FlashPaper 2 was arguably, at one point, a competitor with Adobe Acrobat. I’m not suggesting this was Macromedia’s intent, back in the day — maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t — and now that Adobe owns the lot, the discussion is moot. In a nutshell, FlashPaper 2 converts documents into PDFs (just like Acrobat does, but with far fewer options), and it also converts documents into SWFs that “read” like PDFs. They can be paged, searched, printed, and so on. Neat concept, nicely executed. I wouldn’t say these SWFs have especially caught on, but that’s fine … I use FlashPaper 2 in certain cases, and because it’s so pared down, the app loads much quicker than Acrobat. That makes it an easy choice for no-frills PDF conversion.
FlashPaper 2 is available both as a stand-alone product and bundled with Studio 8. On Windows, the Studio 8 version suffers a technical issue, apparently fairly common, in that it fails when used as a printer (as in, File > Print, and choose FlashPaper 2 as the print device). Sure enough, when I re-installed Studio 8 after a recent hardware issue (completely unrelated), I could no longer create FlashPaper SWFs by printing to the app. Keep reading »