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This week in PDF: Bluebeam patents Compare Documents feature

July 12, 2011

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This week in PDF, a patent has been granted, while the latest version of an established document management product can now handle encrypted PDF documents.

First up, Bluebeam Software has announced that it has been granted a patent relating to key functionality of its flagship product. Bluebeam PDF Revu is a popular application for managing, reviewing and annotating PDF-based building drawings and documents. The newly patented Compare Documents feature (Patent No. 7,971,149) automatically scales, rotates and aligns the selected drawings before highlighting differences with cloud annotations.

Just to clarify, cloud annotations are not to be confused with "the cloud" that everyone keeps mentioning, which refers to cloud computing. Wikipedia (the source of all knowledge) defines "cloud computing" as the use of "multiple server computers via a digital network, as though they were one computer." By contrast, cloud annotations are special marks that tend to be used during document revision in the AEC (Architecture, Engineering and Construction) industries. You can find some examples here.

Bluebeam PDF Revu's Compare Documents feature allows users to view different versions of the same drawing side-by-side or as multi-colored overlays. Taken in combination with the software's highlighting of differences between documents via cloud annotations, this feature sounds like a big time-saver. Anyway, you can read more about the product at Bluebeam's website.

Another interesting bit of news is that the latest version of DocuLex's document management software will add support for encrypted documents. WebSearch 4.0 is a component of the DocuLex Archive Studio Content Management Software Suite. With the latest update, it can now be used to perform document search and retrieval operations for password-protected PDF files. This feature could come in handy for those in organizations that transfer documents containing sensitive information (e.g., social security numbers) via email or unsecured FTP.

Due to these potentially unsafe methods of transmission, adding passwords to such documents adds some welcome data protection. Unfortunately, the extra security can make it difficult to index -- and hence, find such documents using electronic searches. Since the new version of WebSearch resolves this issue, it will allow users to send password-protected PDFs without worrying about whether the files can be found again. For more information about the DocuLex Archive Studio, of which WebSearch 4.0 is a part, check out the DocuLex website.

That's it for this week. Watch this space!

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