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This week in PDF: iPads and PDF to save pilots from back-ache?

July 17, 2011

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This week in PDF has seen updates to a specialized PDF viewer for aeronautical charts, a digital signature application, and a .NET component for the creation and manipulation of PDF documents.

First up, it looks like the combination of PDF aeronautical charts, iPads and dedicated viewing software are in a position to preserve the backs and shoulders of pilots everywhere. "How?" I hear you cry? I'm glad you asked. Pilots need to carry aeronautical charts in their flight bags, and airlines are apparently moving towards the ideal of the paperless cockpit. Paper versions of these charts need to be reasonably large to accommodate fine details. Meanwhile, the electronic versions (PDFs or TIFFs) need to be high-resolution images to capture that same level of detail. Unsurprisingly, these large, high-res documents have similarly hefty file sizes, which can make them hard to navigate on software primarily designed for viewing office documents. That's where the news part of this newsbit comes in.

Corporate Smalltalk Consulting has just released the latest version of its specialized, iPad-based viewer for aeronautical charts. Called, surprisingly enough, Aeronautical Charts 1.7.4, the new software allows iPad users to view these graphically-dense documents smoothly without crashing their systems. Assuming the software performs as advertised, it will allow pilots to save their backs some grief by packing iPads rather than more-powerful-but-heavier laptops. For more on the software, check out the official product page.

In other news this week, Appligent Document Solutions has released a major update to its server-based digital signature solution. SecureSign 5 encrypts, digitally signs and verifies digital signatures on PDF documents. The new version adds support for the PDF/A standard for document archiving, OpenType fonts, and 2048-bit key lengths for digital certificates. SecureSign 5 also now incorporates its own signature validator, which can be used to detect document tampering without using Acrobat.

"Government agencies, large shipping companies, financial services companies and others that work with PDF documents will greatly benefit from these new features," says Appligent Document Solutions' President and COO, Virginia Gavin. "SecurSign 5 provides organizations with a reliable way to sign and then validate PDF files they receive, send and store."

You can read more about the software on the Appligent Document Solutions website.

Last but not least, Aspose has released Aspose.PDF for .NET 6.0.0. The latest version incorporates updates to both Aspose.PDF for .NET and Aspose.Pdf.Kit for .NET, which were formerly separate products. With the new merged product, users can now use a single component to create and edit PDF files. Aside from merging the two older products, the new, integrated component also adds support for converting and validating PDF documents according to PDF/A standards for long-term archiving. To find out more about the new component, check out the official vendor website.

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

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