Visualize and Compare PDFs

The Visualizer allows you to explore aspects of a page that may be relevant for printing purposes, such as color applications, color spaces, safety zone or page object types. You will find this option in the “Reports” category and in the “View” menu of the standalone edition.

Whereas, the 'Compare' feature simply compares 2 PDFs and creates a report.

callas pdfToolbox Visualizer

Visualizer on CLI

--visualizer [--usebleed] [--safetyoutside=safetyoutside] [--safetyinside=safetyinside] [--gamut_method=gamut_method] [--gamut_targetprofile=gamut_targetprofile] [--gamut_currentprofile=gamut_currentprofile] [--gamut=gamut] [--smlobj=smlobj] [--inkcov=inkcov] [--bmpres=bmpres] [--imgres=imgres] [--part=part] [--resolution=resolution] [--sep_colors] [--jpegformat=jpegformat] [--compression=compression] [--imgformat=imgformat] [-p=p] [-l=l]

Purpose

Create a report listing print relevant aspects of a PDF document. Some usage examples can be found in this article.

Parameters

usebleed Width of BleedBox is used if existing, otherwise the default value or the value defined by “--safetyoutside” (default:off)
safetyoutside Used as safety distance outside of the TrimBox, default: 3mm
safetyinside Used as safety distance inside of the TrimBox, default: 3mm
gamut_method Method used for Delta E (Default: Delta E 2000)
gamut_targetprofile View in target color space
gamut_currentprofile View in current color space
gamut View in current and target color space and as heat map
smlobj
Threshold for small object coverage highlighting, see "Resolution output" (default: low)
inkcov
Threshold for ink coverage highlighting (default: 250)
bmpres
Threshold for bitmap resolution highlighting (default: 550)
imgres
Threshold for image resolution highlighting (default: 150)
part
See "Report parts"
jpegformat Baseline_Standard, Progressive_3_Scan (default: Baseline_Standard)
imgformat JPEG, PNG, TIFF, PDF (default: JPEG)
resolution
Resolution in ppi or width x height in pixel, e.g. 1024x800 (default: 72)
language
report language (e.g. en (English, default), de, es, fr or it)
sep_colors
Renders all individual separations in their respective color

Resolution output:

Following you will find the values taken as tresholds for the chosen output resolution.


Text
Multicolored text
Line
Multicolored line
low
8 pt
10 pt
0.5 pt
2 pt
medium
5 pt
9 pt
0.125 pt
0.25 pt
high
5 pt
8 pt
0.125 pt
0.25 pt

Report parts

Image report:

all
all visualizer parts
full
regular page view
ink
all ink coverage views
ink_temp
ink coverage above threshold
ink_topo
ink coverage topographic view
process
all process color views
process_CMYK
CMYK channels (without spots)
process_CMY
CMY
process_K
K channel only
spot
all spot color views
spot_spots
spot color channels
spot_spots_K
spot color + K channels
spot_CMYK
CMYK channels (without spots)
sep
all individual separations
sep_process
all individual process separations
sep_spot
all individual spot color separations
sep:<NAME>
separation of colorant with name <NAME>
imgres
all image resolution views
imgres_img
image resolution below threshold
imgres_bmp
bitmap resolution below threshold
smallobj
all small object views
smallobj_text
very small text objects below threshold
smallobj_lines
very small vector objects below threshold
safety_zone
display safety zone inside and outside of TrimBox

Example:

pdfToolbox --visualizer --smlobj=medium --inkcov=300
--part=ink --imgformat=png --pagerange=1-5 <PDF file>

Please note that 'pdfreport' as format is only functional until and including pdfToolbox 11. 

Compare PDF

The Compare feature in pdfToolbox 12 Desktop comes with a resolution setting to compare the parameters and the possibility to easily navigate to the previous or next page with differences.
Also "Delta C" and "Delta E" variants have been added as new channels with pdfToolbox 12.

