How to install and run

pdfChip does not have a user-interface, but is used by a command-line interface (CLI). The application needs a valid activation to run. This activation is bound to the hardware from which the activation was performed.

Installing pdfChip

Available platforms for pdfChip are Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.

To install pdfChip just download the latest version from http://www.callassoftware.com (section "Download"), unpack the archive and install the software to the predefined destination (or a folder of your choice).

The package for Linux does not use installer software, it simply has to be unpacked within the designated folder. For example using the following command:

gtar zxvpf <callas pdfChip package>.tar.gz

Activating pdfChip

Before pdfChip can be used, the software has to be activated in 3 steps:

  1. Request an activation code:
    • Open a terminal window, change into the installation directory and type:
      pdfChip --keycode  <name>  <company>  <keycode>
      • name: name of licensee (e.g. "Registered user")
      • company: name of company (e.g. "User's company")
      • license code: license key obtained from the registration card. To make a request for a trial version, please use the keyword "trial" (for a pdfChip trial version)
  2. The result from pdfChip will be a number of lines of text, all starting with a double at sign ("@@"). This text content needs to be sent to the callas activation server; the email address to be used is included in the text output. After sending the email, the callas activation server sends a return email with the activation information attached (in a text file called "License.txt"). You can send the email to the callas activation server from a different system, but the return activation information – and hy implication the file called "License.txt" – will only be valid on the system where you ran the keycode command in pdfChip.
  3. After receiving the automatic email reply, the attached license file has to be saved and pdfChip has to be activated. To do this, open a terminal window, change into the installation directory and type the following command: Open a terminal window, change into the installation directory and type:
    pdfChip --activate  Path to License.txt
  4. The License.txt will then be stored in the user-preferences-folder of the current user.

Important notes

  • It is necessary to activate the received license file to get a permantent valid license file.
  • The license file received from the activation server must be activated within the timeframe listed in the license file.
  • The activated license file will be stored in the user-preferences when the normal activation (command above) is used.
  • To create an activated license file at a custom location, just use the following command:
    pdfChip --activate licence file -o=path to result folder/License.txt
  • In order to activate pdfChip for all user accounts of one machine, save the activated license file next to the pdfChip binary or into the shared preferences folder of the system (subfolder: ".../callas software/callas pdfChip";. This file must always be named "License.txt".
  • pdfChip is searching for the license file by its file name "License.txt" in the various folders listed below (and in the order they are listed below):
    • user preferences folder of current user
    • next to the pdfChip binary
    • user preferences folder for all users (shared)

Deactivating pdfChip

As the activation (and the resulting license file) is bound to the hardware, it is necessary to deactivate a license on one machine before a activation can take place on a different machine.

  1. Request the current activation code:
    • Open a terminal window, change into the installation directory and type:
      pdfChip --status
    • Copy the activation code which is listed within the output (24 alphanumeric characters).
  2. Deactivate using the Activation Code:
    • Open a terminal window, change into the installation directory and type:
      pdfChip --deactivate activation code
    • Confirm the question shown by typing "y"

The pdfChip activation will be removed from the system.

Using pdfChip

The command-line interface of pdfChip converts an HTML file into a PDF. Referenced images, CSS and JavaScripts will be included in the created PDF.

pdfChip <Path to HTML file> <Path to PDF file>

On Mac OS X and Linux, the command in the terminal window should look like:

./pdfChip index.html result.pdf

Using Windows, the command would be:

pdfChip.exe index.html result.pdf

The names of the input HTML file and the output PDF are totally free, you can use whatever works in your environment.

Return codes

All return codes below 100 indicate a successful operation.

Return code Description
0 Successful operation


Return codes indicating an error
Return code Description
20 An unknown error has occurred.
21 Unable to write pdf file, file access error.
22 Undefined Mediabox, minimum page size should be 3 by 3 units.
23 An error has occurred in flate encoder.
24 An error has occurred in flate decoder.
25 An error has occurred in lzw decoder.
26 An error has occurred in ASCII-85 decoder.
27 An error has occurred in ASCII-Hex decoder.
28 An error has occurred in RunLength decoder.
29 An error has occurred in prediction decoder.
30 An error has occurred in dct (jpeg-image) decoder.
31 File offset is greater than 9999999999 bytes. PDF only allows offsets up to 10 decimal digits.
32 The required resource name is too large, too much resources are required.
33 A spot color space has a wrong alternate color space type.
34 A path length entry is out of range.
35 There are too many PDF files open.
36 Unable to open the PDF file for import.
37 PDF file is not supported, it might be encrypted.
38 Unable to parse pdf file, syntax error found.
39 The page could not be found.
40 A given parameter is invalid or wrong.
41 The given object number is invalid
42 A inline-image contains an ID without a BI.
43 A content stream contains illegal commands.
44 A resource could not be found.
45 A given resource is wrong.
46 A given function object is wrong.
47 Unable to read font resource.
48 Unable to find glyphs in current font.
49 An error has occured in XMP Metadata function.
50 Invalid context (e.g. a context is popped wich never was pushed)
51 Page without underlay or overlay reservation.
52 The keycode you have entered is invalid.
53 The keycode you have entered has expired.
54 Unable to draw barcode.
55 Unable to open icc profile from file path.
56 Unable to read all required encryption parameter.
57 The page limit is exhausted.
58 Too many parallel processes.
59 The requested barcode is not supported.
60 Unable to read all linearized hint data.
100 Failed loading HTML page.
101 Invalid command line argument.
102 Unknown HTML contents.
103 Remote ICC profiles are not supported.
104 WebKit error or JavaScript error.