PDF Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools

Overview

PDF—to most of the world it stands for that rather tiresome format used for documents downloaded from the web. Slow to load and slower to print, hopelessly unsearchable, and all but impossible to cut and paste from, the Portable Document Format doesn't inspire much affection in the average user. But PDFs done right is another story. Those who know the ins and outs of this format know that it can be much more than electronic paper. Flexible, compact, interactive, and even searchable, PDF is the ideal way to ...

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PDF Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools

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Overview

PDF—to most of the world it stands for that rather tiresome format used for documents downloaded from the web. Slow to load and slower to print, hopelessly unsearchable, and all but impossible to cut and paste from, the Portable Document Format doesn't inspire much affection in the average user. But PDFs done right is another story. Those who know the ins and outs of this format know that it can be much more than electronic paper. Flexible, compact, interactive, and even searchable, PDF is the ideal way to present content across multiple platforms.

PDF Hacks unveils the true promise of Portable Document Format, going way beyond the usual PDF as paged output mechanism. PDF expert Sid Steward draws from his years of analyzing, extending, authoring, and embellishing PDF documents to present 100 clever hacks—tools, tips, quick-and-dirty or not-so-obvious solutions to common problems.

PDF Hacks will show you how to create PDF documents that are far more powerful than simple representations of paper pages. The hacks in the book cover the full range of PDF functionality, from the simple to the more complex, including generating, manipulating, annotating, and consuming PDF information. You'll learn how to manage content in PDF, navigate it, and reuse it as necessary. Far more than another guide to Adobe Acrobat, the book covers a variety of readily available tools for generating, deploying, and editing PDF.

The little-known tips and tricks in this book are ideal for anyone who works with PDF on a regular basis, including web developers, pre-press users, forms creators, and those who generate PDF for distribution. Whether you want to fine-tune and debug your existing PDF documents or explore the full potential the format offers, PDF Hacks will turn you into a PDF power user.

"PDF Hacks" unveils the true promise of Portable Document Format, going way beyond the usual PDF as paged output mechanism. PDF expert Sid Steward draws from his years of analyzing, extending, authoring, and embellishing PDF documents to present 100 clever hacks--tools, techniques, and quick-and-dirty or not-so-obvious solutions to common problems.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780596006556
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/28/2004
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 298
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Sid Steward is a programmer, writer and entrepreneur. He maintains the PDF Toolkit and wrote PDF Hacks. When he's not working on PDF, he's creating goodies like LookLeap (a better TinyURL), GoJot (social bookmarking meets site commenting), and The Punch Poll. He continually battles entropy and will gladly tell you about G del's incompleteness theorem. Bjarne Stroustrup is one of his heroes. Feel free to contact Sid.

