US software vendor Foxit is showing software here at CeBIT that radically cuts the cost of producing and editing PDFs. Foxit Phantom retails at $129 (around £86) inc VAT and is,according to Foxit's Olivier de Saint Leger, "the complete PDF solution". Adobe Acrobat 9.0 costs from £326 inc VAT.

Many PC users are aware of Foxit only through the free Foxit Reader software, but de Saint Leger told PC Advisor that Foxit Phantom offers everything that Acrobat does, and it's easy to use. In our demonstration, creating and editing PDFs certainly seemed intuitive. The interface is simple, but the product is available only in US English - although de saint Leger told us that he expects it to be regionalised 'this year'.

According to de Saint Leger, Foxit Phantom allows user to view, edit and save PDFs made with any program, so there is no problem of compatibility with existing PDF installations. As with Acrobat, you can also create and manage forms, and set document permissions to safeguard sensitive data. There's password protection, encryption and digital signature tools, too.

Foxit Phantom allows users to merge and split PDFs, and add video or audio files directly into documents. As yet it is available only through the US-based website, and de Saint Leger told PC Advisor that businesses could get 'significant disounts' if they purchased volumes of licences.

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