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New PDF creation software

ebenton
1-Newbie

New PDF creation software

Greetings,
Our company is considering switching form Adobe Acrobat to a product called PDF995, because it is cheaper. We don't know anything about it. Has anyone had experience using PDF995 with Epic Editor?
Here's the URL for it: http://www.pdf995.com.



18 REPLIES 18

Make sure and install it in a test environment and give it some stress testing for fonts, graphics, and other features you may desire.

>From what I can tell, PDF995 uses GNU GhostScript (GS) behind the scenes. Your mileage may vary, depending on the version of GS used in your version of PDF995.

Not knowing anything firsthand about PDF995 and the extra features it brings to the table, my first question would be: why not just use GS itself?

Ghostscript works quite well in most situations. We use it with Epic-generated PS files and it works great. If you have issues with GS, you can sometimes receive a patch within a few days.

Tangent: Like any software, GS has its issues. Initially, I was very skeptical that GS would come anywhere close to the quality of Adobe's product. Since then, I've been pleasantly surprised. That's not to say anything about whether I favor commercial products over open-source, it's just that Adobe's connection to PostScript strikes me as more intimate than other software developers due to their association with the PostScript and PDF standards. (Geez, I better shut up now.)

At any rate, more details are below.

Best regards,
Jason

PlanetPDF (www.planetpdf.com) and PDFZone (www.pdfzone.com) offer some information on a variety of PDF tools and plug-ins.

PlanetPDF forum sounds off on PDF995
http://www.planetpdf.com/asp/default.asp?action=21&match=1&confs=&sort=PostDate&SR_Post=search&str=pdf995

Ghostscript

Use it as a PDF Print Driver only.

Jim Guy
Supervisor Maintenance Information
karman
1-Newbie
(To:ebenton)

We had some problems with the ps2pdf portion of ghostscript during some
testing last year. We were trying to go that direction because, as Ed
points out, Acrobat is expensive. I'm glad that Jason's experience was
good; ours was not. Particularly, we had some strange font and image
issues with ps2pdf that we did not have with acrobat. Both sw used .ps
files created with Epic Print Composer and a FOSI, very generic fonts
(Helvetica, Times and Courier), and EPS images.

pek

Aiken, Jason waxed lyrical on 12/17/03 1:51 PM:

> Make sure and install it in a test environment and give it some stress testing for fonts, graphics, and other features you may desire.
>
>>From what I can tell, PDF995 uses GNU GhostScript (GS) behind the scenes. Your mileage may vary, depending on the version of GS used in your version of PDF995.
>
> Not knowing anything firsthand about PDF995 and the extra features it brings to the table, my first question would be: why not just use GS itself?
>
> Ghostscript works quite well in most situations. We use it with Epic-generated PS files and it works great. If you have issues with GS, you can sometimes receive a patch within a few days.
>
> Tangent: Like any software, GS has its issues. Initially, I was very skeptical that GS would come anywhere close to the quality of Adobe's product. Since then, I've been pleasantly surprised. That's not to say anything about whether I favor commercial products over open-source, it's just that Adobe's connection to PostScript strikes me as more intimate than other software developers due to their association with the PostScript and PDF standards. (Geez, I better shut up now.)
>
> At any rate, more details are below.
>
> Best regards,
> Jason
>
> PlanetPDF (www.planetpdf.com) and PDFZone (www.pdfzone.com) offer some information on a variety of PDF tools and plug-ins.
>
> PlanetPDF forum sounds off on PDF995
> http://www.planetpdf.com/asp/default.asp?action=21&match=1&confs=&sort=PostDate&SR_Post=search&str=pdf995
>
> Ghostscript
> http://www.ghostscript.com
>
>
>

I installed it on a PC that did not already have Adobe Acrobat
installed, and Epic Editor 4.4 would not allow the Compose->PDF function
to be selected from the menu. It was grayed out. You could use
Print->Composed Output and use the PDF995 printer driver, and get PDF
output.

On another PC with Epic 4.3.1 and Adobe Acrobat already installed, we
installed PDF995, and it would not produce our foldout graphics pages
correctly. A page that was supposed to be 11 inches high by 45 inches
wide came out 45 inches high by 11 inches wide, with no graphics
visible. At least it got the right dimensions, even if they were
transposed. Not sure if this is a result of Ghostscript or the PDF995
printer driver, or both.

