REVIEW: gDoc Fusion

gDoc Fusion is a simple utility that brings files together and converts them to a single PDF or XPS file. (XPS is Microsoft’s e-Paper format comparable to PDF). Fusion does its function very well and those who don’t own Acrobat or other PDF/XPS-creating applications might find Fusion useful.

Works with most files, not all

Fusion works with a variety of file formats including PDF, XPS, Word (.doc and .docx), Excel and a variety of image formats such as JPEG. A really simple and well-executed drag-and-drop interface displays the file; allows for revisions to several PDF attributes such as metadata, security, comments and bookmarks; and exports the file to PDF or XPS. The PDF export settings are not the same as Adobe’s presets but they are a good set for corporate customers. They even include presets for the archival PDF/A specification but I wasn’t able to access these when saving my PDF files—maybe this is because I’m working in a virtualized Windows environment on a Mac. There is also a decent (but not perfect) export function that will create Word documents.

I often write articles in Rich Text Format (RTF) and handle plain text files more and more in order to get away from the sluggish behemoth that is Microsoft Word. This makes Fusion a problematic tool for me because it doesn’t read text or Rich Text files.

Flick View makes reading slower

I classify Fusion as a utility application because it’s main function is to convert and save files into other formats. The one thing that makes it stand out as a content reader is Flick View, a view option similar to iTunes’ Cover Flow and that now found in Acrobat 9’s PDF Portfolios. There are drawbacks to Flick View:

  • The maximum magnification setting only fits pages to Fusion’s default window size, which is not very large. I tried maximizing the Fusion window and hoped the pages would enlarge but they didn’t.
  • There is no button to snap from page to page: there are only buttons for scrolling (fast or slow) and to snap to the first or last page.
  • Flick View’s scrolling speed is fairly slow, even with the fast setting. It does seem to improve the more you use it on a document.

I don’t recommend using Fusion as a reader for electronic documents, but as a file conversion utility it works well and it’s a full-featured product for producing PDFs. A user in a corporate environment who needs a lean utility for producing PDF or XPS files from a variety of formats should look into gDoc Fusion.

gDoc Fusion
Global Graphics
Rating: 7/10