobe uses Cocomo in Acrobat 9 Reader 9 software, as well as Acrobat.com, to provide end users with access to real-time collaboration within and around PDF documents.

That's it for this week. Watch this space!

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