Below is a comparison of 2 files at 72 ppi:

Below is a comparison of 2 files at 36 ppi (where the pixels can be seen due to the low rendering resolution.):

Compare on CLI

--compare [--threshold=20] [--areathreshold=5] [--diffres=150] [--format=images] [--channels=rgb] [--areathreshold=areathreshold] [--threshold=threshold] [--anchor=anchor] [--anchorbox=anchorbox] [--offset=offset] [--pagebox=pagebox] [--nosimulateoverprint] [--colorspace=colorspace] [--jpegformat=Baseline_Standard] [--compression=JPEG_medium] [--imgformat=JPEG] [--onlydifferences] [--anchor=upperleft] [--anchorbox=CROPBOX] [--offset=5mm,5mm] --pagebox=CROPBOX] <PDF file 1> <PDF file 2>

Purpose

Compares two PDF documents and creates a report.

Parameters

channels
optional, channels to be compared, any of:
RGB (default, including spot colors), CMYK, CMY (both including spot colors), or as separation (without spot colors):
PROCESS_CMYK, PROCESS_CMY,
PROCESS_C, PROCESS_M, PROCESS_Y, PROCESS_K
onlydifferences
Only emit pages that have differences
highlighting
optional, highlighting format for differences, redmask (default), mask
diffres
Resolution used for comparison in ppi (Default = 72 ppi)
threshold
optional, defines the difference highlighting in % of the compared pixel, to be used instead of --sensitivity Default = 0% (highest sensibility)
sensitivity
deprecated parameter - use threshold
controls difference highlighting, any of: maximum:
Maximum sensitivity (default)
medium: Medium sensitivity
minimum: Minimum sensitivity
areathreshold
optional, defines the threshold for the area with pixel differences above value defined with parameter "threshold"
format
Compare report format, any of:
pdfreport (default), imgreport, images, template
nosimulateoverprint
optional, deactivates simulate overprinting
colorspace
optional, one of:
RGB, CMYK, Gray (default: RGB)
(only applicable if report format is images)
jpegformat
optional, Baseline_Standard (default), Progressive_3_Scan
(only applicable if report format is images)
compression
optional, JPEG_low, JPEG_medium
(default), JPEG_high
(only applicable if report format is images)
imgformat
optional, JPEG, PNG, TIFF ( default: JPEG ) (only applicable if report format is images)
anchor
optional, page box anchor point used to align the two page images for comparison (default: upperleft)
- lowerleft: Use lower left corner of anchor box of page
- bottom: Use center of lower edge of anchor box of page
- lowerright: Use lower right corner of anchor box of page
- right: Use center of right edge of anchor box of page
- upperright: Use upper right corner of anchor box of page
- top: Use center of top edge of anchor box of page
- upperleft: Use upper left corner of anchor box of page
- left: Use center of left edge of anchor box of page
- center: Use center of anchor box of page
anchorbox
optional, page box used to align the two page images for comparison (default: CROPBOX)
- MEDIABOX: Use MediaBox of page
- CROPBOX: Use CropBox of page
- TRIMBOX: Use TrimBox of page
- BLEEDBOX: Use BleedBox of page
- ARTBOX: Use ArtBox of page
offset
optional, offset to anchor point used to align the two page images for comparison. (default: 0,0):
<x-offset>[<unit>],<x-offset>[<unit>]
- x-offset: Move second document to the right
- y-offset: Move second document upwards
- unit: Optional unit for offsets: mm, inch, pt (default: mm)
pagebox
optional, render pages using a page geometry box (default: CROPBOX)
- MEDIABOX: Render MediaBox of page
- CROPBOX: Render CropBox of page
- TRIMBOX: Render TrimBox of page
- BLEEDBOX: Render BleedBox of page
- ARTBOX: Render ArtBox of page

Example

pdfToolbox --compare --threshold=2 --areathreshold=5 <PDF file 1> <PDF file 2>