For years I have had problems creating decent looking reports.
Recently I have been using a combination of Crystal Reports and Adobe, but I have never been happy. Today I was stuck at home watching a sick child and I took a look at Latex. I cannot believe what a great product it is--I wish I knew this years ago.
I now know why there is not a decent editor for creating PDFs--why would you buy something when Latex is available for free.
- LibreOffice / OpenOffice both support exporting to PDF (and are cross platform)
- Scribus (DTP program) also supports PDF export
- You could get a PDF-printer for Windows, allowing you to "print" for example word-files to a pdf file.
Exporting a document to a pdf is not a problem--editing a pdf is. Without having yet put it in to practice it looks as if editing a tex document would be quite easy to script and then all I have to do is run a makefile to convert that tex document to a pdf.
But just as an example editing a Doc document is a pain to script--and then I still have to convert it into a pdf
Adobe Acrobat Pro is expensive, but works very well for editing PDFs directly -- as it should. Nitro PDF is what we use at work. It is 100% conformant, easy to use, and relatively inexpensive compared to Adobe's offering.
LaTeX can output to more than just PDFs, which is another major feature it has. It may be slow to develop (although, not so much if you're actually familiar with the markup language) but is rather flexible and featured.