Or, to be specific, I hate pulling up PDFs in my browser. No matter the reader or the complexity of the file, something invariably goes wrong whenever a PDF file crosses over the barrier between Internet and desktop. Unless you have a sharp eye for what you're clicking on (or a helpful icon to guide your path), you always run the risk of accidentally slapping a PDF into a new tab whenever you're surfing around in the ol' Firefox browser.
PDFs by themselves aren't evil. And sometimes you'll want to actually open a PDF via Firefox instead of taking the extra time to download it to your desktop and open up a reader. What Firefox lacks, in this regard, is control--ways to separate a unique PDF download from the typical bevy of files you grab on a daily basis.
Thankfully, there's an add-on that fixes that right quick.
Both Foxit Software and Adobe Systems are looking at ways of warning users about a new PDF attack threatening system security. Didier Stevens, an IT consultant with Contraste Europe, discovered the vulnerability, which entails getting PDF viewers to automatically execute embedded executables when the PDF file is opened.
"After receiving word of a recent security concern, the Foxit development team immediately looked into the issue, confirmed the risk and resolved the situation quickly," the company told eWEEK in a statement. "Foxit expects to release a new version of Foxit Reader with this fix on April 2, 2010.
"To address the specific problems outlined, Foxit has added a warning dialog box that will pop up when a PDF file is opened with Foxit Reader, asking the user to agree to execute or not," the company continued. "This solution adds a layer of safety yet maintains Foxit Reader’s compliance with current PDF standards."
Adobe already has a warning box in place, but Stevens claims there's a way for hackers to partially alter the dialog. According to eWEEK, Adobe is discussing the potential threat but didn't say if it would take any further precautions.
If you had asked us what electronic device had no business running a multitouch display, we’d have said eInk-based ereaders. Apparently, we don’t know what we’re talking about, because the Bookeen Orizon is an ereader with a multitouch screen. Why? So you can adjust the zoom level. No one wants to use buttons for that, right?
The Bookeen Orizon will be out in May and will retail for $250. When the current price of a Kindle or Nook is just a bit higher, they must really be banking on people going crazy for the multitouch. The screen is 6 inches and the device will come with 1GB of built-in storage. There’s no book store for this product, but it supports whatever ePub files or PDFs you’d like to put on it.
Even if you don’t need an integrated book store, why get this over a Sony reader? Is anyone really hankering for multitouch zooming on their ereader?
By now, you've surely checked out Mark Soper's excellent guide for creating PDFs by using a multitude of applications, editing steps, and detail settings. If not, you owe it to yourself to give the article a scan so you're as well-versed as he when it comes to transforming ordinary files into these kinds of feature-packed super-documents.
As he correctly puts it, Adobe ain't the only game in town when you're trying to turn the contents of something you're looking at into this trusty, cross-platform format. Let's go one step further. Installed programs aren't the only way to create a PDF, period.
If you're on a new computer (or, for that matter, your boss's computer), you might not want to fire up the ol' Adobe installer just to be able to gain the right to transform your screen into a PDF. And sure, there are plenty of freeware opportunities out there that will allow you to print to a PDF. But that's still too many steps in the process. It's 4:59 on a Friday: You want to make a PDF, hit the power button on your PC, and be able to drink one-third of your "it's the weekend" celebratory iced tea before your monitor goes black. What are you going to do?
If the answer is "cry," then you have failed this exercise. But let it not be said that my heart is two sizes too small. For a little Web app exists--conveniently called PDFmyURL--that does exactly that. Provided the subject of your affection is a Web page of any size, shape, or extension... you will be able to transform it into a downloadable PDF as fast as you'll be able to finish reading the rest of this sentence.
