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Faqs

Developers

All of Visual Integrity’s products are built upon the same framework. Some are scaled for enterprise use and some are packaged for ease-of-use on a Windows desktop. No matter which product you use, it is built upon our proven and reliable engine, a framework which has withstood the demands of many of the world’s most respected companies for more than 20 years.

architecture

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Visual Integrity is well know for turning PDF into other formats but our software is also an excellent choice for creating PDF files. Unlike other technologies which use printer-drivers as an intermediate step to create their PDF-files, we have developed core technology which generates the PDF-file directly from within our engine. This leads to a faster, more accurate conversion.

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No, neither Acrobat nor GhostScript are required. All of our products are standalone tools, completely self-contained, and based on our powerful engine developed, improved and extended over almost two decades. Our products are not based on print drivers as brokers so the conversions are more pure and accurate. Everything that you need to run them on your desktop or to use them for you development is included in your delivery download.

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When you buy a license or register for evaluation, we will provide you with a “Download Now” link for your product. Click on the link to start the download. We recommend that you save this file to your hard-disk (choose location) and then simply double-click on it to start the installation process. Follow the instructions until installation is complete.

For batch automation (FLY Batch and PDF Pro CL): In order to enable the batch conversion engine for use via the command-line, you must add the installation path for the software to your %path% variable.

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All of our desktop products are based on the same engine that drives our developer tools. Because of this, we recommend a two-step approach to evaluations. First, get a reliable indication of the core functionality and output quality by performing test conversions simply using end-user 30-day trial versions. Then, using additional documentation, the same standard Windows download will also allow testing of the command line, which is a straight-forward interface for many development environments. Contact us for instructions on how to use it if the information provided on the web-site is not sufficient. Evaluations of the API/DLL are available for download also. Please contact support@visual-integrity.com for the download link.

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Visual Integrity offers two different approaches for accessing and integrating our conversion framework into a process or application. Depending on which is more appropriate for your needs, you’ll either use:

  • FLY Batch to call the batch executable via the command line
  • FLY SDK to make VB/C++ API calls to the DLL engine

FLY Batch is used via the command line to automate conversions as part of a larger process or work-flow. It works without user intervention based on scripted calls or watch folders. It supports many standard image and vector output formats as well as text. Output can be highly customized using intelligent filter options which are applied as part of the conversion.

The API developer tool, FLY SDK, calls the DLL engine from a VB/C++ program is a separate file containing LIB and header files and sample source code. It requires a license code to be unlocked. The DLL can be used to convert specified files or via Windows GDI calls.

For both the FLY Batch (command-line) and FLY SDK (API/DLL), all filter parameters such as rotation, resolution and font mapping are defined in the tgc.ini file. An overview of the options and their use is available in PDF format below. These options are checked and applied during conversion to the output format.

Developers need to download and install the current version of PDF FLY or META FLY, which is the same product that end users download. This includes all developer interfaces and the DLL’s as well. It also includes all of the command line scripts. When called from the command line, the software will run in evaluation mode by default stamping a watermark on every output file. The license key file received upon purchase removes the watermark.

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Yes!. We offer the PDF Pro Series, a collection of robust, value-priced SDKs for corporate and limited commercial development for converting PDF into other formats. FLY SDK provides robust functionality for OEM’s and commercial developers. Please contact us to discuss your project and get onto a fast-track evaluation. We’ll help you tune the parameters and optimize the results to ensure your integration is smooth and makes the most of our SDK.

See flysdk.com for more information !

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FLY Batch is for process automation, integration and server-side automation. The powerful batch executable allows you to invoke the DLL engine via the command line. The functionality is embedded in the standard PDF FLY and META FLY downloads for evaluation.

In order to enable the batch conversion engine for use via the command-line, you must add the installation path for the software to your %path% variable. This can be done via the Control Panel -> System -> Advanced->Environment
Variables:
%path% variable

By default PDF FLY is installed in C:/Program Files/Visual Integrity/PDF FLY
This installation path must be added to the %path% directory.
On the command line you can do this by:
Set path=%path%;”C:/Program Files/Visual Integrity/PDF FLY v__” (fill in version number)

FLY Batch for PDF and PostScript (Adobe PostScript, EPS and PDF input)

  • To convert PDF files, run pdf2xxx. Settings for pdf2xxx are defined in the pdf2xxx.ini file.
  • To convert PS or EPS files, run ps2xxx. Settings for ps2xxx are defined in the ps2xxx.ini file.

