How to use test mode

Test mode can be started from the Process Plan, Profile, Fixup, Check and several other editors in pdfToolbox Desktop. Open any of these editors and you can launch test mode directly from within the window by clicking the "Test" button:

This will immediately execute the Profile you're currently editing and open the Test Mode window. In addition to Profile testing, Test Mode offers numerous other helpful tools, all detailed below.

Tip: Starting Test Mode directly from the Profile Window

When the Profile window is open, you can also go directly into Test mode to test a Profile, Process Plan Check, or Fixup by pressing the "Option" key on Mac or the "Alt" key on Windows (see the screenshot below).

Test mode functionality

1. General functionality

  1. Test Mode in pdfToolbox automatically duplicates the document you're working on, execute the Profile you are editing on, and displays the result on the left side of the window. This allows you to immediately see the result of the processing without having to choose a destination for the modified PDF file or worry about overwriting your original document. You can toggle between Original, Result and a Diff of the two.
  2. On the right side, the Test Mode window displays the execution log, as you would normally see in the Profiles window when, for example, you run your process Plan. This part allows you to see if the processing was successful and what the result is.
  3. To test on different PDF documents, the drop-down menu lists all open and previously used documents in pdfToolbox Desktop and allows to open new PDF documents. Selecting another document will immediately apply the current profile. In addition, you can activate the page geometry boxes so that they are displayed on the PDF document.
  4. The "Test" button re-runs the operation. In other words, it creates a fresh copy of the test PDF, runs the Process Plan (or other item you're editing) on it, and displays the results. Note that this is especially useful for things that are based on Place Content, as it allows you to edit the place content template used in an external editor, save your changes in the external editor, return to pdfToolbox's test mode window and press "Test" to run the changes in your template.
  5. The "OK" button ends the test session.

2. Toolbar

1. Log Profile Execution:  By checking the "Log Profile Execution" check box, you can save the intermediate processing results. This is especially useful for Process Plans that run through many steps (more infos here). If you are using Log Profile Execution you may create additional images that further demonstrate internal processing by checking "Sifter diagnostics" and/or "Ink coverage" (if you are using one of these).

2. Create previews: You can generate additional previews for Shapes (if you are testing a "Create and Apply Shapes" Fixup), OCR (if you are testing a Fixup that generates OCR text), Bleed (for irregular shapes), and Searched Text (if you are testing a "Search and Replace Text" QuickFix). To generate the previews, select a checkbox and click the Test button again. The new previews will appear as additional panes on the left.

3. Detail views: When you check this box, there are three different views that appear below the PDF preview:  

1. Snap view displays selected hits from the execution log on the right-hand side for easy reference.
2. Layer view provides a technical representation of PDF layers, allowing for switching individual layers on and off.
3. Loup view enables faster PDF zooming and analysis, with adjustable scaling factor and real-time cursor position.

4. Hits only: Another way to see all page objects identified by a Check, isolated from the rest of the document (this view only works if the Check is snippet-based. If the Check is page-based or document-based, this view is empty).

5. Preflight only pages: Ability to limit the number of pages to be preflighted.

6. Fast VDP mode and Short overview (faster): Enable faster processing. "Fast VDP mode" speeds up processing for variable data files as explained here. With "Short overview (faster)" the result window will show only sparse information in the Overview section (because the time was saved to gather it).

8. Show custom areas: If you are configuring a Check or Fixup that is limited to a custom area, you can select this checkbox to place an orange rectangle on the PDF document that highlights the custom area specified in the Check or Fixup. This makes it really easy to see if the custom area is in the right place.