Debenu Quick PDF Library 10.15 Beta 1 Released

Debenu Quick PDF Library 10.15 Beta 1 has been released and is ready for downloading and testing.  The 10.15 Beta 1 installer can be downloaded from the button below.

Download Debenu Quick PDF Library

Release Notes

New functions

  • GetPageUserUnit
  • SetPageUserUnit
  • AddPageMatrix

Bug fixes

  • Fixed a rendering exception for images using large patterns
  • Fixed a small memory leak in SetFormFieldRotation
  • Reverted TextAscent and TextAscent to previous values
  • Fixed GetAnnotStrProperty(111) to perform a UTF-8 conversion on the string to return a Unicode value
  • Fixed GetPageText to use CapHeight if Ascent and Descent are not specified
  • Fixed a minor regression in GetPageText(4) with some rare text combinations
  • Fixed a regression in malformed PDF file loading for a particular malformed PDF
  • Fixed an obscure CJK font rendering issue
  • Added automatic C40 encoding to DrawDataMatrixCode to allow for more characters to be encoded
  • Fixed DrawArc function for cases when StartAngle is bigger than EndAngle
  • Improvements to non-embedded TrueType fonts in EMF files and other fixes
  • Revert EMF header changes back to previous revision due to regressions
  • Fix to SetFormFieldValue to all setting a one character subname correctly
  • RemoveXFAEntries now removes Extensions and StructTreeRoot entries
  • Text extraction results now returned based on SetOrigin and SetMeasurementUnits values
  • Rewrite ReplaceImage to use recursion to find nested XObject images
  • Updated GetTextBlockBound function to return values based on current SetOrigin and SetMeasurementUnits values
  • Small Improvements to CheckFileCompliance

Enhancements

  • Updated documentation for GetFormFieldBorderColor(+Type) and GetFormFieldBackgroundColor(+Type) functions
  • Support for Delphi XE6

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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What is a “real” developer?

I recently saw a blog post by Scott Hanselman that got me thinking about what it means to be a developer these days. That post was inspired by a plea from a young reader to resolve something of an identity crisis about whether they were “really a developer or just a good googler”. Hanselman was very respectful to the poster, I thought. He talked about how we all feel unworthy sometimes and suggested a skill-building regime of Code Katas, Project Euler problems and, well, programming without googling.

With all due respect to Hanselman, though, I’d like to suggest an alternative view. While following his recommendations would probably improve our coding fundamentals, these skills need to be used regularly to be maintained. If they aren’t often used in a practical setting, their main effect would probably be to make us feel more secure in our identities as programmers.

Why couldn’t we just say that, like most other professions, the regular, meat-and-potatoes work of a developer has significantly changed over time? We stand on the shoulders of giants, and we live in a commercial world that emphasizes efficiency. In such an environment, spending the extra time to re-invent the wheel whenever we want to design the next model of a Toyota sedan strikes me as rather counter-productive.

Don’t get me wrong. A solid understanding of development principles, technologies and syntax is certainly still crucial to the modern software developer. Without those, it isn’t possible to tell good code from bad code, or to correctly identify which blocks of code are most appropriate for tackling a given project. Using a sophisticated tool-kit that includes code samples, software development becomes less about individually placing each brick and more about selecting, trimming and placing more complex pre-fabricated materials.

It’s also important to be judicious about when you use existing code. Ultimately, developers are problem-solvers. When you present us with a problem, we break it into smaller pieces, and then look for the most efficient ways to address our needs. Often, existing software or code can fulfill at least some of those needs. If we make use of existing tech, we can then work out how the different modules might work together and get cracking on customizing, integrating and wrapping the various components into an elegant and coherent solution. The less time we spend building from scratch, the more time we have to integrate, polish and test.

You need to understand code to edit and customize it, but it won’t be surprising if our low-level skills start to fade from lack of use. What we are seeing, I think, is a global shift from low-level to high-level. Today’s development is often more conceptual than constructional, and I don’t think that change is necessarily a bad thing.

With all of that in mind, I think Hanselman’s suggestions about going back to basics are a great path to self-improvement that doesn’t necessarily sit comfortably with either this trend or a commercial imperative. Actually, they remind me of a lot of other admirable extra-curricular pursuits. Some people lovingly restore vintage cars in their spare time; others pursue physical perfection through diet and exercise; still others are enthusiasts who love using older technology like CB radios.

Honing your coding fundamentals is laudable, and understanding is crucial for good development, even when making heavy use of samples. Maybe, though, Code Katas are most at home as part of an after-hours self-improvement challenge.

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Debenu PDF Aerialist 11.2.1.35 Released

Debenu PDF Aerialist version 11.2.1.35 has been released and is available from the Debenu PDF Aerialist product updates page. This is a free upgrade for all customers who own a version 11 license. If you own a version prior to version 11 then you can upgrade to version 11 on this page. If you’re interested in what’s new in version 11 of Debenu PDF Aerialist check out this blog post: 11 New Features in Debenu PDF Aerialist 11 That You May Have Missed.

This new release of Debenu PDF Aerialist 11.2.1.35 is a maintenance release which includes a lot of improvements in the bookmarks, links and batch processing areas of the plug-in.

Release Notes

  • General improvements for most features in batch processing
  • Network drive issue in Link Reports resolved
  • Import bookmarks from CSV file fix
  • Issue with Audit Links fixed
  • Issue with Link Reports fixed
  • Imposition fix for PDF with layers
  • General enhancements

Feedback

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

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Debenu PDF Viewer SDK 10.14 Released

The final version of Debenu PDF Viewer SDK 10.14.0.4 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

  • Text selection support added
  • Debenu Quick PDF Library functions now directly accessible within Debenu PDF Viewer SDK as shown in the sample projects
  • Added new C++ MFC sample project
  • Added bookmark tree to all samples
  • Trial period issues resolved

Upgrading

This is a free upgrade for all customers who have purchased a license to a previous version of Debenu PDF Viewer SDK.

Feedback

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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New upgrade pricing for Debenu Quick PDF Library version 10

Debenu will soon be rolling out its new update pricing for version 10 of Debenu Quick PDF Library. Specific pricing depends on the version currently owned, with those upgrading from version 9 paying less that those upgrading from earlier versions.

Compared with version 9, the latest release of version 10 boasts 179 new functions, enhancements, and bug fixes.

Purchase pricing for the full version of Debenu Quick PDF Library will be unaffected, starting from $449. Debenu maintains its commitment to a royalty-free licensing model, so as always, pay once and it’s yours.

Highlights

Cumulatively since version 9, the latest iteration of Debenu Quick PDF Library 10 features:

  • 30 enhancements
  • 28 new functions
  • 121 bug fixes
  • Integrated PDF rendering SDK
  • Compatibility with Debenu PDF Viewer SDK add-on

Upgrading

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 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.

In the next few weeks those seeking to upgrade from previous versions can do so for the regular upgrade price.

Feedback

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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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

Upgrading

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.

Feedback

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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