FLY Batch for Metafiles (WMF and EMF input)

  • To convert WMF files, run wmf2xxx. Settings for wmf2xxx are defined in the wmf2xxx.ini file.
  • To convert EMF files, run emf2xxx. Settings for emf2xxx are defined in the emf2xxx.ini file.

General Usage:

  • See the “options” PDF file for an overview of the variables and their use. You can open and edit the .ini files with a text editor like Notepad. The pdf2xxx.ini file is used for PDF and the ps2xxx.ini file is used for PostScript and EPS.
  • The extension of your source file determines which conversion filter will be invoked.

So, for example, to convert myfile.eps to myfile.svg run: ps2xxx myfile.eps myfile.svg.

To convert myfile.wmf to yourfile.jpg run: wmf2xxx myfile.wmf yourfile.jpg.

To convert foo.pdf to for example foo.gif run: pdf2xxx foo.pdf foo.gif

Need help? Call us or email support@visual-integrity.com.

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FLY SDK is a very powerful conversion engine yet simple to integrate into your application code. You just need to customize your conversion profile (.ini) and then hook into the engine. Only two API calls are needed to convert to any of the vector or bitmap output formats, Below are some examples:

Convert 4dbar.ps to 4dbar.wmf using the ps2xxx.ini configuration file
VgPsLoadOptions(PS2XXX, “ps2xxx.ini”);
VgPsConvert(“4dbar.ps”, “4dbar.wmf”, PWMF, NULL);

Convert 4dbar.pdf to 4dbar.png using the pdf2xxx.ini configuration file
VgPsLoadOptions(PDF2XXX, “pdf2xxx.ini”);
VgPsBitmapConvert(“4dbar.pdf”, “4dbar.png”, PNG, NULL);

Convert 4dbar.emf to 4dbar.svg using the emfxxx.ini configuration file
VgPsLoadOptions(EMF2XXX, “emf2xxx.ini”);
VgEmfFileFlowTo(“4Dbar.emf”, SVG, “4Dbar.svg”);

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The FLY SDK API has been extended with a powerful, new option to parse through a list of text, vector and image objects in a PDF-file and then edit, delete or add objects to the page. This page can then be generated as a PDF file or any of our other output formats which include DXF, HP-GL/II, WMF, EMF, CGM, MIF, SVG, ASCII, TIFF, BMP, JPEG, GIF, EPS, and PostScript. This new feature hold significance in the regulation and compliancy markets, among others, where it’s important to remove or redact privacy-related information from files.

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The new “Merge & Mark” feature allows you to add any PDF, EPS or PS file during your conversion as a background, watermark or stamp to the files that you are converting. This new merged file can then be fed to the conversion engine and output in any of the supported vector and image formats.

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PDF Fonts Not Displaying Correctly?

Using the perfect font can make or break the impact a document has. Fonts are also complicated. If you have a PDF file which is not displaying well, it’s likely that PDF font mapping is the culprit.

A PDF document expects to have its fonts installed wherever it’s viewed. When it’s opened, the PDF matches its referenced fonts to the local system’s fonts. If all the fonts are available, the document looks great. Success relies on the set of fonts available of the viewing PC. Using standard system fonts as much as possible will help prevent font mismatches. An exception is branding, where the font used is a valuable, recognizable asset. It should never become compromised.

Listing of standard fonts by system

Top 5 Reasons Fonts Don’t Display Right

1. Font Substitution

When the PDF file can’t find the same font on the reader’s PC, it will choose the closest substitute. This may be almost impossible to see or very obvious. It all depends on the font chosen as a substitute. There are three basic options when dealing with font substitution:

  • Accept the substitution if it’s a minor difference
  • Buy the missing font and install it on your system
  • Define a font-mapping (see below) if possible

Example of a font substitution with a minor difference.  Adobe does a very good job when substituting fonts. They get close in most cases. Close enough that there’s no need to purchase fonts or spend a lot of time troubleshooting. In the example below, substituted text (yellow) is placed over the original embedded font text (red). The visible red marks show where the substitution deviates from the original font.

font mapping example of embedded text

Example of original embedded font text

font mapping comparison of substituted text to embedded text

Yellow substituted font text is placed over original red embedded font text.

