In the past I have posted about PDF tools and handling PDF forms. On Linux you can do a lot without expensive proprietary software, but that may be a bit of a cumbersome job, also requiring commandline actions. Now I have come across a very nifty program which simply includes virtually all available tools in an easy-to-use GUI. Its name is Master PDF Editor and it is a case of ‘from Russia with love‘. Let’s have a quick look.
Master PDF Editor is made by Code Industry, based in the big city of Voronezh, Russian Federation, a centre of engineering, electronics and food industry. Including software development apparently. It comes in three major flavours, for Windows, Mac or Linux. For each there is a free version if you only incidently have to perform simple tasks, and a commercial version in case you are PDF-ing all day and in need of the full load of features. Since the price is just under € 50 going commercial will not be a big deal anyway.
What are the features of the Linux edition? Mainly three things:
Editing PDF documents: adding, deleting or changing text, changing layout, inserting images etc., and it can also convert a PDF document, extract pages or content etc.
Annotating PDF documents: inserting or editing comments, adding stamps, highlighting etc.
Filling in PDF forms: just what it says, without any hassle.
And of course OCR capabilities are included. The backend used for OCR is Tesseract, which is available from the main repositories of all main distros. And probably the best open-source tool for this purpose.
Finally, you could even use Master PDF Creator to just read a PDF document.
Master PDF Editor has an extensive manual for download – as a PDF, of course.
Installation on Linux is a manual job, but simple. Go to the website and download the package appropriate to your distro: *.deb for Debian, Ubuntu, LinuxMint etc., *.rpm for RedHat, Fedora, CentOS, SuSE etc., or the *.tar.gz tarball if you need to compile from source. Use your distro’s package installer, or the commandline commands for DEB or RPM, as you prefer. Pretty straightforward and the integration within the Linux desktop is done very neatly.
So, keep PDF-ing!