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Posted - July 19 2011 :  4:16:05 PM  Show Profile Send a private message to admin
Many of you import PDF files into your Apex P/O documents. I know that some of you are still having mixed results, despite all of the improvements in Apex 10.

This really hit home with me last week. I had made a new Apex brochure and sent a PDF version to FedEx to have it printed. On my desktop computer using Adobe Reader 9.4.5 it looked great. On my laptop using a Nuance program it also looked great.

When I sent it out for printing there were a bunch of black artifacts running through one of the graphics. FedEx was using a variety of programs, including Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional which displayed the artifacts. This demonstrated that even between different versions of Adobe programs a document can be rendered differently.

If you are curious, I solved the problem by using a free program named CutePDF Writer to make the PDF file for me instead of having Microsoft Publisher do it. CutePDF Writer appears as though it is a printer on your computer but instead of physically printing your documents is saves them as PDF files. You can Google “CutePDF Writer” if you want to download a copy yourself. Did I mention free!?

Using a CutePDF Writer generated PDF file FedEx reprinted my brochures. I am mentioning FedEx by name because they offered to reprint them for free, even though it was completely my fault that I had missed the artifacts when I reviewed the proof. Anyway, back to the Apex story…

I have decided in Apex 10.5 to solve this problem by giving up. That’s not as bad as it sounds. Let me explain.

PDF is now unquestionably the ubiquitous document format. So, instead of trying to convert PDF files into a different format I am going to store documents in your Apex database in PDF form. That doesn’t mean that Apex will be able to display every PDF file correctly. If Adobe invented the PDF format and even their own programs can’t always display PDF files consistently then there is little hope that I would be able to do a better job. What I will do, though, is try the best I can to display the documents inside the Apex program, and I will also add the ability for you to quickly send them to an external program like Adobe Reader for viewing.

I am in the process of writing an Apex 10.5 database conversion routine that will convert your existing document images (which are in TIFF format) to PDF format.

This might also help if you have people accessing the P/O document images through an Apex web site, since they will almost certainly have a PDF viewer on their computers. TIFF viewers are a little less common, depending on what programs are installed on their computers.

-- Phil

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