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This week in PDF: PDF/A, 3D and ASCII, oh my!

January 25, 2006

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This week in PDF sees the release of several new plug-ins that add functionality to the brand-new Acrobat 3D, the foundation of a PDF/A resource center by a pair of Swiss and German companies and news regarding the continued integration of Enfocus Software and its parent, Artwork Systems. To top off a bumper week for PDF news, absolutePDF has released a new Freeware application for the conversion of ASCII text to PDF.

Right Hemisphere, whose 3D technology has been licensed by Adobe and embedded in its Acrobat Family of products, has unveiled two new Acrobat 3D plug-ins. The Right Hemisphere PMI (Product Manufacturing Information) Module and the Right Hemisphere PDF Publishing Module are designed to further extend the 3D collaboration and publishing capabilities of Acrobat 3D. The PMI Module can be used to access model views and associated data stored in CATIA and JT files and publish it in PDF, while the PDF Publishing Module allows the creation, design, and publishing of interactive 3D documents without any JavaScript programming.

The Swiss PDF Tools AG and German LuraTech have established a PDF/A Center of Competence to provide support for issues relating to the newly minted document archival standard and its implementation. The two companies complement each other because PDF Tools AG emphasizes the analysis, creation and processing of digital PDF files, while LuraTech is renowned for its expertise for highly compressed, scanned PDF documents. The PDF/A Center of Competence can be found on the PDF Tools website.

Artwork Systems has continued its integration with subsidiary Enfocus Software, a longtime leader in PDF prepress and automation solutions. The two companies will be co-locating their Belgian and US operations, with the combined offices to be in Ghent, Belgium and Encino, CA respectively. Going forward, the Artwork Systems brand will focus on packaging and high-end workflow systems, while the Enfocus brand will continue to concentrate on PDF and automation tools.

absolutePDF has now released version 1.1 of absolutePDF-Spool Base. The application is now Freeware and requires only a free registration on the website to get a valid activation key. The application allows users to "print" the contents of an ASCII file to a prepared PDF file. The PDF file used to form the background may contain graphical elements, similar to the kinds of pre-printed paper used in dot-matrix printers, and can be prepared in advance using another means of PDF creation such as the export to PDF functions of OpenOffice.org, Apple's OS X or Microsoft's pending version of Office.

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