Installation & Setup
Like PDF Create 4, the installation and setup could not have been easier. However, this remark also has to be qualified. Yes, the installation was easy, but only to a point. That is, the initial steps were trouble-free and used pleasant- and professional-looking dialog boxes. This made for a good experience that tended to build confidence. The functionality of these initial steps was also straightforward and the process went smoothly--at least initially.
The following was performed using a secure computer with no Internet connectivity. It was assumed that this was a worst-case scenario that would reveal the most about the installation and setup.
Once the initial stages are complete, the final stages quickly become a nightmare. In order to complete the installation, one soon discovers that they have to go to the Nuance website to retrieve an 18-character serial number that is not accessible unless one has their order number handy. After obtaining the serial number, the user is asked to type it into a dialog box. More often than not, this causes the appearance of an “invalid number" warning. This is because the character system used on the Nuance website microscopically distinguishes between a zero and the capital letter “O." Thus, absent a strike-through zero, an “O" looks like a zero and vice versa. This wreaks havoc on the user until the correct combination of zeros/Os can be typed in. As a result, the installation process is stalled. However, once the user makes it through this, there’s another surprise in store: the user is then asked to produce a 60-character activation key, which of course requires another trip back to the Nuance website. But in order to obtain the activation key, the user has to type in their serial number again. This is not a happy prospect, especially if the user has to go through the process of figuring out the correct number of zeros/Os a second time. At any rate, all of this could have been avoided if Nuance hadn’t over-managed the process in the first place. Not only that, but they could have at least put a standard “Print this page" message on their website with a short procedure so that the user knew what they were getting into and could prepare adequately. Lastly and to make matters worse, this same nightmare has been replicated on Nuance’s other products, in particular PDF Converter’s sister product PDF Create 4, reviewed elsewhere on this site.