Process Plans: when Profiles are not enough

When you look at the Profile window, you'll see that the list of Profiles contains two different types of items.

  1. Regular Profiles, recognizable by their blue icons.
  2. Process Plans, recognizable by their yellow icons.

Process Plans behave like Profiles in most ways. They can be run on PDF documents, you can import and export them, they can live anywhere in the Profiles windows (they can be in any group, not just the group named "Process Plans" as shown in the example above). But Process Plans are built differently and they can be used to solve different problems.

Why Process Plans?

Process Plans were invented to solve two very distinct problems:

  • In a Profile you can have Checks and Fixups, but you cannot control the order in which these are executed. For Checks that is not a problem, Checks do not change the PDF document they are run on so their order is irrelevant. But for Fixups this can be a real problem. Sometimes you need to do things in a certain order.
  • Sometimes you need to be a little careful when you execute a Fixup; you really only want to perform a fix if a certain condition is met.

Process Plans make both of these things possible; you can control the order of execution and you can do conditional processing based on the result of a Check or Profile.

How is a Process Plan structured?

Since a Process Plan is a very comprehensive tool, only a brief insight into the anatomy of a Process Plan will be given below. More detailed information can be found in the online documentation under the chapter: Process Plans in detail.

The structure of a Process Plan is quite simple. Users get a visual editor in which the steps can be clearly arranged and linked. The figure shows the editor "Edit Process Plan":

The main field in the middle shows all components of a Process Plan. Process Plans always have a start point (1), at least one sequence step (2) and one end point (3). Between start and end, sequence steps from the repertoire on the right side can be placed (4). Sequence steps can be connected to each other by connection lines. They define under which condition a subsequent and connected step is to be triggered.

Learn more about the Process Plans in pdfToolbox in this Video: