First Impressions: Setting the Viewer Preferences in a PDF File

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Sample of the Week:

Joel GeraciOne of the primary goals of PDF is to preserve document fidelity independent of device, platform, or the software being used to view it. But, according to the PDF specification, a lot can still be left to chance; the ViewerPreferences entry in a document controls the way the document is presented on the screen and can affect the way it’s printed. If the ViewerPreferences entry doesn’t exist, PDF viewers present the document based on the current user’s preference settings. Generally end users don’t modify the initial view settings of their PDF software but different PDF software may have different defaults. The software manufacturer may even decide to change the default viewing modes dramatically from one version to the next as Adobe did when they introduced Read Mode and the Heads-Up Display (HUD) in Reader X. Starting with Reader X, Read Mode is on by default when PDFs are opened in a browser… like it or not.

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Deconstructing PDF Digital Signatures

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Sample of the Week:

Joel GeraciThe ability to digitally sign a PDF file was introduced back in 1999 with the introduction of Adobe Acrobat 4 and the short-lived “Business Tools.” Signing a paper document is simple and intuitive, but even after sixteen years, there’s still a lot of confusion around how to perform this act on a PDF file… and what it means when you do.
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barcode4J and PDFJT

Barcode Image

We were recently asked how to add bar code images to a PDF document using the PDF Java Toolkit.

 

The First step is easy: generate yourself a bar code image. The PDF Java Toolkit (PDFJT) doesn’t provide this functionality so to generate a bar code image, we used Barcode4J from http://sourceforge.net/projects/barcode4j/

Out of the box, Barcode4J knows how to generate about 15 different types of bar codes, which can be tweaked in different ways, but for demonstration purposes, we’re going to use it to generate different types of bar codes mostly using the built-in defaults. You will need to add the barcode4j.jar to your classpath, but because we are using Barcode4j’s bean interface, that is the only jar you need for the following code:

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Handling Acrobat JavaScript on a Server with the Datalogics PDF Java Toolkit

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Sample of the Week:

Joel GeraciJavaScript is generally associated with scripting HTML in a browser but JavaScript can also be used to automate Adobe Acrobat, Reader, and the PDF files viewed with them. The viewers and their plug-ins expose a lot of their functionality as JavaScript objects; generally referred to as “Acrobat JavaScript.”  Acrobat JavaScript lets developers automate workflows through Actions as well as program PDF Forms to help guide the recipient through the filling or signing process. Acrobat JavaScript is incredibly powerful and can make your documents so interactive that they appear to function as applications themselves.
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