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Table of Contents

Credits;
About the Author;
Contributors;
Acknowledgments;
Preface;
Why PDF Hacks?;
How to Use This Book;
A Note on Software;
Using Code Examples;
How This Book Is Organized;
Conventions Used in This Book;
How to Contact Us;
Got a Hack?;
Chapter 1: Consuming PDF;
1.1 Introduction: Hacks #1-14;
1 Read PDFs with the Adobe Reader;
2 Read PDFs with Mac OS X's Preview;
3 Read PDFs with Ghostscript's GSview;
4 Speed Up Acrobat Startup;
5 Manage Acrobat Plug-Ins with Profiles on Windows;
6 Open PDF Files Your Way on Windows;
7 Copy Data from PDF Pages;
8 Convert PDF Documents to Word;
9 Browse One PDF in Multiple Windows;
10 Pace Your Reading or Present a Slideshow in Acrobat or Reader;
11 Pace Your Reading or Present a Slideshow in Mac OS X Preview;
12 Unpack PDF Attachments (Even Without Acrobat);
13 Jump to the Next or Previous Heading;
14 Navigate and Manipulate PDF Using Page Thumbnails;
Chapter 2: Managing a Collection;
2.1 Introduction: Hacks #15-23;
15 Bookmark PDF Pages in Reader;
16 Create Windows Shortcuts to Online PDF Pages with Acrobat;
17 Create Windows Shortcuts to Local PDF Pages;
18 Turn PDF Bookmarks into Windows Shortcuts;
19 Generate Document Keywords;
20 Index and Search Local PDF Collections on Windows;
21 Spinning Document Portals;
22 Spinning Collection Portals;
23 Identify Related PDFs;
Chapter 3: Authoring and Self-Publishing: Hacking Outside the PDF;
3.1 Introduction: Hacks #24-31;
24 Keep Your Source Smart;
25 Convey Your Document's Value with Good Design;
26 Create Charts and Graphs from Raw Data;
27 Become a Publisher;
28 Print at Home, at the Office, or at Kinko's;
29 Publish POD and E-books;
30 Sell Through Amazon;
31 Sell Your Book, Sell Yourself;
Chapter 4: Creating PDF and Other Editions;
4.1 Introduction: Hacks #32-50;
32 Create Interactive PDF with Your Word Processor;
33 Create a Printable, On-Screen Edition from Word;
34 Multipurpose PDF;
35 Create an HTML Edition from Your Word Processor;
36 Create a Handheld Edition from Your HTML;
37 Convert Documents from Tools You Don't Own to PDF;
38 Acrobat Distiller and Its Profiles;
39 Print to PDF with Ghostscript and RedMon on Windows;
40 Save As PDF with Mac OS X;
41 Maximize PDF Portability;
42 Configure Distiller and Ghostscript for Your Purpose;
43 Embed and Subset Fonts to Your Advantage;
44 Share a PDF Network Printer with Samba;
45 Print to Image and Other Rasterizing Options;
46 Print to SVG;
47 Print Over the Internet;
48 Create a PDF Album of Your Digital Pictures;
49 Print to Fax on Windows;
50 Convert Incoming Faxes to PDF on Linux;
Chapter 5: Manipulating PDF Files;
5.1 Introduction: Hacks #51-73;
51 Split and Merge PDF Documents (Even Without Acrobat);
52 Encrypt and Decrypt PDF (Even Without Acrobat);
53 Add PDF Encryption Actions to Windows Context Menus;
54 Add Attachments to Your PDF (Even Without Acrobat);
55 Easily Attach Your Document's Tables;
56 Add PDF Attachment Actions to Windows Context Menus;
57 Create a Traditional Index Section from Keywords;
58 Rasterize Intricate Artwork with Illustrator or Photoshop;
59 Crop Pages for Clarity;
60 Refry Before Posting Documents Online;
61 Copy Features from One PDF to Another;
62 Polish Your PDF Edition;
63 Add and Maintain PDF Bookmarks;
64 Get and Set PDF Metadata;
65 Add a Web-Style Navigation Bar to PDF Pages;
66 Copy-Protect Your PDF;
67 Support Online PDF Reading;
68 Force PDF Download Rather than Online Reading;
69 Hyperlink HTML to PDF Pages;
70 Create an HTML Table of Contents from PDF Bookmarks;
71 PDF Web Skins;
72 Share PDF Comments Online (Even Without Acrobat);
73 Tally Topic Popularity;
Chapter 6: Dynamic PDF;
6.1 Introduction: Hacks #74-92;
74 Collect Data with Online PDF Forms;
75 Serve Filled-Out PDF Forms;
76 Drive PDF Forms with Your Data;
77 PDF Form-Filling Sessions;
78 Permanently Merge a PDF Form and its Data;
79 Tool Up with pdftk;
80 Decipher and Navigate PDF at the Text Level;
81 Edit PDF Code Freely;
82 Integrate pdftk with gVim for Seamless PDF Editing;
83 Modify PDF Hyperlinks at Serve-Time;
84 Tailor PDF Text at Serve-Time;
85 Use HTML to Create PDF;
86 Use Perl to Create PDF;
87 Use PHP to Create PDF;
88 Use Java to Create PDF;
89 Assemble Pages and Serve PDF;
90 Superimpose PDF Pages;
91 Generate PDF Documents from XML and CSS;
92 Create PDF with XSL-FO and FOP;
Chapter 7: Scripting and Programming Acrobat;
7.1 Introduction: Hacks #93-100;
93 Modify or Convert Batches of Documents;
94 Script Acrobat Using Visual Basic on Windows;
95 Script Acrobat Using Perl on Windows;
96 Customize Acrobat Using JavaScript;
97 Tool Up for Acrobat Plug-In Development;
98 Explore the Acrobat SDK Documentation and Examples;
99 Use Acrobat Plug-Ins to Extend PDF;
100 PostScript and PDF Games;
Colophon;

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2004

    do more with PDFs

    Perhaps your experience with PDF is the same as mine. Mainly, to print files in this format. But Steward shows an entire neat little world of functionality hidden in PDF. While it may not have the obvious simplicity of HTML, the book shows many ways to make and edit such files. For example, Steward shows how to have URLs link to specific points inside a PDF document. So if you are maintaining a website that has PDFs, you can do far better than most, by having links not just to the entire documents, but to pertinant locations within. A competitive advantage. The great majority of PDFs accessible on the web require you to view the entire document, for find what you're looking for. You should do better. Steward also shows a logical inverse. How to embed standard URLs inside a PDF. Knowing both capabilities means a fuller integration of PDFs inside your website. It also turns out that much of what the book discusses can be done with free editing tools, at least on linux/unix machines. Good book for demystifying PDF.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2004

    If only I had this book 3 months ago!

    If only I had this book three months ago! I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to really understand the PDF format and know exactly what can be done with this format. Like the many other excellent O¿Reilly ¿hacks¿ series, this book provides 100 different tips and tricks that can be used in dealing with the PDF format. Some of these hacks involve creating your own PDFs through third-party tools, others include tips on modifying PDFs after they have been created. PDF Hacks are divided into four main sections: consuming, managing, authoring, and manipulating PDFs. Some of the hacks are quite interesting and cover things you might not otherwise think of. Once interesting hack is #25, ¿Convey Your Document¿s Value with Good Design¿. This hack actually discusses different issues with fonts including various typography tips and alignment issues. This is certainly an issue I think of rarely, but this hack shows some of the reasons to really think through this issue. There are many such hacks which are quite enlightening. My favorite part of the book was toward the end, where the author discusses the tool ¿pdftk¿, which can be used to freely modify PDF files. The author proceeds to show how this tool can be used to change text within exiting PDF files without significant work. While this hack might not be used by everyone, it illustrates the type of advanced tips this book provides. Like I said at the beginning of this review, I just wish I had read this book three months ago. After reading this book, the reader will have a much better understanding of the PDF format, as well as having a knowledge of the tools that can be used to extend the PDF format beyond what you might have initially thought possible. If you want to understand the PDF format and what information on how to ¿hack¿ your PDFs, then you need a copy of this book!

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