Erasure Head: User Input Improves a Unique Tool Even Further

6772e_only_Faces_DSC_4469_Masalovitch-4by Anton Masalovitch, ABBYY Head of PDF Product Development

Challenges to the way developers think not only come from their peers. Many times they arise from user input and result in far better software, too. So I’d like to share an experience the PDF Transformer+ development team  has had. We found, to our surprise, that a key unique tool – the eraser  – wasn’t working for users in some instances. This was quite a shock since intensive coding and testing convinced us it was perfectly stable and Story_Eraser1functional. But their feedback showed we hadn’t considered every possible usage scenario.  Here’s what happened:

Our team was surprised to find that beta users had difficulties using the eraser – especially as we were a long way into development and looking forward to product release! They pointed out that even after “rubbing” the eraser over an object many times, they could only achieve a washed effect that left a ghost of the text or image. This made us realize that, as developers, we approached erasure differently. We saw it as a way of removing objects from scanned PDFs by matching the background of the deleted area with the area surrounding it. But users expected that any object could be erased entirely and regardless of the kind of PDF, not just image-only.


This led us to create a new erasure tool that anticipates all possible user scenarios and which is totally unique to PDF Transformer+. Now the tool deletes everything regardless of the type of PDF (searchable, image-only, etc.), what kind of objects it contains and what kind of background is present (gradient, color, etc.). The result is greater ease for users and a feature that no competing product possesses!