Re: PDF distiller for automated builds

Subject: Re: PDF distiller for automated builds
From: "Lech Rzedzicki" <xchaotic -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 10:40:10 +0100

On Mon, Jun 23, 2008 at 4:42 PM, Bill Swallow <techcommdood -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
> Hi everyone,
> I'm looking for PDF distillers that can be used in an automated build
> environment (that is, no particular end user).

There's plenty of options depending on whether you're tied to Windows
for the production environment and what quality are you striving for.
All the alternatives usually produce decent results for quickly
previewing drafts etc, but for final product I'd still prefer to use
Acrobat's own Distiller. Even more so if there's a chance advanced
features such as forms or 3D are used or will be used in the future.
PDF is still not exactly an open format and is tightly controlled by
Acrobat, so most competing products have been created by reverse
engineering not by adhering to the spec.
I'm not sure about licensing, but I'd thought you get Distiller
license with any full Acrobat (ie. not Reader) and you only need one,
so it's probably worth it.

If by any chance your documentation is in XML and stylesheets are
XSL-FO then the answer is rather obvious - Antenna House XEP - it's
not free but it's the best and you can run free version for previews
with Antenna House footer. There's also free FOP, but I couldn't
heartily recommend that right now.

But if it isn't and you need a generic Post Script distiller, then for
Windows just use PDF Creator, just set as a default printer, send the
output as you would to distiller, pretty easy to set up options to
save to a file. And if you have a skilled coder, you can modify the
code to do whatever you want with it.

For UNIX/Linux systems, there's plenty more options, but given that
you're using Acrobat right now, it also means you're using Windows.

So to sum up the answer seems simple: PDF Creator


Create HTML or Microsoft Word content and convert to Help file formats or
printed documentation. Features include support for Windows Vista & 2007
Microsoft Office, team authoring, plus more.

True single source, conditional content, PDF export, modular help.
Help & Manual is the most powerful authoring tool for technical
documentation. Boost your productivity!

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PDF distiller for automated builds: From: Bill Swallow

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