Tomahawk PDF+ offers a free PDF-capable word processor | Download Product Review - CNET

Tomahawk PDF+ offers a free PDF-capable word processor

Create and extract PDFs with this freeware version of Tomahawk Gold.

When we reviewed Tomahawk Gold from NativeWinds, we found it to be a very good integrated PDF and word processing program: fast, light, and portable, yet ready for business. Tomahawk PDF+ ("PDF Plus") is a freeware version of Tomahawk Gold. Some of the premium tool's features are disabled in PDF+. For example, it can create PDFs and convert documents to PDF, but it can't open PDFs created by some other programs, including Adobe PDFs. However, it can extract data from many of those documents with its PDF Extractor and Image Manager.

PDF+'s user interface is basically the same as Tomahawk Gold's, and it's as well-executed an example of a contemporary word processing application as we could name, with detachable toolbars, semitransparent windows, and highlighted menu bar entries. Inactive icons are grayed out; it's the standard practice, but it helps avoid the bare-bones look of some freeware versions of premium tools. In a nutshell, Tomahawk PDF+ did everything it does well.

Like Gold, PDF+ supports tables, including nested tables and table headers, background images, bullets, hyperlinks, advanced fonts, and encrypted password protection for PDFs, and it includes extras like a spell checker and thesaurus. It doesn't offer native support for Word, Excel,, PalmOS, WordPerfect, and a few other file types. It does have multilanguage support. The Compiled HTML Help file opened but displayed no content. The Web site offered support contacts and a Registered User Area that apparently offers updates, but we couldn't find a Web-based version of the Help file. But that seems like an easily fixed glitch somewhere.

The best reason to use Tomahawk PDF+ would be if you also use Tomahawk Gold, such as at work or school. It's also a good introduction to the premium tool, and we're all for try-before-you-buy. Free is best, of course, and PDF+ is an excellent text tool with some useful PDF capabilities. It's not a replacement for a full-featured word processor or PDF program, nor is it meant to be; that's Tomahawk Gold. NativeWinds clearly outlines what PDF+ does and doesn't do in comparison to Gold, so you can make an informed choice.

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