Some pdf (mostly) resources you may find useful...

Subject: Some pdf (mostly) resources you may find useful...
From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 16 Jul 2005 09:20:48 -0500

The popularity of the pdf format has resulted in a significant number
of questions, comments, and suggestions about it on this list and

Because Adobe's tools are quite expensive, and because they may not in
all cases be the most convenient means of handling issues that may
arise, I thought I'd do a brief rundown of some of the free or
inexpensive tools that are available for many operations we must do in
creating, modifying, and manipulating pdf files.

I began to compile this list for my own reference, but I thought I
must not be the only one who might need them.

If you need to create and insert preview images into .eps files, in
Windows I suggest GSview (see below). However, if you have a Mac you
may want to know about epstool:

PrimoPDF works with any Windows program capable of printing, although
a relatively cheap paid upgrade is required for more advanced

An alternative is PDF995. The free versions put a sponsorship banner
on the application page, but "upgrades" to the non-sponsored version
are $20:

PDFCreator: completely free and open source:

PDFTK is a command-line utility.
"If PDF is electronic paper, then pdftk is an electronic
staple-remover, hole-punch, binder, secret-decoder-ring, and
X-Ray-glasses. Pdftk is a command-line tool for doing everyday things
with PDF documents. Keep one in the top drawer of your desktop and use
it to:

* Merge PDF Documents
* Split PDF Pages into a New Document
* Decrypt Input as Necessary (Password Required)
* Encrypt Output as Desired
* Fill PDF Forms with FDF Data and/or Flatten Forms
* Apply a Background Watermark
* Report on PDF Metrics such as Metadata, Bookmarks, and Page Labels
* Update PDF Metadata
* Attach Files to PDF Pages or the PDF Document
* Unpack PDF Attachments
* Burst a PDF Document into Single Pages
* Uncompress and Re-Compress Page Streams
* Repair Corrupted PDF (Where Possible)

Pdftk allows you to manipulate PDF easily and freely. It does not
require Acrobat, and it runs on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD and
Solaris. Pdftk is free software (GPL).

While extremely powerful, pdftk is a command-line tool. There is,
however, a graphical front end to it for Windows called "pdftk
Builder" that controls the more common features:

iText is a Java library for pdf creation and manipulation:

iTextSharp is a Windows .Net port of iText:

For many years, the top tool for PostScript creation, viewing, and
more--and now for pdf as well--is GhostScript:

That page will also refer you to the Windows utility GhostView that
serves as a front end for GhostView. Several of the utilities listed
above use GhostScript as the PostScript rendering engine.

I am sure there are others, but this may get you started in
determining how best to update your workflow, should you decide it
would be helpful.

Those who enjoy the power and flexibility of the command line but who
aren't overjoyed by the limited capability of the Windows command
interpreter these days (cmd.exe), there is a project which has created
the ability to have a "minimal Gnu system for Windows": MinGW. Among
its tools is mSYS, which installs the Bourne Again shell (bash) for
use as the command-line interpreter on your Windows system. This is
the most popular shell for Linux, and is far more powerful than
anything Microsoft has had. In addition, there are various other tools
ported from the UNIX world available from the MinGW project:



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