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Adobe offers a bundle of Acrobat Reader with PDFWriter (but only for Windows) on their web server for a limited period of time. The PDFWriter is thus decoupled from the other Acrobat programs. Maybe the first step in releasing the PDFWriter?

In the June issue of MacWorld (USA) you can find two articles on the subject of PDF: Prepress Vendors Flock to Acrobat with a report on the Seybold Exhibition in New York and Get Prepress-Ready PDFs from QuarkXPress with instructions for generating PDF files from Quark XPress. (However, I do not agree with all of the author's recommendations for settings!)

Agfa has produced a white paper on the subject of PDF workflows as part of its "Digital Roadmaps" project.

Article in MacWeek slides of WWDC

The PostScript printer driver AdobePS 5.0 for Windows NT is now also available in a German version.

Adobe now offers a PDF library with which application developers can convert PDF files into their internal data format and generate PDF again. This means that PDF files can be edited with other programs. It can be assumed that most publishing application manufacturers will take advantage of these new opportunities in the next 12 months.

Merlin has now also released the options plug-in for Windows. Like the Mac version, it allows you to define security options, document information and the open mode for entire folders full of PDf documents in batch mode.

Aandy Inston has a bug fix for its imposition plug-in Quite Imposing / Plus released. This plug-in enables the imposition of pages for digital printing (booklets, step & repeat etc.) and much more (e.g. adding page numbers).

Adobe has finally released a PostScript printer driver for Windows NT 4.0. The English version can be downloaded from the Adobe website.

Ari's Toolbox has been expanded to include Ari's Print Helper for Windows. This allows you to print multiple page ranges, even / odd pages and pages in reverse order. Ari's Ruler, a plug-in for measuring distances in PDF pages for Mac and Win, is also available.

The Australian company RTS has developed two further plug-ins for Windows: RTSImport converts image files (bmp, gif, dcx, pcx and tif) into PDF documents in batch mode. PDFWorkshop allows the document info fields (title, subject, author, keyword), the number of pages, the security options and the open mode to be extracted from PDF documents in Excel 97 and edited. You can also combine several PDF documents

The PDF Printer Driver Plug-in 8.5.1 for the Mac is available for download on the Adobe web server. With the new Adobe PostScript printer driver 8.5.1 you can finally define settings for the Distiller when generating the PostScript file, as has been possible for some time with the LaserWriter driver 8.5.1 from Apple. However, the operation is a little different. Here is a little comparison:

  AdobePS 8.5.1 LaserWriter 8.5.1
implementation separate plug-in built in as standard
call via printer definition via format under output file
Font embedding,
Font subsets
unsupported supported
compression LZW, JPEG (manual) ZIP / JPEG (automatic)
High-end settings unsupported unsupported
Automat. completion
of the distiller
No Yes
Automat. Delete the
PostScript file
No Yes
German version not (yet) available available

The PDF Printer Driver Plug-in from Adobe naturally also works with the German version of the Adobe printer driver and with a German operating system and German Acrobat. You simply shouldn't be bothered by the English dialogues in the "Acrobat Distiller Options" menu!

Digital Applications has ported AppendPDF to Windows NT. The program is used to automatically compile PDF documents. A control file can be used to combine individual PDF documents or just extract individual pages from existing PDF documents. Previously, AppendPDF was only available for Unix.

Adobe announced a new product this week called ImageReady. It is a special image processing program for Internet images. It should also be able to open and convert PDF documents. A limited preview version can be downloaded.

Adobe has also proposed a vector graphics format for the Web called Precision Graphics Markup Language (PGML) to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The proposal is supported by IBM, Netscape and Sun. PGML has a graphics code similar to PostScript and PDF. A conversion from PDF to PGML should therefore be easy. Further information can be found in a Q&A paper.

The CIP3 consortium has decided to encode the Print Production Format (PPF) in addition to PostScript for the PDF format. This enables the PPF to be included in Adobe's Portable Job Ticket Format (PJTF).

The CGATS (American standardization body for the graphic industry) has developed a draft for a standardized page exchange format called PDF / X. As the name suggests, this is based on PDF. CGATS has developed recommendations for parameterization and additional requirements for PDF. Adobe then published Technote 5188 with some extensions for the next version of the PDF data format. Unfortunately, the PDF / X specification assumes that device-dependent data is exchanged!

The Preflight PlugIn CheckUp Version 1.5 from EnFocus can be used as a demo version or Free update can be downloaded for existing users. The brochure, manual and an overview of the new functions are available at Emerge.

A small update to version 1.51 of the PitStop editing plug-in is also available from EnFocus. The resolved and remaining problems are described in a tech report.

Markzware announces FlightCheck version 3.3. The classic among the preflight programs now also examines PDF documents. However, the same examination methods are used as for layout documents, therefore the error messages are partly misleading and important PDF error sources are not examined! A demo version can be downloaded for Mac and PC.

Free Acrobat tools from JG Oliver Custom Software: Starter PlugIn, Action PlugIn, PDFTree Application, PDF Draftsman Application. At the moment only for Windows. Mac versions are to follow ...

A beta version of a plug-in for converting RGB to CMYK from Quite Software can be downloaded for testing.

New plug-in called ForTE from BCL Computers. Allows texts and tables from PDF documents to be transferred to other applications. Currently only available for Windows97 / NT. Demo version available.

The third edition of the webzine PurePDF has appeared. Among other things with a report about the plug-in Compose from Ambia.

Mac version 1.3 Windows version 1.2d

WatchPlus: Addendum's software to automatically define options for multiple PDF documents (with watched folders). E.g. open mode, security, presentation mode, thumbnails, document info, closing windows with external link. (Also in German; only for Windows).

BatchPrint: PlugIn for printing out several PDF documents; Separation into even / odd pages possible for duplex printing. (Also in German; only for Windows).

The notes are divided into three priority classes: