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:


You can find demonstration versions here:


(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.


  • 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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Proview PDF Editor 1.2 Released

The new version of the Proview PDF Editor for Mac OS X is now available for download. The update is free for existing users – your license key will still work – just download and install from the website.

New features include Visual Crop and the setting of crop and trim boxes on individual pages. It’s also about twice as fast as before.

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Proview 1.2 – Coming Soon

New Document Window in Version 1.2

A new version of our PDF Editor for the Mac will be launched next week. New features include Visual Crop and the setting of crop and trim boxes on individual pages. It’s also about twice as fast as before.

It’s not too late to join the beta program – just sign up with MacDeveloper.net. Proview 1.2 will be a free upgrade for existing users.

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Removing the Last Page from a PDF

A customer recently asked how to do this. The Coherent PDF Tools page specification doesn’t directly allow it, but we can do it indirectly:

  1. Reverse the document’s pages using the ‘reverse’ page specification
  2. Use the page specification ‘2-end’ to remove the first page
  3. Reverse the document again
You can use the ‘AND’ construction to string these together in a single command, avoiding processing the file multiple times:

cpdf in.pdf reverse AND -range 2-end AND -range reverse -o out.pdf

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