troy at rpsystems.net
Thu Jul 22 15:43:31 CDT 2004
On Jul 22, 2004, at 4:04 PM, Brian Yennie wrote:
> Unfortunately there is no cross-platform and reliable way to view PDFs
> in Rev... of course, the only thing I know of that matches that
> criteria is a web browser plugin, but here are some tidbits:
> 1) On MacOS X, Quicktime player objects can display PDF (go Mac)
> 2) You can launch a URL and rely on the PDF plugin in the browser- try
> a regular "file://" style URL.
> 3) You can open a file with an application, although the user may have
> to locate Acrobat Reader (and have it installed)
> 4) An external _could_ be written to actually use the browser plugin
> in a roundabout way, but it wouldn't be easy
> 5) Use altBrowser on windows as a browser object and load the PDF
> using a browser plugin this plus #2 might do the trick, albeit much
> different methods per platform.
In other words - there is no good way to use PDF files right now. ;-)
Which is pretty much what I meant. Business runs on Acrobat - even more
than HTML. I think this is going to be an important issue for RunRev
(or an externals developer) to consider. In my dreams, we'll ultimately
see a new object in the tools palette, of type PDF. Click it, draw a
rect, point the property inspector at a file. I hate to say this again,
but, I can do this in Director (requires a pricey xtra.)
Regarding the list-member suggested import and convert, Brian said,
> FWIW, I don't think you'll find this anytime soon. As evidence of how
> cryptic and hard to support the PDF format is, witness that there is
> no standard API for Windows and Apple only recently spun it's own.
> Almost all PDF viewing applications rely directly or indirectly on
> Acrobat and/or an Adobe plugin. And that's just to display the file,
> let alone break it apart and show it in some other format.
I agree. For the Director xtra, they used low-level Acrobat libraries,
licensed from Adobe, I believe. The end result is extremely powerful.
You can make your own version of Acrobat reader within Director, with
search, fillable forms, printing, cross-document linking and PDF
security functions all available. This is the sort of capability which
would be truly awesome in Rev, which is arguably better suited to
"document style" applications, as well as business apps.
In one of my current projects, I dynamically index several hundred
complex PDF files into a high speed embedded database, and do
full-context search among all of them, display, print, etc. Not to
mention that I build an animated hierarchal menu for them on-the-fly,
and have sliding panels which reveal keyword, author, etc.
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