You know Adobe's portable document format: PDF. It's everywhere, from downloadable documentation for a motherboard you need to tweak to press releases from the assemblyman from Lower Someplace, PDFs rule. Why? It's not hard to understand:
PDF files are supported by computers and mobile devices, including smartphones; comparable formats such as Microsoft's XPS don't enjoy nearly as wide a level of support
PDF files are cross-platform, enabling you to create a PDF on a PC and read it on any other device with PDF support
PDF documents can be optimized for web display, eBook readers, PC printing, and high-resolution professional printing
Add up these reasons, and it's easy to see why PDF make sense if you need to distribute a document that can be read everywhere.
Although Adobe sets the standards for PDF files with its Acrobat PDF creation and Reader PDF display software, Adobe isn't the only game in town when it comes to PDF creation. In this article, you'll discover if your system is already ready to spit out a PDF on demand, how to add PDF output to your system, and how to track down free tools that enable you to perform some PDF editing.
Let’s face it, for hackers digital rights management (DRM) protections are a challenge that can’t be passed up. Not just because of the notoriety hacking a DRM brings, but because DRMs are so darned easy to crack--sort of the cybercrime version of wolves culling the weak from the heard. Case-in-point, the Israeli hacker “Labba”, with a little help from his friends, has cracked the DRM that protects ebooks on the Kindle.
The DRM for Kindle content is intended to keep what’s sold for the Kindle on the Kindle. Labba and his cohorts weren’t too keen on the restriction, and have hacked the DRM so that Kindle ebooks are converted into an open format, allowing PDF versions to be produced. Once in PDF format, the ebook can be moved to any number of electronic devices.
It’s a good bet that Amazon isn’t too pleased by this, and will move to ‘repair’ the DRM for Kindle ebooks. Which, of course, starts but another round of fox-and-hare with hackers. Given the rising popularity of the Kindle, it’s a game that might go on for some time to come.
Google is taking steps to make viewing PDF files that appear in search results a whole lot easier. With “Quick View” PDF files can be viewed directly from the search results page, rather than having to visit the originating site, load the page as HTML, or use a third-party plug-in.
PDF has the advantage of displaying material as originally formatted. This is invaluable for forms or other complexly formatted documents which HTML is a poor substitute. This feature, which Google has been testing since July, is now available.
For search results that are PDF files Google will include a “Quick View” link. Clicking this opens up the original PDF file in Google Docs, where it can be reviewed or downloaded. (A plain HTML display option is also available, for those who can’t live without.) The only downside, so far, is that Google has connected Quick View to about half of the PDF files in their index. Unindexed PDFs will still have to be handled old-school.
Have you always wished you could merge, encrypt or just manipulate a PDF file? Editing PDFs has always been possible with Adobe’s software, but not everyone can afford the steep price of Adobe’s professional suite. But there are actually several pieces of software that will let you deftly manipulate Adobe’s proprietary Portable Document Format. In this guide, we will show you a few ways you can manipulate a PDF file without investing in Acrobat Professional. To start, here’s an overview of the free software that you’ll need.
PDF Split and Merge
As the name implies, this program allows you to split and merge a PDF. However, it has a few limitations. This program will not split or merge protected PDF files (which are password-protected). If you want to split and merge PDFs that you have created, the program should work fine.
Google has announced that over 1 million out-of-copyright books in its online book depositary, Goggle Books, can now be downloaded in the open EPUB format. The move is aimed at making these public domain books more accessible. The EPUB format is supported by an increasing number of devices, including e-readers, netbooks and phones.
“By adding support for EPUB downloads, we're hoping to make these books more accessible by helping people around the world to find and read them in more places,” Brandon Badger, product manager, Google Books, wrote on the Inside Google Books blog.
The announcement follows on the heels of the unveiling of Sony’s new Reader devices. Recently, Sony announced that the EPUB format will be supported by its upcoming Reader devices: the Pocked Edition, the Touch Edition and the Daily Edition. Google Book users can now choose between the PDF and EPUB formats.
Google had announced last week that it was going to overhaul the Google Docs interface over the next few weeks. Some of those changes have already taken place. One notable change is that the filter for “PDFs” has been supplanted by “Files” in the "items by type" slide-down menu.