Virtual open document printer?

kyc1, Jun 6, 8:04am
Virtual open document printer? There are free virtual PDF printers, but is there one that will allow us to 'print to' in order to save output as, say, an odt extension that open office could then open for further editing? It's just that I have a program that doesn't have a save as function, only a print function and I need to edit the output, preferably in OOo. Does anyone know how I might achieve this please? Thanks.

dunedin_ree, Jun 6, 8:07am
Don't print to pdf until it's "done". PDF (portable document format) was not designed to be editable (although you can edit them with some software) - its function is to be a virtual piece of paper. Keep the original document in .odt or .doc and edit THAT when the pdf needs updating.

dunedin_ree, Jun 6, 8:11am
Re-reading your question copy & paste the contents from your current app (which is what exactly?) into Ooo.

little_egypt, Jun 6, 8:16am
Or just export to PDF Then edit it in OOo draw with teh PDF import plugin?

kyc1, Jun 7, 10:15pm
Thanks very much for the replies. 3: It won't let me select or copy the output. It's not a regular program that many people will have and I'd rather not advise the name of it, sorry.

4: thanks for that. I tried but the editing functions are still a bit clumsy and limited. I think they are working on improving the editing features with the hope of sliding it into writer, which would be a fantastic option, me thinks.

I had just hoped that given we can print to pdf, there might have been a way to print to something OOo writer can open.

Thanks again.

little_egypt, Jun 7, 11:39pm
Just tried pdftohtml Not the best job, a lot of the formatting got messed up but it was editable in OOo. the windows version is here if you want to try it;

little_egypt, Jun 7, 11:40pm
Oops Apparently the windows page no longer exists. dig around on sourceforge there might be another port;

pcmaster, Jun 8, 8:07am
so you have issues with a program, and you refuse to name it, yet you expect people to help you? good luck with that.

kyc1, Jun 8, 8:53pm
Some have, some haven't. Of the latter, I doubt they ever could b/c if their "help" is tethered to a need for irrelevant info on an industry-specific program that 99% of the people on here probably have never even heard of let alone have experience with, then it's questionable how much help they could be. Fortunately, people like little_egypt just try to help, not chime in with irrelevant dross about side issues that have very little bearing on the central point of the thread, which is finding a virtual odf printer or the like. What part of that did you overlook in your mad grapple towards judgement? Not only do I appreciate genuine help, I expect occasionally I'll need to wade through some flotsam to get it. Fortunately posts like yours are the exception. And for that I am very grateful indeed.

little_egypt, Jun 8, 9:05pm
PDF / Postscript is pretty standard Doesn't really matter that much what program generates it, it'll always be a pretty similar bunch of bitmaps, vector graphics and text objects which are usually a pain to edit. Postscript was always designed to be a 'write-only' format, it's what usually gets sent to a printer. PDF is an extension of Postscript which is why it's possible to 'print to PDF'. You can also go further and 'print to bitmap' but it's very difficult to go back from Postscript(or PDF) to a more editable document format such as doc or odt. I was quite surprised to find that pdftohtml but it seems to generate html that's page-descriptive and difficult to edit. No big surprise there.

alagalac, Jun 8, 9:19pm
In most PDF editors I there is an option to save a PDF as a .txt file. You could try that.

d.laidlaw, Jun 8, 9:26pm
By full version adobe use the printer that comes with it and you should be able to edit the pdf files afterwards. It would depend greatly on what you are using and what it is printing to what you might be able to edit. Either the name of the software or some description of what it is doing would help, you might be surprised who uses & does what arount here. Why is it a secret anyway?

little_egypt, Jun 8, 9:56pm
Not sure the expensive Adobe tools would help Any print-to-pdf tool is going to produce the same output;, "whatever the program generated as postscript" wrapped up in a PDF wrapper, I seriously doubt you're going to get any more out of Adobe's expensive PDF printer than you'd get out of the free CutePDF. I'm not even sure editing them in Adobe will be any easier than OpenOffice Draw; the real issue is that the PDF format was designed to be written once (it's an extension of postscript which was designed for sending stuff to printers). It wasn't designed to be opened up and edited like odf or other document formats.

little_egypt, Jun 8, 10:03pm
And besidesThe OpenOffice import plugin does a great job anyhow. If you're not getting editable blocks of text and svg images in draw then it's because the original program didn't print that way. If your program converts everything to bitmap before sending it to the printer then there won't be anything Adobe can do about that either.

d.laidlaw, Jun 9, 2:48am
Little_egypt there are a few differences in how programs communicate and how pdf printers write. At the end of the day s best chance for a good answer is still to give more information about what they are trying to do.

little_egypt, Jun 9, 2:54am
Anyhoooo I opened up a PDF in OOo this morning, edited it, then saved it again. It's an invoice but it includes details that aren't relevant to the client so I removed them before forwarding it on. Trivially easy. Anyone who thinks PDF's can't be edited is deluding themselves ;)

d.laidlaw, Jun 9, 3:01am
You can get quite a lot of variation depending on the tools used. A pretty simple way to see this is by looking at file size of the resulting file. There are numerous reasons why you might output pdf's one way or another and it all comes down to the task at hand.

little_egypt, Jun 9, 3:06am
True Some software converts everything to a bitmap so that they don't have to be concerned with embedding fonts, etc. There's also a lot of PDFs on the web that are just scanned bitmap copies of paper documents.

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