We noticed that it uses Ghostscript heavily, but have done no testing
with GS in the past. Besides that, our company has issues with using
public-domain freeware. This makes me wonder why they are considering
PDF995 in the first place. Maybe they missed reading the Ghostscript
part of the PDF995 documentation.

Since the name "PDF995" is apparently derived from its price ($9.95), I
wonder if Adobe will match the competition and start charging $6.00 for
Acrobat 6.0?

As far as I know you don't need any Acrobat or Ghostscript in the Epic
Version.
With Epic 5 Arbortext wants to go away from Acrobat and has its own
Implementation to get PDF files.

Perhaps someone from Arbortext knows more details.

Dirk

As far as Epic 5.0 creating PDF without using Acrobat, I suspect that this may only work using XSL-FO and not FOSI. I am waiting to hear something from our local Arbortext reps on this, but if someone from Arbortext reads this and knows whether or not you will be able to make PDF without Acrobat using FOSI in the upcoming Version 5, feel free to answer here.
aed
1-Newbie
1-Newbie
(To:ebenton)

I hate to steal marketing's thunder, but since you asked (and Christmas is
almost here).... The 5.0 release will include many new features related to
pdf. I'll mention two.

The first is "direct to pdf" meaning that Epic's pdf output will be
generated using some powerful new libraries without having to go to
postscript first. All of Epic's graphics formats will be supported,
including EPS. The distiller method will continue to work as well.

The second feature is improved pdf bookmark support, and more generally pdf
metadata support. Users will be able to write stylesheets that add metadata
(Author, Title, etc.) to the pdf output document. Users will also have
stylesheet control over the bookmarks generated in the pdf. We plan to
distribute both FOSI and XSL-FO examples. For backward compatibility the
old automatic DCF based method will continue to work as well.

Andrew

Sounds good, but will "direct to pdf" work using XSL-FO stylesheets only or will it also work with FOSI? If it works with FOSI, I will be interested to try out our 45-inch-wide page models on it.

Withholding drool reflex...

Thanks for the update!

jason
lhales
1-Newbie
(To:ebenton)


Jason,

Are you like Pavlov's dog? Someone says "improving PDF" and you start to
salivate??? 🙂 Okay, so he said drooooool.

Improving PDF.

Lynn

Adding a little to Andrew's e-mail slightly since people are still
asking... Direct to PDF is a new feature of E3 and it supports both FOSI
and XSL-FO stylesheets.

John Dreystadt
Director of Product Management
Arbortext

Subscribe to the XML Publishing Network today! Sent monthly via email,
XPN provides continual news and information about XML publishing,
single sourcing and content management. To subscribe, go to


That's a shame. The E-3 product is so expensive that I will never be able to
get it. Are all of the advertised features of 5.0 only applicable to E-3 or
is there something for the rest of us?

-Andy

\ / Andy Esslinger - Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
_____-/\-_____ (817) 777 3047 LM Aero Ft. Worth F/A-22 TOD Integration
\_\/_/ Box 748 Mail Zone 4285 Ft. Worth, TX
76101

Thanks, John.
So it's only going to be available in E3 but not Editor? Sorry to keep
harping on this so far in advance of the release, but we need some
ammunition to try to stop this PDF995 (which seems far less useful than
Acrobat) thing from gaining any more momentum. If you don't want to
answer any more questions about this, that's fine. We will wait for
Arbortext Marketing to do its thing.

Sad but true for us as well, Andy.

I thought this as well. But then we pursued a E3 publisher/PDF only version.
That cut the cost down to a more palatable size.
Still more $$$ than freeware, but our time was worth something too...
Russ Lowen

Anything more than the cost of a couple more Editor licenses is considered unpalatable by our people who decide such things.



How did you pursue a "E3 publisher/PDF only version" when it is not
available until version 5 (March 2004)?

-Andy

\ / Andy Esslinger - Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company
_____-/\-_____ (817) 777 3047 LM Aero Ft. Worth F/A-22 TOD Integration
\_\/_/ Box 748 Mail Zone 4285 Ft. Worth, TX
76101

Thanks for the introduction, Ed. 😉

As John Dreystadt mentioned, direct to PDF is a new feature
of E3. Everyone's comments are appreciated and we'll
certainly take your feedback under advisement.

Regards,
Mike Sundquist
Product Marketing Manager
Arbortext, Inc.
1000 Victors Way
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
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