Able2Extract Professional for Linux is a Complete Solution to Your PDF Needs

For a long time, I haven’t been able to find a good PDF editor for Linux, until I stumbled upon Able2Extract Professional a while ago. I know you can edit PDF files in LibreOffice Draw and Master PDF editor, but Able2Extract blows them out of the water in terms of features.

Able2Extract Professional is a commercial software with 7 days of free trial. It’s developed by Investintech.Inc and available on Linux (Deb and RPM package), macOS and Windows. The Linux version has been around since the end of 2012. The following is a list of features:

  • Convert PDF to all popular formats, including Excel, Word, CSV, AutoCAD, and ODT (Open Document Formats)
  • Batch convert multiple PDFs in one go
  • Batch create PDF files from multiple source files.
  • Edit PDF content, text, and paragraphs effortlessly in real-time
  • Fill out PDF forms, edit and create fillable PDF forms
  • Insert bates numbering
  • Extract PDF tables to Excel spreadsheets more accurately
  • Add a blank page to PDF
  • Split and merge PDF
  • Content redaction and annotation.
  • Use OCR to edit PDF files from scanned paper docs in English, German, French, or Spanish.
  • Encrypt and decrypt PDF documents on the fly
  • You can choose English, German, French, or Spanish for the user interface.
  • A modern ribbon-style tab menu toolbar.

With a price tag of 149.95 USD (lifetime license), it costs only a fraction of the price of Adobe Acrobat, if you are a long-time user. In this post, I will show you how to install Able2Extract on Linux and demonstrate its various features.

How to Install Able2Extract Professional on Debian/Ubuntu/Linux Mint

Installing Able2Extract on Debian/Ubuntu/Linux Mint is fairly easy. Simply download the Ubuntu version and use the apt package manager to install it. For example, if the package is downloaded to ~/Downloads/ directory, then open up a terminal window and run the following command:

sudo apt install ~/Downloads/InstallAble2ExtractPro.deb

If this package requires dependencies, apt will automatically install them.

install able2extract professional on ubuntu

Note that Able2Extract depends on the CUPS service to print documents, which by default is enabled on Ubuntu. But I disabled it in the past, so I need to start and enable this service again.

sudo systemctl start cups.service

sudo systemctl enable cups.service

Now you can start Able2Extract from application menu.

able2extract PDF editor linux

Upon first start, you need to accept the end-user license agreement.

able2extract professional PDF editor

Then you can click the Continue trial button to start the 7 day free trial.

able2extract 7 day free trial

You will be greeted with a simple and straightforward user interface.

able2extract ubuntu

How to Install Able2Extract Professional on Fedora/CentOS/RHEL

Download the Fedora version, then open up a terminal window and use dnf package manager to install it. For example, if the rpm package is downloaded to ~/Downloads/ directory. Then run the following command:

sudo dnf install ~/Downloads/InstallAble2ExtractPro.rpm

If this package requires dependencies, dnf will automatically install them.

install able2extract on fedora

How to Install Able2Extract Professional on OpenSUSE

OpenSUSE can install RPM packages, so you need to Download the Fedora version, then open up a terminal window and use the zypper package manager to install it. For example, if the rpm package is downloaded to ~/Downloads/ directory. Then run the following command:

sudo zypper install ~/Downloads/InstallAble2ExtractPro.rpm

If this package requires dependencies, dnf will automatically install them. If zypper tells you that the package is not signed, you can ignore the warning, because the package is downloaded directly from the developer’s website.

How to Use Able2Extract Professional

The Start Page

The start page is first introduced in version 14.2 and 15. It’s a dashboard where you can quickly get started on the PDF task at hand. You can quickly access your recent files, customize the user interface (switch between light mode and dark mode, change language and scale).  You can also take a guided tour to get familiar with software.

able2extract start page

Create a New PDF File

The process of creating a new PDF file is simple. First, click the File toolbar. Then select Create PDF. Next, you can choose to

  • create a PDF from an existing document, i.e, convert an image or Word document to PDF.
  • create a blank PDF document.

To add new content to your PDF file, click the Edit Document toolbar. Then you can add text, add shape, images (JPG, BMP, PNG, TIFF and GIF), etc to your PDF file. You can also easily delete objects from your page and redact your text to protect private information.

able2extract pdf editor for linux desktop

On the right sidebar, there are also options to choose font, font size, text color, and rotate your page. Once you are satisfied with your creation, click Save button on the toolbar and give it a filename. After closing Able2Extract, you can double-click your PDF file in file manager to open it in Evince PDF viewer.

