pdfToolbox 12.2 MINUS pdfToolbox 12 = WOW improvements!

Toolbox 12 2

It is not just the major versions of pdfToolbox that see major improvements, we release value to further increase productivity and efficiency all along our minor versions too. This blog collects an overview of such major features and improvements from pdfToolbox 12 onwards and up until now.

Save as image on command line:

So far with –saveasimg, you could only specify a pagerange that could be used with either single page numbers or a range of pages. So, to output a preview of the first and last page of a PDF, you would need two CLI calls. To generate previews starting 12.2, you can specify the pages in the pagerange parameter similar to the SplitSchema of splitpdf, for example: (1-2,-2--1) for first two and last two pages.

You might be aware that Processing Steps layers have information that is not print content (dieline, measurements etc.). When you create images, you often do not want this content to be rendered. A parameter that has now been added to saveasimg is to exclude processing steps –excludeprocessingsteps.

Process Plans:

There have been multiple changes to ease the use of Process Plans like allowing multiple selections of steps, auto scrolling and moving the canvas. You will find a list, short animations and explanations of these changes here.

Tablet publishing:

Consider a print PDF that you want to publish online. The problem now is that you have a very complex pdf with either transparent objects or more than one object very close to one another. What’s possible is that you can create one image of the whole PDF but the downside here is that the text can become blurry, with let’s say 100 ppi (a higher ppi would result in a file size too big).

To counter this problem, pdfToolbox 12.0 introduced the possibility to render everything to image EXCEPT TEXT.

So far so good. But what happens when the text is partly covered which could be because of bad design or after transparency flattening. The solution to this problem uses the different “text rendering modes” in PDF that allow you to make text slightly thicker and to use text as clipping paths. It would be too complex for this blog to explain how that can be utilized, but it is explained in this video.

Online publishing:

Let’s assume a publisher has a document with structure tags but his/her application doesn’t allow to create bookmarks or perhaps only improper bookmarks. This is solved in pdfToolbox by a Fixup ‘Create bookmarks from headings’. The Fixup ‘Set page zoom for bookmark destinations’ allows for specifying the zoom behaviour for all bookmark destinations (e.g. page width, full page or inherit zoom). Both Fixups in combination allow you to create bookmarks that work exactly as intended.

New Checks

Objects close to each other (Sifter):

In some production processes (e.g. ‘cut-to-shape’ from vinyl) objects must not be closer than a certain limit to each other. It is important to identify such issues as early as possible. Remember SIFTER? There is a new Check property that identifies objects that are closer than the threshold value to each other.

For performance reasons, Checks using this property require a limit for the number of objects that are checked. If this limit is exceeded, the user may choose whether to not execute this Check or execute until this limit is reached.

Other new Checks...

...include ‘Number of nodes on page’ where previously there was only a Check for ‘Number of nodes per object’. Page rendering can now be used in the “effective ink coverage” Checks in two different ways: The operator ‘highest value lower than’ allows for identifying empty pages (or empty separations) while “less than” allows for identifying pages where low ink values are used (but where ink is above zero which is not be an issue in this case). Another Check ‘Specified XMP property uses specified value’ now checks whether a document has a specified XMP property with a given value.

Test mode

pdfToolbox 12.2 comes with a Diff panel and Snap view that have been added to Test Mode. While ‘Diff panel’ shows you the difference between original and result to see which areas of the page have been changed, Snap view allows you to click on any objects in result view and see the snap of those objects.

Here you can find the release notes of pdfToolbox 12.2.

And if you want to watch these features presented in one of the Four Pees Café, here is the link.

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