Why validate PDF links and bookmarks?

Considering this sort of question always reminds me of that old techie joke quote: “Who the heck is General Failure, and why is he reading my disk?”

To my mind, asking why validating bookmarks and links is important is a bit like asking why road maintenance is important. In essence, the goal is to prevent issues down the track. (See what I did there?) At best, including broken links and bookmarks in your PDF documents can annoy your reader by disrupting their viewing experience. At worst, it can make navigating through crucial content impossible. Imagine you have assembled a multi-part regulatory submission and broken it into separate PDFs for faster viewing. Maybe they are supposed to be liberally inter-linked for a seamless viewing experience, perhaps via a shared set of roadmap bookmarks. Now think about the problems you would have if those interactive links were broken.

A stitch in time saves nine, right? You can avoid this problem entirely if you check and fix the links and bookmarks before you send off the submission. That works in principle, and I heartily recommend it, but if you have to check every link manually, that means a lot of work if you have numerous, long or complex documents. This involves opening each file in something like Acrobat and visually searching through, manually checking the properties of each link or bookmark and verifying that each link both works at all and connects to the right location. Manual processing of this sort is time-consuming and prone to errors. The simplest solution might be to use Acrobat’s “Remove All Links” tool. Sure, it would delete any dead links, but it would remove all of that rich interactivity, too.

It was thinking about just this sort of conundrum that drove the development of Debenu PDF Aerialist’s link and bookmark validation functionality. For one, Aerialist’s Audit Links feature (Links > Audit Links) lets you check entire documents or archives for broken links or bookmarks.

Check for broken bookmarks and links using Debenu PDF Aerialist's Audit Links Tool

The Audit Links tool

Of course, Debenu PDF Aerialist’s Dead Link Toolbar also offers fine-grained control over dead links, allowing you to selectively delete or modify dead links on an individual or document level. Used in concert with Acrobat’s Actions, Aerialist’s auditing and dead link features can even be used on entire document archives.

The Dead Link Toolbar in Debenu PDF Aerialist

Aerialist’s Dead Link Toolbar

So, if you need to validate links in numerous, large or complex PDF documents, try Debenu PDF Aerialist. The demo version is free, so what do you have to lose, except time you’d otherwise spend manually processing PDFs? If you want to save even more time, check out this Knowledge Base article on how to validate and fix links and bookmarks using Debenu PDF Aerialist.

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New forms function added in Debenu Quick PDF Library 10.14

Debenu Quick PDF Library 10.14 is here. “Isn’t it a minor update?” That’s a bit like asking a parent which child they love most. In any case, version 10.14 definitely isn’t a minor update for some of those looking to work with PDF forms. We’ve added a new function that allows developers to programmatically extract information about complex form fields like “submit” buttons. The new function, GetFormFieldSubmitActionString, can be used to find the full URL associated with a “Submit a form” action for a specified form field.

The new function currently supports fields whose submit action is triggered by releasing the mouse button above them (i.e., those using a “Mouse Up” trigger), with others to follow.

Used in concert with the other 136 form-related functions, GetFormFieldActionString is the 137th reason for developers to turn to Debenu Quick PDF Library to build their PDF forms solutions.

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What’s the Difference Between PDF Rendering and PDF Viewing?

Like any technology, PDF comes with a new set of jargon terms. It’s unavoidable to some degree, but never fear! We’re here to help. Two terms that get thrown around a fair bit when talking about PDF are rendering and viewing.

First up, it’s helpful to talk about the nature of the Portable Document Format (PDF). It’s very common — albeit potentially misleading — to hear it discussed as a kind of electronic “final format”, or as “electronic paper”. With that sort of language sounds like we are describing a format that is designed for displaying polished, attractive documents — or, in other words, a display format. This is what can make things a bit confusing, as the truth is more complicated.

Believe it or not, PDF isn’t a display format, as such. It is actually a container for content that includes information about how to organize and lay out that content. Behind the scenes, PDF code actually looks a bit like spaghetti, with angled brackets aplenty.

In order to display the contents of a PDF file, it first needs to be rendered into an image (i.e., display) format. There are two main approaches of encoding image information, known as rasterizing and vectorizing. Each raster (or bitmap) file contains a detailed set of instructions that specify exactly what goes in each pixel of the image. By contrast, a vector file contains instructions about how to draw the image. For example a vector image might include instructions that tell the rendering engine to draw a straight line in X color of Y length, turn Z degrees and repeat the line.

Using Debenu Quick PDF Library’s PDF Rendering SDK, it’s a fairly simple matter to render PDF content into various image formats. Once PDFs have been rendered, the resulting images can be viewed, saved, printed or discarded.

For the purposes of this post, however, the most relevant of these is viewing. Using something like our Debenu PDF Viewer SDK add-on, you can build a complete viewing experience around rendered PDFs. The viewer can then be used to view, navigate and interact with PDF documents. Some PDF viewers, including Acrobat and some of those created using Debenu Quick PDF Library (and the Debenu PDF Viewer SDK add-on (allow users to make changes to PDF documents. In such cases, what actually happens behind the scenes is that the viewing software transmits these changes. When the file is saved, changes are transferred to the saved PDF rather than just updating the rendered image of the PDF.