Load Additional Fonts

By default, Able2extract professional can load fonts from /usr/ITech/Qt/5.3.1-31/x64_d_d_r/lib/fonts/ directory, which is symlinked to /usr/share/fonts/ system font directory. You can load additional fonts like Google web fonts in Able2Extract Professional. First, use TypeCatcher to install Google Web fonts on your system, then copy the Google web fonts to the system font directory.

Fonts downloaded by TypeCatcher are stored in ~/.fonts/typecatcher/ directory. I would first make a new sub-directory.

sudo mkdir /usr/share/fonts/myfonts/

Then copy the fonts downloaded by TypeCatcher. Replace username with your real username.

sudo cp /home/username/.fonts/typecatcher/*.ttf /usr/share/fonts/myfonts/

Restart Able2Extrac Professional and you should be able to choose the fonts you downloaded with TypeCatcher.

Editing Document Information

You can edit your document’s title, author, subject and keywords like below, which is accessible from Edit Document -> Document Properties toolbar.

PDF document properties

Secure Your PDF File

You can password-protect your PDF file by clicking Sign and Secure -> Encrypt in the toolbar. You can also choose to set up permissions for printing, copying, modifying, adding comments, allowing only low-quality printing, etc. This way you can limit the recipient’s options.

able2extract encrypt PDF file

Once you set a password, remember clicking the Save button. If you don’t want to password-protect it anymore, then open the PDF file in Able2Extract, click Sign and Secure -> Decrypt in the toolbar to remove password protection.

Annotation and Review

Dealing with PDF documents for business, research or academic purposes often requires interacting with the text. To add annotations, click the Review menu, then you can add sticky notes, hyperlinks, stamps, highlights, underlines, squiggly lines, strikethroughs, carets, attachments, and watermarks. Just click on one of the icons and then drag a rectangle around the desired text. On the right sidebar, you can also customize the color, adjust the opacity and easily jot down a note on it.

add squiggly lines to pdf text

Add squiggly lines to pdf text

highlight text in PDF file

Highlight text in PDF file

Redaction

Able2Extract allows you to permanently hide sensitive information from the PDF file. It’s capable of redacting individual sections, lines and entire page content. This tool is accessible via Edit Document -> Redact toolbar.

Add New Pages

To add new pages to your PDF file, click Edit Document toolbar, then click Insert Pages.

PDF insert blank pages

Add Bates Numbering

You can add pagination to PDF file by going to Edit Document -> Add Bate Numbering.

PDF add bates numbering

PDF Conversion

Able2Extract Professional users can convert their PDF files into several different file formats: MS Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Publisher, LibreOffice (Calc, Write and Impress), HTML, AutoCAD (DWG and DXF), CSV and Image formats (JPG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF).

For example, to convert a table in a PDF file to a spreadsheet, simply open your PDF file in Able2Extract, click the Convert tab, then click Select Page button on the right sidebar, use the mouse to select the table in the PDF file and click the Excel button on the toolbar to convert it to a spreadsheet. Note that if you have LibreOffice installed on your Linux machine, then the PDF table will be converted to .ods file by default, but you can choose the XLSX file format in the right sidebar.

convert PDF table to spreadsheet

You will be asked to choose between automatic conversion and custom conversion. If you don’t need to change the table structure, then choose automatic conversion.

convert pdf to excel

Able2Extract Professional’s major strength is the accuracy of converted documents, especially for complex conversions such as PDF to Excel and scanned (image) document conversion. These types of conversions have been difficult to perform with complete accuracy in the past.

OCR Technology

Able2Extract uses advanced OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology to convert even poorly scanned documents or electronically created files that contain damaged fonts.

The process of converting scanned (image) documents in Able2Extract Professional is the same as any native PDF conversion process. Once you open a PDF file, the application will, by default, automatically detect if the file is a scanned PDF or not. You can then convert them to the desired output format in the same manner.

The OCR engine can convert scanned PDF files in English, German, French and Spanish.

Getting Help

You can click the Help menu -> Help button in Able2extract and it will take you to a very detailed help guide in PDF format.

Conclusion

Able2Extract is a very good, feature-packed PDF tool available for Linux, macOS and Windows. As always, if you found this post useful, then subscribe to our free newsletter to get more tips and tricks.

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