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Benubird PDF – personal document manager


Document management tools are usually over-engineered for home use. Personal users rarely need all the bells and whistles but they still need something more than just desktop search when they want to organise their files. Something along the lines of MediaMonkey or Picasa, that will just find all those documents and other files wherever they’re stored and give you a simple place to search, filter, tag, or modify properties.

Well Benubird PDF does just that – just point it at your folders and it will give you a listing of all the files, tell you which file properties you’re missing and giving you a batch edit process to update them if you need it.


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Sadly the file type selection dialog doesn’t sort and doesn’t have some what-you-would-think are logical groupings (common Office formats, image formats, etc) but if you don’t have a mixture of wanted and unwanted file types in your source folder you can just tell it to index everything. At this point you can even apply a category like Personal or Finance which is like a top level filter for your files. Importing files all in one go is reasonably time-consuming, so you can also set watches on folders so that when your source updates, your index also updates. And for those times when you just want to add a single file you can do that too.


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Once your files are imported/indexed you get a dialog asking you which properties you would like to mass-add to your files. You can ignore this and edit file properties individually or you can select/search/filter sets of files and do your own batch edits. The interface is based on the Fluent idea so it’s easy to customise. Files in your Benubird library can be tagged (as well as categorised) so what you have, in effect, is multiple access points to get to files, instead of them living in individual folders.


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The main bit that Benubird is lacking is a search tool, you can’t search within your indexed files, which is understandable, as indexing would take even longer. This is probably its biggest shortcoming and is something that I would expect a document manager to be able to do. Still, if you have clever tagging and filtering you might be able to work within this limitation. After all that’s how we work with Picasa and iTunes.

The current version of the free trial copies the files from their location to local storage, which annoys both me and a few other users. Debenu have listened though and made a beta available which just indexes the files wherever-they-are so you don’t end up with messy file duplication. Once that makes it into a final version, with documentation and option settings to make it as easy and clear as the rest of the interface, it would be more likely that I’d use it. It’s freeware, with a Pro version in the works. Definitely worth keeping an eye on.

Optimized for use with PDFs, images, and Microsoft Office and OpenOffice documents, Benubird PDF takes personal document management to the highest level of efficiency.

Tags: freeware, benubird, document+management, personal+document+management, document+library

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