pdfChip Use Cases
There are a number of obvious use cases and workflows where pdfChip can easily add value; this chapter lists the most important of those. Use these as inspiration if you want but don't let it stop your creativity to find other, novel, uses!
Creating long documents is a stronghold of pdfChip, its processing time scales up nicely with longer documents and the PDF documents it creates are optimised as much as possible. Images that appear multiple times for example, are included in the generated PDF document only once which helps keep the generated PDF file as small as possible.
Finally, in variable data and transactional workflows, the ability to include barcodes used for marketing purposes (such as QR codes) or administrative purposes (such as data matrices) is of great benefit.
More and more web sites provide the possibility to select a template for a publication and then customise it in more or less complex ways - ranging from adding text to changing fonts, colors and images. The challenge is to provide an online tool which lets the user make choices and then provide an instant customised PDF of the final piece.
Because pdfChip uses HTML templates, the editing part could be built simply using those HTML templates and pdfChip could be used in the background to convert the template into PDF. pdfChip is fast and uses little resources, so it could be called while editing to provide instant feedback. When using the PDF to give feedback to the customer, there are no suprises at the end of the cycle (no differences between the preview of the template and the actual printed final piece).
The fact that pdfChip is capable of 'importing' PDF files into the final output PDF it creates, makes it ideal for workflows where impositioning or any other composition of PDF documents needs to be done. In such workflows it is of primary importance that the imposition or composition process doesn't break the PDF files that are combined and pdfChip is an excellent tool to ensure that.
On top of that the support for SVG should be taken into account here as well, SVG is ideal to add additional information to imposed sheets, whether they are printer or registration marks, color bars or various bits of text. Together with the built-in support for barcodes that provides an excellent environment to decorate the final PDF with all necessary information.
In many cases web sites contain or generate information that at some point needs to be printed or delivered in printable format to a visitor of that site; PDF obviously is the ideal medium for that. The fact that pdfChip consumes an HTML template is ideal in many ways:
- Simply changing the CSS file is sometimes enough already to provide a nice, printable view on the information on the site. pdfChip can then be used to convert that printable view into a perfect PDF document.
- Because pdfChip can produce standards-compliant PDF/X or PDF/A documents, it is ideal for documents that need to go through a publishing or archival workflow afterwards.
- pdfChip works with HTML templates; the skills to edit such templates are wide-spread and the templates are easy to maintain, fit into a version control workflow and share. pdfChip is also a self-contained solution, it does not need other libraries or tools (such as Adobe InDesign Server for example) to fill the templates with actual data.
The environments where this could be used are very diverse; it could range from generating sales literature on the fly (and customised for the web site visitor) to the generation of receipts, tickets, real estate property information, recipes... Anything that is normally shown on the web site itself but at times needs to be available in a printable form as well.
In some workflows (think of specialty magazines or newspapers for example) the complete template could be done in HTML; with the support for CSS regions in pdfChip that certainly becomes a possibility. In that case pdfChip provides a lightweight and very flexible publication composition engine.
The challenge of book printing (and even more so for on-demand book printing) is to take lots of relatively simple but structured content, and produce a relatively long, nice-looking, PDF. The advanced pagination features of pdfChip come in to play to deal with page numbers, running headers and so on.