So, in short, rendering a PDF means turning it into images that can then be displayed; viewing is what we call it when the rendered images are actually displayed. This being the case, all PDF viewers must be built on top of rendering functionality, although PDFs can also be rendered for printing or saving in the desired image format.

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Debenu Quick PDF Library 10.14 Released

The final version of Debenu Quick PDF Library 10.14 has been released and is ready for download from our product updates page.

This new version is full of new functions, enhancements and bug fixes and we recommend that all customers upgrade to it to take advantage of the improvements. Visit the product updates page to download this new version and see a full list of the changes.

Download 10.14 from our Product Updates page

Version 10.14 Highlights

  • Improved rendering of transparency and gradients
  • Rewrite of Metafile import to create subsetted fonts to significantly reduce output file size
  • Improvements to handling of duplicate object positions in malformed xref tables
  • Allow Annotation strings to use Unicode for text based properties such as title, subject, contents
  • General EMF import improvements
  • 5 new functions, 20 bug fixes and 7 enhancements


Debenu Quick PDF Library 10 is a major new version of the product which means that the upgrade process is different from the minor version upgrade process, namely, upgrades are not free unless you meet certain requirements.

Free upgrades

Customers who purchased version 9 of Debenu Quick PDF Library on or after the 24th of August, 2013 (within 60 days of version 10’s release) or who own an active Premium Upgrade Protection subscription are eligible for free upgrades from version 9 to version 10.

Contact our sales team if you fall into this category and we’ll help you out.

Purchase an upgrade

An upgrade from version 9 or earlier versions to version 10 can be purchased at a discount (starting price is $269.00) through our online store. Users can upgrade their Single Developer, Multiple Developer or Source Code licenses to version 10. It’s also possible to purchase Premium Upgrade Protection with your upgrade purchase.

For example, if you own a Single Developer License + Standard Upgrade Protection for version 9 of Debenu Quick PDF Library then you will need to purchase the Single Developer Upgrade License + Standard Upgrade Protection (9.x to 10.x) product in order to upgrade to version 10 — though you can choose to buy the Premium Upgrade Protection version of that product if you prefer.


As always we’d love to hear your thoughts on the new version of Debenu Quick PDF Library. If you have any questions, comments or general feedback, please let us know.

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Digital Signatures for Tax and Accounting Software, Thanks to Debenu Quick PDF Library

One of the best things about PDF is what it can do for paperwork. Let’s try that again. One of the best things about PDF is what it can do to paperwork. Specifically, a major advantage of using PDF over processing-heavy paper-based workflows is efficiency. One specific area where using PDF can save a boatload of time and hence, money, is in the area of handling signatures.

When you need a signature, your workflow comes to a screeching halt until you get it. No signature means no submission, and no submission means no approval. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the world of tax and accounting. Waiting for manual signatures is bad enough, but chasing them can be a major time-suck for tax and accounting firms.

What to do? Luckily, the IRS recognized the problem. Earlier this month, it permitted the use of digital signatures on Forms 8878 and 8879. While the documents outlining this are clear that the IRS is agnostic with respect to signature technology, we submit that compliant PDF signatures can be effectively implemented using Debenu Quick PDF Library.

One thing about a big product like Debenu Quick PDF Library is that it has a lot of features. It has so many, in fact, that it is easy to lose track. As such, you could be forgiven for not realizing that Debenu Quick PDF Library actually supports all of the examples of acceptable signature methods provided by the IRS. These include, but are not limited to digitized handwritten signatures, typed names, native digital signatures, codes and vector graphical marks.

As such, Debenu Quick PDF Library can form a crucial link in the chain for those looking to build tax or accounting software solutions that support robust digital signatures technology.

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A Trio of New Functions

The latest major update to Debenu Quick PDF Library (version 10.13) added a trio of new functions for gathering information about fonts. Respectively, GetFontIsEmbedded and GetFontIsSubsetted reveal whether an entire font or only a subset are embedded in the PDF.

The third function, GetFontMetrics, gives you even more, and provides a range of information about font size and spacing, including: average character width, ascent, descent, internal and external leading and em square/em quad value.

Taken together, the three functions combine to form a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts, like Voltron

It can be challenging to work with fonts at the best of times. Embedding complete fonts might be required to meet archiving standards (e.g., PDF/A), but there is no uniform licensing scheme that permits this for all fonts. Two of the new functions are specifically designed to reveal the  embedding status of any given font, allowing users to avoid such headaches. Additionally, if you are building PDF content from scratch, for example, with Debenu Quick PDF Library, then information about font size and spacing is a crucial part of the typesetting process.

So, together, the new font-related features let developers check for possible problems and build better-looking PDFs.

