Reading PDF - a cry for help

Ralph DiMola rdimola at
Thu Sep 29 13:20:45 EDT 2011

I've been trying to find a way just to render a PDF in LC on Android and
iOS. There are several major roadblock even after rendering such as links,
bookmarks, buttons, combo boxes, etc. But then there's also the java issue.
Read the PDF specification for a real headache So.... to implement the PDF
object is not as easy as it might seem. There must be some 3rd party PDF
renders out there that might be able to dovetail into LC. This would allow
distribution of PDF via an app with some modicum of DRM.

Ralph DiMola
IT Director
Evergreen Information Services
Phone: 518-636-3998 Ex:11
Cell: 518-796-9332

-----Original Message-----
From: use-livecode-bounces at
[mailto:use-livecode-bounces at] On Behalf Of Dar Scott
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2011 12:39 PM
To: How to use LiveCode
Subject: Re: Reading PDF - a cry for help

I see three directions to pulling images out of PDF files on Windows:

1.  Use a command-line utility and shell() plus file I/O
2.  Loosely parse the PDF file
3.  Create an external

I recommend starting with #1 and seeing how it works for you.  All are


On Sep 29, 2011, at 8:01 AM, Graham Samuel wrote:

> Folks, for some months now (it seems even longer) I have been seeking a
solution to the problem of reading PDF-formatted images into Livecode
stacks. What I'm looking for is solution that  looks like an 'import paint'
command: in other words, I want to be able to load a small subset of the
possible contents of a PDF - just bitmap images - into a stack via script.
Sadly I want to do this on a PC, running at a minimum Windows XP. My users
want a simple solution that makes reading from a PDF no more complicated
than reading a JPG.
> I have explored several possibilities, including using a 'free' PDF reader
that is somehow hidden from the user of my app, and using say 'shell' to
control it and to pass an image to LiveCode. However I have not found a
realistic way of doing this, particularly when I include the need to have a
very simple installation process - the user should not see any additional
application, nor be obliged to provide substantial additional resources, as
would be true for example if one used ImageMagick in this way in a PC
> Short of RunRev itself extending input formats to include PDF (not
impossible, but not likely in the short term), the solution would seem to be
to licence a third-party library component and integrate it into my app by
the use of bridging ('glue') code. I got pretty near with this one, having
identified a component with suitable licensing terms and functionality
(Sorax DLL). RunRev suggested that I could do the gluing with the aid of a
'C' programmer. It turns out after a lot of research by Thierry Douez, who
has been helping me, that what I need is a person familiar with Visual
Studio to accomplish this - but I despair of finding such a person who would
also be familiar with the externals interface of the LiveCode engine. Maybe
I will find such a person, but the trail does seem to have gone cold.
> Has anyone any suggestion as to how I might proceed? My app works so
nicely with JPG and PNG files, and I have (a little) belief that I could
make it work with TIFF files, but without PDF input I am dead in the water.
> Graham
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Dar Scott
Dar Scott Consulting
8637 Horacio Place NE
Albuquerque, NM 87111

Lab, home, office phone: +1 505 299 9497
For Skype and fax, please contact.
dsc at

Computer Programming and tinkering,
often making LiveCode libraries and
externals, sometimes writing associated
microcontroller firmware.  

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