Art Alexion on 24 Oct 2008 09:15:14 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] PDF Editing in OOo 3.0

On Friday 24 October 2008 8:45:48 am Michael Leone wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 24, 2008 at 6:27 AM, Art Alexion <> wrote:

> > That said, a constant request at work is for PDF editing software, and
> > there wasn't much worth using besides the Adobe product under any
> > platform, and almost nothing under Linux.
> In my experience, the vast majority of users want to *create* PDFs,
> not edit and change existing PDFs. But different places have different
> needs.

We deal a lot with government forms, and though many are downloadable as PDF 
forms that can be filled in on screen and printed, many are still distributed 
as paper.  Nobody has a typewriter, at least around here.  So they scan them 
to create what they think are PDFs and try to edit them.

I used to use a program called OmniForm that either acquired a scan or 
imported a graphic and tried to guess where the fields should be and what 
format their content should be.  You could then either fill in the form and 
print it, or optionally save the data.

I'm hoping that the OpenOffice extension not only allows editing, but also the 
creation of form fields so that it can be re-exported as a fill-in PDF.

> > I tested it on a few PDFs yesterday, and most imported nicely.  A
> > number imported as black on black.  Also, any kind of PDF editing is
> > useless with the scanner generated PDFs that seem so ubiquitous these
> > days: the PDF as a container for a single jpeg image of each page.  I
> > still don't understand why scanners bother with encapsulating the
> > graphic page scan in a PDF.  The  only way to edit them is to take the
> > extra step of extracting the image from the PDF, and attempting to
> > edit it in the Gimp or something.
> Most of those scans are not OCR, hence the result is not meant to be
> edited. It would be more complicated to be OCR. And would take longer,
> since the user would have to check it for errors. Much quicker and
> easier to just give you an image.
> They're copiers, with a scanning capability, not OCR scanners. Usually,
> anyway.

Well, yes, but what is less obvious is why bother encapsulating the image in a 
PDF.  I suppose it is so that multiple pages, each a separate image, can be 
consolidated into a single container file.  But doesn't the TIFF format 
already incorporate this?

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