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Debenu PDF Viewer SDK Beta Released

Debenu PDF Viewer SDK Beta has been released and is ready for downloading and testing.  The Beta installer can be downloaded from the button below.

Download Debenu Quick PDF Library

Release Notes


  • Support for clicking link annotations
  • Debenu Quick PDF Library functions now directly accessible from Debenu PDF Viewer SDK (e.g. axDPVActiveX1.DQPLDrawText(100.0, 100.0, “Debenu PDF Viewer SDK”);).
  • Performance improvements


Want to get started? Visit the new Debenu PDF Viewer SDK page to download the trial or purchase a license:

This viewer control is sold as an add-on for Debenu Quick PDF Library version 10. The price for existing version 10 customers is $350 and the bundle price if you need to purchase version 10 of Debenu Quick PDF Library and Debenu PDF Viewer SDK Add-On is $799.

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Debenu Quick PDF Library 10.14 Beta 1 Released

Debenu Quick PDF Library 10.14 Beta 1 has been released and is ready for downloading and testing.  The 10.14 Beta 1 installer can be downloaded from the button below.

Download Debenu Quick PDF Library

Release Notes

New functions

  • GetAnnotEmbeddedFileName
  • GetAnnotEmbeddedToFile
  • GetAnnotEmbeddedFileString

Bug fixes

  • Fixed and obscure rendering bug caused by malformed PowerPoint files that added strange lines in the render output
  • Fixed regression in SetFormFieldValue when setting multiple choice field entries
  • GetFormFieldPage was not returning correct page number for malformed for PDF’s with an indirect Kids reference
  • Fixed processing of vector graphics with /Indexed /CalRGB colorspace
  • Fixed text alignment in the DrawTextArc function
  • Fixed rendering of images with /DCTDecode filter and /Separation /DeviceCMYK colorspace
  • Fixed handling of certain TrueType fonts with mismatched glyph and points arrays
  • Corrected handling of /DCTDecode /Lab images and /Indexed /Lab images
  • Fixed a minor indexed image decoding issue relating to the indexed data stream
  • Corrected inversion of inline stencil mask images with Debenu PDF Library Renderer
  • Updated form fields appearance stream


  • AddFreeTextAnnotation now supports 0, 90, 180 and 270 degree text rotation
  • Copyright notice updated in source code files
  • LoadFromFile sets LastErrorCode to 401 for files that cannot be found
  • Improvements to handling of duplicate object positions in malformed xref tables
  • Add new TextExtractionOption to output not ASCII characters in the output results
  • Improvements to handling of invalid entries in malformed xref tables and byte shifted documents

Upgrading To Version 10

If you are still using version 7, 8 or 9 and would like to upgrade visit this page:

Feedback! Any feedback large or small is appreciated. We’ll shortly be planning the next round of exciting new features for Debenu Quick PDF Library, so we’d really like to know what you want to see added to the SDK. Don’t be shy, email us and have your say.

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Linking to Specific Locations within a PDF

Debenu Quick PDF Library has added a lot of new features in version 10.13. One of them is a new link builder. AdLinkToFileDest  creates clickable hotspots that link to the selected named destinations. Each destination corresponds to a specific page and location within a PDF document. Each link created in this way can point to either a different location in the same PDF (i.e., the one with the link) or to a different PDF document entirely.

Adding a link from one PDF to another is impressive, like getting a reverse parallel park right on the first try. If you want to be really impressive, try linking to a specific location within a PDF using Debenu Quick PDF Library’s new link builder. That’s like driving in at high-speed and drifting into the parking space.

Once links have been created with the new linker, the colors of their borders can be set using the existing function, SetAnnotBorderColor.

All of these added functions allow you to build the linking capabilities into your applications, which in turn empowers your end users.

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Introducing Debenu PDF Viewer SDK: An ActiveX Control for Displaying PDF Files

Debenu PDF Viewer SDK Box ProductWe’re really excited to announce the release of Debenu PDF Viewer SDK, a new visual PDF viewer ActiveX control, which will be sold as an add-on to Debenu Quick PDF Library version 10.

Debenu PDF Viewer SDK is provided as an ActiveX control which can be used to quickly add PDF viewing capabilities to Windows applications. While users of Debenu Quick PDF Library have always been able to construct their own PDF viewers using the rendering functions, we’ve had many requests for a more simpler solution that could be quickly added to an application in minutes and due to popular demand, we’ve decided to do it.

For now the PDF viewer control contains simple zooming, page scrolling and page flipping features. It will of course be enhanced further with each beta release based on the feedback that you give us and the desire you express for certain features.

Want to get started? Visit the new Debenu PDF Viewer SDK page to download the trial or purchase a license:

This viewer control is sold as an add-on for Debenu Quick PDF Library version 10. The price for existing version 10 customers is $350 and the bundle price if you need to purchase version 10 of Debenu Quick PDF Library and Debenu PDF Viewer SDK Add-On is $799.

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