2. Embedding Fonts to Avoid Font Substitution not Possible

Several PDF creation tools allow you to embed fonts or font subsets. Embedded fonts travel with the PDF file and ensure accurate display on any system. Be careful because they will increase file size, usually at least doubling it. Due to license restrictions, embed fonts at your own risk. You can only embed fonts with permission. Even free, open source fonts can have restrictions. Example of Adobe’s Font Embedding Policy

A note about Visual integrity Software and Embedded Fonts. In compliance with font rules, our programs do not embed fonts by default. We reference the fonts by their names. If fonts, with the same names, are on the target PC, the file will open and display as intended. If the same fonts are not on the PC, which is much more likely, the text includes the closest allowable font. If you need fonts embedded for a project, we can do that for you as a custom service, with proof of license.

How to see what embedded fonts your document contains.
Open the PDF in either Reader or Acrobat. Bring up the document properties (Ctrl-D or Cmd-D), then go to the Fonts tab. Here, you can see the state of each font. The two examples below show the same font when it’s embedded and when it has been substituted.

embedded font

Embedded Font

Substituted Font - Adobe Sans MM

Substituted Font – Adobe Sans MM

3. When PDF Document Font Names Don’t Match PC Font Names, Use Font Mapping

For fonts to display as intended in a PDF file, the same font with the same name must be on both systems. Unfortunately, the exact same font may go by several different names. Arial Bold on your system, for example, may be “EHJPKB+Arial-Bold” in the original file. Even though these are identical fonts, the PDF does not know it because they have different names. You have to tell it with a PDF font mapping. In this example, map “EHJPKB_Arial-Bold” as “Arial” with font style “Bold”.

font-mapping

Mismatches are common. Resolve them whenever possible through font mapping. If mapping the font is not possible, it’s substituted as described above.

4. Unknown Font in the PDF Document

Ensure an exact match by converting formatted text to bezier curves. When you need a precise match, but the source font is unknown or not available, it’s best to convert the text to a graphic. This is an excellent approach for logos and other brand assets. It’s also recommended for technical text like equations and formulas. Once converted to graphics, they are no longer editable and there’s no possibility to introduce error during font substitution.

A note about Visual integrity Software and Text as Curves. Our programs offer a “Characters to Curves” option. Using it, each character renders as a bezier curve object. This graphical representation of the character uses font information stored in the PDF. If the font was not embedded in the PDF, we refer to the /fonts/ directory in the installation folder. Add Type 1 or TrueType fonts to this folder as needed to ensure a perfect match. To outline specific fonts during conversion, contact us.

5. It’s a Kerning Issue, Not a Font Issue

When PDF is converted into vector formats such as SVG or EMF, kerning may be the culprit if the text doesn’t look right. Kerning is the process of adjusting space between characters to make the text more visually appealing.  This feature is only available for use with proportions fonts; not fixed width fonts. Please contact us if you need more information how to configure thus. Turning this option on could improve the WYSIWYG matching of the text strings.

In Summary….

Look for Font Warnings. Many programs that output PDF produce error and warning logs. Check these if you create or receive a PDF file that doesn’t look right.

Contact Us. We have 25+ years of expertise built up around PDF, file formats and fonts. We may be able to help you make sense of your font issues.

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It is easy it is to create a PostScript file from virtually any application on a PC. Most PC’s are likely to have a PostScript printer driver configured in its printers settings. If not, you must Install a PostScript Printer Driver before going any further.

  1. Open your file within your application and then select “File…”, “Print”
  2. Choose your PostScript printer. Note that you can use any PostScript driver included with Microsoft Windows without having the actual printer since you will simply be printing to a file.
  3. Press “OK”  to print to file. Note that the PostScript tab under Properties should be set to Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) for best results.
  4. You will be prompted for a file name and location. If you do not assign .ps as the extension, the default in Windows will be .PRN. Both are valid input extensions.
  5. Open your Visual Integrity software and when prompted for a PostScript file to convert, go to the location chosen in Step 4 and select the new .ps or .prn file for conversion.

TIPS:

  • The extension does not matter – Some systems give printer files a default extension, like .prn or .plt. This does not matter. If the file has been created using a PostScript printer driven, the result will be a PostScript file that Visual Integrity software can convert.
  • Watch out for PCL: Most HP printers use a printer language called PCL. The default mode on HP PostScript printers is usually PCL. PCL can not be converted by TGC. Be sure that your HP printer is in PostScript mode to ensure a successful conversion.
  • Save directly as PostScript or EPS files – Many applications allow you to save your files as PS or EPS through their “Save as…” menu. A few even produce PostScript by default. This results in good input for our conversion engine.
  • Fonts – Try to use standard PostScript fonts like Helvetica and Times New Roman. Non-PostScript fonts, such as Type 1 fonts and TrueType fonts should be embedded so that the text data is available in the PostScript file. This gives our software the best chance to preserve the fonts during conversion.

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