Many law firms use both Adobe Professional and also eCopy. eCopy is generally integrated with some different copier systems that “scan to desktop”. Many different copiers use “scan to PDF” or “Email PDF”, but the “scan to desktop” is another option altogether.
First, Adobe Professional is a very expensive product, several hundred dollars per desktop installation. That said, it’s also one of my favorite pieces of software IF you use it to even part of its full potential. Many of us are familiar with the “Print to PDF” option that Adobe Professional installs. It installs a printer driver, then when you want to convert a document to PDF you just select that printer driver, hit print, it asks you for the location where you want it saved and name the file and VOILA! Instant, clean PDF file all set for text searchs and printing a copy just as clean as the original document (90% of the time, some graphics or spreadsheet grids do get distorted).
Unlike the well known “Acrobat Reader” there are lots of other ways you can use Adobe Professional. One of my favorite things to do is to create fillable forms! That’s right, you can create a PDF from a Word document, then you can insert fillable fields into the PDF file. This is particularly helpful if you have forms for “reimbursement” or “registration forms” and lots of others. you can insert fields where people can type. You can also insert a “print” button on the form or even an “email this form” button, so that after they fill out the fields it’s easy and seamless to get the form back to you.
I also like some of the PDF editor tools in Adobe Professional. For example you can use the “typewriter” to type onto any PDF form anywhere. I’m not really fond of the typewriter because you can’t choose a font or size or other styles, just one “old fashion” typewriter font. It’s also nice to use the highlighter when reviewing a document. You can also insert notes.
So, lets discuss eCopy. Like I said, the reason I first got eCopy was because it “came with” our copier system. So, instead of just emailing a PDF to my email in box (that is already full of stuff I have a hard time keeping track of) when I “scan to desktop” using eCopy it actually pops up an alert on your desktop telling you there’s a scanned document waiting. You then click on the icon and it shows you a list of documents that have been scanned to you throuh the eCopy system.
So, that’s one part I like. Another important fact is that, just like Adobe Professional, eCopy installs a “print driver” so that any document can be “converted” and opened in eCopy for editing and saving in eCopy format or it also saves in PDF format. The distinct advantage eCopy has over Adobe Professional is that you can print multiple documents to a single eCopy file. When you “print to PDF” via Adobe it saves the file copy immedately. However with eCopy when you “print to eCopy” it just opens the eCopy version in a draft format without yet saving it. This means that you can continue “printing” different documents to eCopy and adding them to the same file without saving each as a separate PDF file first (as is the case with the Adobe PDF printer). Sure, you can combine separae documents in Adobe Professional. This is possible by opening one of them and importing the other separate files into the existing file. Sure, it works, it’s just more steps.
Editing eCopy documents is MUCH easier than in Adobe PDF. That said, you can open PDF files in eCopy and you can edit them too! You can easily white out or black out sections of the documents. You can insert text, in any format, size, font, style, that you want. You create “stamps” (I use this feature for inserting my signature into a document). That said, even though it’s “easier” to use and edit with eCopy, if you actually have to print an eCopy document it tends to pixilate the white background making printed documents look a bit “dirty”.
Which one do I like better? Both. It just depends on the usage for the individual final document. If I know it’s going to be printed or searched, I try to use Adobe Professional. However, if I’m editing, modifying or combining multiple documents I really prefer eCopy.
My understanding is the eCopy can’t be purchased from the manufacturer. It’s distributed directly through scanning/copying companies.
Best of luck! Shoot a comment if you’d like to know a specific use or need you want clarified.
As I’ve said
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