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Convert to PDF (without PostScript) -- How is it Possible?

When someone explained to me what a PDF is, I came to understand that a 
PDF is essentially a "distilled" PostScript file.  So to create one, you 
need to "print" to a PostScript printer driver, then "distill" the 
resulting postscript file with a PostScript interpreter, like Acrobat 
Distiller or Ghostscript.

But OpenOffice can convert to PDF without PostScript.

It just does it, and I can't imagine how.

WordPerfect Office Suite has "Publish to PDF." You just click and a PDF 
happens.

And there are other programs that perform similarly.  None of them need 
Distller, Ghostscript, or any other interpreter.

So, if I can articulate my question clearly, is a PDF made through a 
process that circumvents the PS to PDF route just as much a "real" PDF 
as those that are made the "conventional" way?

Is the OpenOffice way an "alternate" method of making a PDF, or is it 
essentially the same thing?  Is it somehow a "cheat?"

Is there a programmers term, or expression, for this type of PDF creation?
0
PDFrank
7/20/2006 12:27:28 AM
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> It just does it, and I can't imagine how.

Of course a program can create a PDF directly, just as it can create
any other format file directly.  If you can't imagine how (which is
rather odd), then please read the Adobe PDF Reference which can be
found at:

http://partners.adobe.com/public/developer/en/pdf/PDFReference16.pdf

0
Kilgore
7/20/2006 6:48:31 AM
PDFrank <pdfrank@some.com> wrote:

>When someone explained to me what a PDF is, I came to understand that a 
>PDF is essentially a "distilled" PostScript file.  So to create one, you 
>need to "print" to a PostScript printer driver, then "distill" the 
>resulting postscript file with a PostScript interpreter, like Acrobat 
>Distiller or Ghostscript.
>
>But OpenOffice can convert to PDF without PostScript.
>It just does it, and I can't imagine how.

Well, a PDF contains a set of drawing instructions, information about
interactive stuff, and a wrapper to hold it all together.

PostScript drawing instructions can be translated to PDF drawing
instructions, this can be wrapped up, and you have a PDF.

But a program can create the drawing instructions and a wrapper
directly. You can buy a book about how to make a PDF, in detail (1200
pages), so Distiller isn't the only program that could make a PDF.
>
>So, if I can articulate my question clearly, is a PDF made through a 
>process that circumvents the PS to PDF route just as much a "real" PDF 
>as those that are made the "conventional" way?

Yes, just as real. 

Adobe have several programs that can create PDF directly in this way:
Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. While other Adobe programs SEEM
to do this (PageMaker and FrameMaker) but what happens behind the
scenes is actually a print-distill process you don't see. 
>
>Is there a programmers term, or expression, for this type of PDF creation?

It isn't a programmer's term - a programmer would consider a PDF
creation tool as definition enough. Some end users might call it
"direct PDF creation" or "PDF export".

Note that any program has the potential to make a PDF badly. Some
people react to this by laying down strict rules like "distilled PDF
files only".

And it isn't just badly: some PDF files contain totally valid things
that some people with out of date equipment can't print correctly.
Rather than blame their unwillingness to upgrade, some people will
blame the PDF files, and also lay down strict rules about what is a
"good PDF" (i.e. a PDF that their old rubbish can handle OK).
----------------------------------------
Aandi Inston  quite@dial.pipex.com http://www.quite.com
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quite
7/20/2006 7:44:05 AM
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