So I am realizing that I need to be able to make some layered PDFs. I've had at least 2 offers for others to do it for me (which is awesome thanks guys!) but I am realizing that in order to get where I want to go I need to be able to do it myself.
What software can handle the creation of a layered PDF. I know that Adobe Products (Acrobat and InDesign) can handle it, but I can't really get over the price tag of $300 plus dollars.
I'm willing to purchase some software, but not at that price...
Is there any other software that people here have had experience with making layered PDFs?
Is there any non Adobe software that can even make a layered PDF?
I may once again be indebted to Parduz for pointing me in the right direction ;D
The initial results are promising. eDocPrinter PDF Pro work much like primo PDF, standing in for a printer, though it has many more options.
The feature that is most interesting is that when you print to a file a second time you can add the new page as an overlay and create a new layer. It's not fancy, you have to lay your layers out perfectly in whatever software you use to build your pages, but it does work.
I haven't messed around enough yet to fully endorse it, but on the surface the $30.00US price tag makes it seem like a good fix for those that want to make layered PDFs but don't want spring for high dollar software.
The download is free and has full functionality, but it adds a huge ugly watermark to all the pages until you pay for a registration code. For those who want to see if it will work for them you can try before you buy.
The web is full of free alternatives for a lot of commercial things (MP3 encoders, graphic programs, multimedia players, 3D modelers, etc) it always wonder me that PDFs is not only the unique way to share documents, but that there's no real competitive professional software to make them for free... technically, PDFs are "just" arrays of "things" included in a container....
So the EDocPrinterPDFPro... after a week or so of use, a quick review for those who might be interested.
This software has solved a few problems for me. It is cheap ($30 bucks) and it does make layers. It runs as a printer and I have had better luck with it in most respects than the free version of Nitro/Primo.
But it does have it's downsides...
It only runs as a virtual printer. Which means you can't do any editing with it, you must set your PDFs up in some other software and print them into PDFs with EdocPDF (it does print well form GIMP though).
Though it does layers (by printing layers into an existing PDF), since all it does is the virtual printing you are once again to set all of your layers up "perfectly" in some other software and then print (one layer at a time) into your PDF.
It also stacks the layers kind of backward, though it doesn't really limit the functionality of the PDF at all, the layers seem to be "listed" backward and the "bottommost" layer is the one that is visible. Odd, but as I said, still functional.
Finally, you can't build a layered PDF that is more than one page at a time, or if you can it is an involved process that I have not been able to understand yet.
So the short version, a cheap and dirty way to produce one page layered PDFs, but in no way a substitute for a full blown PDF editor like Acrobat. Still it might tide some of us over until Scribbus finally adds layers to its functionality.
For 30 bucks you get what you pay for, for me, I'm making layered PDFs now, and it is making my work better, but it is by no means the "perfect" solution.
Also, try it for free before you buy, if you are interested, it will show you it's benefits and shortcomings without having to dip into your wallet.