[pdftex] PDF Converter vs. PDF Distiller

jonathan d p ferguson jdpf at sunforge.com
Fri Aug 7 17:42:07 CEST 2009


On Aug 7, 2009, at 7:52 AM, Martin Schröder wrote:

> 2009/8/6 Donna Evans Isaacson <donna at pacificonemortgage.com>:
>> Our company is looking for one program that can combine several
>> PDF pages (documents) into one, add the “sign here” sticker and  
>> also convert
>> pages from PDF to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.  I’ve seen  
>> advertisements
>> for Converts and Distillers but not one program that does both.  Is  
>> there
>> anything available?  And where would I look?
> More about pdftex here:
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pdftex
> http://www.pdftex.org
> Converting PDFs into Office formats is something different which
> pdfTeX can't do; there are several commercial programs that claim to
> be able to do that.

Add emphasis on "commercial programs that claim to be able to do that."

Please keep in mind that PDF was created as a kind of "digital paper."  
It is designed, primarily, as a container format used for "read-only"  
output. PDF is also an excellent as a forms handler (filling out  
application forms, for example).

The normal workflow for PDF documents is Authoring Tool ---> PDF --->  
Electronic Distribution --> Print. Notice that the arrow between  
Authoring Tool and PDF is not two-way. In the above workflow, pdfTeX  
is an authoring tool (a very powerful one, at that).

The idea of round-tripping content from PDF once converted to PDF  
format is outside of the scope of the design of PDF, strictly  
speaking. However, one can easily embed the original source  
document(s) inside a PDF document, and alter that original source  
document after extracting it from the PDF file.

I encourage you to read about the workflow benefits of adopting PDF  
for forms and other business documents, there are many. Adobe has  
extensive documentation on how PDF is used in such a context: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/ 
  You can find out more about some of the additional commercial  
programs Martin refers to by reading http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_Document_Format 

I hope that clears things up for you.

have a day.yad

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