“PDF MultiTool” sounds like it’s going to be yet another PDF toolkit: the usual set of basic functions, none of which work very well, which only exists at all because the developer hopes you’ll install its assorted toolbars.
But no: this really is different. There’s no adware here, no toolbars or similar irritations, and the feature list includes plenty of interesting extras which you’ll rarely find elsewhere.
PDF MultiTool opens as a simple viewer. Open a PDF and you can page through it, zoom in or out, rotate pages, search for text and more.
A left-hand pane organises the program’s more interesting functions into a tree, with three main sections.
“Data Extraction” has tools to extract text, embedded images, attachments and XFA form data from the selected area, the current page or the entire document.
That’s just the start. PDF MultiTool can also extract text from image files (via OCR) as well as regular documents, optionally trim spaces, align text columns to any header, or unwrap lines, before exporting the results as TXT, CSV, XML, XLS or XFDF, and saving the results as a file or copying them to the clipboard.
It’s a similar story in the “Conversion” section, where PDF MultiTool converts documents to images or HTML. As well as supporting some less common formats (GIF, multipage TIFF, EMF as well as JPG, BMP, PNG etc), it gives detailed control over compression methods, DPI, even CSS usage (there’s an option to convert HTML controls to plain text).
The “Utilities” section is more familiar, with tools to display document metadata, rotate, split or merge files. But even here there are a few extras, including the ability to make a PDF document searchable via OCR. This didn’t work well for us, but results will vary according to your source material, and it’s good to have the option available.
We noticed one or two issues, most obviously with a tool to automatically detect PDF tables, which was almost entirely useless on our test documents.
PDF MultiTool mostly worked well, though — particularly when extracting text — and there are more than enough interesting and unusual extras here to justify the download.