The legal industry is driven by documents. As such, the preparation of legal documents needs to be fast, and it needs to be done right. A while back, I wrote a blog post about the use of Debenu PDF Aerialist with Acrobat for legal professionals, but it’s helpful to look at how Aerialist compares with a competing product in the space: TRS ToolBox Legal Edition.
First things first, the two products are both plug-ins for Acrobat, so that program is needed regardless. One of the interesting differences between ToolBox and Aerialist is the courses of their development. ToolBox (first as ISIToolBox and now as TRS ToolBox) has been around in one form or another for more than a decade, with more and more features added over time. Despite this incremental expansion of functionality, very little has been removed from the product in that time. Since Acrobat has also added significant functionality during that span, there are now marked functional overlaps between the two pieces of software.
By contrast, Debenu PDF Aerialist has been built from the ground up to work in concert with Acrobat without feature bloat or redundancy. Like ToolBox, Aerialist has been built using a mature and growing technology base. Unlike ToolBox, Aerialist has kept pace with Acrobat’s increasing feature-set to remain a perfect complement to that fundamental PDF application. When features become redundant due to the addition of core Acrobat functionality, they are removed or expanded in Aerialist. Perhaps the most intriguing part of this equation for shrewd purchasing officers is that Debenu also doesn’t charge for these redundant features, which accounts for significant unit savings, when compared with TRS ToolBox Legal Edition. We also don’t expect potential users to simply take our word for it, and have always offered a fully-functional, 14-day free trial of Aerialist.
While I’ve already addressed functionality in broad strokes, it’s worth looking at key features in detail:
- Easily create bookmarks and hyperlinks. Aerialist can create bookmarks or links based on keywords, headings, fonts, tables of contents, page references, PDFs, settings files, or folder locations.
- Manage, validate and audit links and bookmarks. In Aerialist, links and bookmarks can be configured, viewed, audited and validated in bulk. This functionality also allows users to repair bookmarks and links.
- Access a palette of publishing tools. Aerialist features rich functionality for splitting, merging, stamping, and watermarking PDFs. Aerialist can split by page range, bookmarks, or page marks. Meanwhile, merging can be conducted either manually or according to a control file. Users can also add page numbers, letterheads, headers and footers, logos, or a range of dynamic stamps (including Bates numbers).
- Redact content. Acrobat features strong support for redacting or censoring sensitive content. Users can remove the desired content manually or automatically via keyword, key-phrase or pattern-recognition (i.e., credit card details, phone numbers, social security numbers, email addresses or dates). Acrobat can also sanitize a document by removing sensitive information that may not be visible, including metadata, hidden or obscured content, or stored form data.
- Enhance the quality of PDF files. Acrobat features sophisticated optical character recognition (OCR) functionality, can enhance scanned images, and reduce PDF file size for easy transmission.
- Easily extract text and images from PDF files. Acrobat natively supports the extraction of PDF content by either manually selecting text and/or images. Acrobat can also convert entire PDFs as into a range of editable formats.
- Leverage the flexibility of named destinations. Aerialist users can easily create, manage or modify bookmarks and links in bulk. Further, intelligent splitting and merging functionality is set by default to automatically preserve or update links and bookmarks regardless of re-pagination.
So, with all of that in mind, I think you are left with five key reasons for choosing Aerialist:
- Price. First and foremost, Aerialist is more economical than TRS ToolBox. For a single license, TRS ToolBox Legal Edition weighs in at $750, while Debenu PDF Aerialist is a mere $495.
- Lack of redundancy. Both Aerialist and ToolBox are Acrobat plug-ins, but while Aerialist has been crafted to work elegantly with Acrobat, ToolBox still includes obsolete features that are now natively supported by Acrobat.
- Complements Acrobat. Aerialist has a demonstrated ability to keep up with changes to Acrobat, while TRS ToolBox still includes bloated, redundant features. Since past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour, Aerialist is more likely to stay in step with Acrobat going forward.
- Free trial. While both vendors offer pre-sales support, there is only a free, fully-featured trial version available for Aerialist. Given the important role of the product chosen, this allows potential customers to properly stress-test the product under real-world conditions.
- Feature parity. While they present and implement their functionality in different ways, both product offerings offer the key features needed to facilitate document preparation in the legal sector. While this isn’t a reason to choose Aerialist as such, it is a reason to consider it on an equal footing with ToolBox.
That’s all from me for now. If you would like to try Debenu PDF Aerialist there is a 14-day free trial.