This week in PDF: Standard killer

As Microsoft’s ‘PDF-killer’ hurtles towards standardization, this week in PDF sees the release of various products to convert PDF documents into more readily editable formats and an update to an established PDF routing solution.

As mentioned many moons ago in my editorial and more recently by Ken Fisher on Ars Technica, Microsoft is further opening up its much-touted ‘PDF-killing’ technology at the behest of EU regulators. According to Fisher’s piece, a company spokesperson confirmed that Microsoft ‘agreed to submit our new fixed-layout document format — the XML Paper Specification — to a standards-setting organization, and to revise the licensing terms on which the specification is made available to other software developers.’ Stay tuned — this is going to get interesting.

Adobe has also announced a minor update to its PDF Print Engine, a design-to-print solution that combines PDF and JDF (Job Definition Format) technologies to streamline quality control in printing workflows. Version 1.1 includes support for Mac OS X, PDF 1.7, PDF layer-management and enhanced color management. For more information, check out

Also updated this week were two PDF conversion tools. Available now, the first was PDF FLY 6.5 from Visual Integrity converts PDF documents into vector and bitmap formats. The new version boasts both improved performance and new features including page range conversion, improved font mapping, intelligent cropping and thumbnail creation. The other such tool was Cogniview’s PDF2XL 2.6, which captures and converts PDF data on the desktop. Version 2.6 supports field and table data export, definition of field and column headers, and multiple page layouts. More information can be found at the Visual Integrity and Cogniview Web sites, respectively.

Finally, Equisys has announced updates to its PDF routing solution. Zetadocs is document automation and delivery software that helps users create, email and archive business documents. Planned product integrations include extensions of the Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 platforms, while further integrations are planned with other Microsoft Dynamics applications. Full details are at the vendor Web site.

That’s it for this week! Until next time…

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About the Author: Dan Shea

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