CamlGPC: An interface to Alan Murta’s GPC Polygon Clipper

Some of our coherence 2D graphics renderer examples used to rely on being able to robustly intersect and union polygons.

For this, we used an interface to the General Polygon Clipper, which is a fast C library for such operations. Unfortunately, it’s only free for non-commercial use. And so, to use our OCaml interface in commercial applications, you need to obtain a license from the University of Manchester.

Our interface is up at github.

The easiest way to install is through OPAM:

opam install camlgpc

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GraphicsPDF: A version of Ocaml’s Graphics module which outputs PDF

I’ve been packaging up some little pieces of previously-released software as OPAM packages, hoping that will make them more widely used.

GraphicsPDF is just like Graphics, but it outputs a PDF file of the commands, instead of displaying them on screen.

The development repository is at github

The easiest way to install is through OPAM:

opam install graphicspdf

It was originally described in this blog post some years ago.

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CamlPDF 1.7

The first new release of the CamlPDF library for a while is here:

http://www.github.com/johnwhitington/camlpdf

(Or, shortly, via OPAM.)

The documentation is online here:

http://www.coherentpdf.com/camlpdf

A little introduction is here:

http://www.coherentpdf.com/introduction_to_camlpdf.pdf

Most importantly, CamlPDF is now open source, being under a standard LGPL with linking exception licence.

This release is much cleaner: development has moved to Github for transparency, ocamlfind is supported, and it should compile out-of-the-box with no dependencies on Windows, Mac and Linux. Documentation is much improved.

And, of course, there’s lots of new functionality, such as 256 bit AES encryption, reading of malformed files, support for writing with object streams, and new modules for merging files, bookmarks, destinations. It’s also very much faster.

There have, however, been significant non-backward-compatible API changes. These will be minimized in the future. Contact me directly or via the Github issue system if you need help updating code from a previous version.

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PDF Command Line Tools 1.7 Upgrade now Available

CPDF Command Line Tools 1.7 is now available. This is a major release with many enhancements:

  • Much faster (between 1.5 and 5 times)
  • AES 256 decryption and encryption (PDF 1.7 and PDF 2.0)
  • Object streams for smaller PDF files
  • Better reconstruction of malformed files
  • UTF8 output and input options for many commands, including UTF8 text for stamping
  • Justified multiline text
  • Over 500 fixes and small enhancements

Customers with valid support contracts or who are otherwise entitled to a free upgrade should contact Coherent Graphics giving their preferred platform (Windows, Mac Intel, 32 bit Linux/x86, 64 bit Linux/x86).

Customers without a valid support contract can purchase the upgrade for $149, 110 euro, or 99 pounds. Again, please contact Coherent Graphics to upgrade.

You can find the new manual here:

http://www.coherentpdf.com/cpdfmanual.pdf

You can find demonstration versions here:

http://www.coherentpdf.com/eval.html

(Please remember that demo versions are slower, since they need to stamp each page, in addition to the usual operation).

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New book: OCaml from the Very Beginning

I’ve written a concise but self-contained introduction to writing computer programs with OCaml, suitable for the talented beginner to programming, or someone trying functional programming or OCaml for the first time.

On your local Amazon: http://asin.info/a/0957671105

E-book: http://www.ocaml-book.com

Sample chapters also at http://www.ocaml-book.com

Thanks to all those who reviewed and proof-read earlier drafts.

Reviews on Amazon are always very useful – my understanding is that if you have an amazon account, you can review the book based on having read the e-book, without buying a printed copy. Do please consider adding a review, especially if you like the book!

Some of the data might not have yet propagated to all Amazon subsidiaries, but it ought to do so over the next few hours or days.

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Proview PDF Editor 1.5 Upgrade – What’s New?

Proview 1.5 adds significant new features, whilst improving interactivity; functionality which required dialog boxes is now live and interactive.

  • Adding text is now completely interactive with the new text inspector
  • Merge and reorder pages within and between documents by drag and drop
  • Unicode now supported throughout
  • PDF manipulation almost twice as fast
  • Edit page labels
  • Supports OS X Lion and Snow Leopard
  • Handles malformed files better
  • More that 50 other changes and improvements

Proview 1.5 Available now

Live Text Mode

Text is now added interactively – you can drag the position, and the text updates automatically. New positioning and styling options have been added too.

More screenshots and an introductory video can be found on the upgrade page.

The Text Inspector

The text inspector is used to add text to one or more pages interactively. Dozens of special codes allow dates, times and page numbers to be added automatically.

New diagonal text option, and left, right and center justifications for multi-line text have been added.

The position of the text may now be set by dragging the text directly in the main document window.

Unicode text is now supported for accented and special characters.

Proview 1.5 is available now.

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PDF Explained, now available from O’Reilly

Our new book about PDF has just been published. You can find it at O’Reilly’s own site in printed and ebook form, or from Amazon and other booksellers.

Here’s the publisher’s description:

At last, here’s an approachable introduction to the widely used Portable Document Format. PDFs are everywhere, both online and in printed form, but few people take advantage of the useful features or grasp the nuances of this format. This concise book provides a hands-on tour of the world’s leading page-description language for programmers, power users, and professionals in the search, electronic publishing, and printing industries. Illustrated with lots of examples, this book is the documentation you need to fully understand PDF.

  • Build a simple PDF file from scratch in a text editor
  • Learn the layout and content of a PDF file, as well as the syntax of its objects
  • Examine the logical structure of PDF objects, and learn how pages and their resources are arranged into a document
  • Create vector graphics and raster images in PDF, and deal with transparency, color spaces, and patterns
  • Explore PDF operators for building and showing text strings
  • Get up to speed on bookmarks, metadata, hyperlinks, annotations, and file attachments
  • Learn how encryption and document permissions work in PDF
  • Use the pdftk program to process PDF files from the command line
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PDF Command Line Tools 1.6

The latest version of our command line tools for processing PDF files has just been released.

New Feature Highlights:

  • Speed improvements on large, complex files
  • Many robustness improvements, deals with more malformed files
  • Detect low resolution images and missing fonts
  • Add text relative to cropbox, add diagonal text
  • Better support for non-ASCII character sets
  • Copy boxes (e.g media box, crop box)
Updates to customers with support contracts will go out in the next week. The new demonstration version is available now from the website.
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CPDFTK: Supported, Faster PDFTK

Coherent Graphics Ltd is pleased to introduce a commercial, supported, faster pdf command line tool with the same interface as the popular open source PDFTK tool.

Download the demo here.

Features:

  • Merge PDFs
  • Split into mutiple pages
  • Rotate pages
  • Decrypt and Encrypt Documents
  • Apply background watermarks and foreground stamps
  • List and update Metadata
  • Attach files to the document or individual pages

For Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, Solaris. Other plaforms by request. Coherent PDF CPDFTK 1.6 is available for $200 for a single license or $40 for a non-commercial use license.

The free trial is fully functional but places the word “DEMO” over any file it writes.

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Commercial, Supported, Faster PDFtk – Beta Testers Wanted

We’re writing a front end for our PDF tools with the same command line interface as pdftk, so that it can be used as a drop-in replacement for pdftk for people who can’t compile pdftk on their system and don’t want to change to our normal command line system cpdf, or who want a supported, commercial pdftk.

We’re looking for people who used pdftk regularly, either manually or as part of automated systems, to join in testing.

If you’re interested please use the contact form on the front page at http://www.coherentpdf.com/ and send a couple of sentences about how you use pdftk.

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