Some of the important features of the PDF Tools addon are listed below. This is followed by an overview of this addon. This summary contains few words about the addon, its function, and its features. Next is FAQ, this section is useful to get information about how this addon works in your browser. If you couldn't find a specific answer, please fill the bug report form on this page or the contact form on the homepage to let us know about your question. Following the FAQ, is the bug report form. It is designed to collect user feedbacks and bugs about this addon. Users can suggest improvements or feature requests through this form too. The next section is for submitting comments about this addon which uses the Facebook comments plugin. The last section is dedicated to reports submitted through the GitHub website. We hope the information provided on this page, could help you get all the basics you need about this addon and enable you to have a better experience with PDF Tools.
In short, PDF Tools is an addon that let you manipulate PDF/PS documents with Ghostscript commands via your browser.
4 Reasons to Use PDF Tools
Allows you to convert, resize, merge, etc. PDF documents from your browser via Ghostscript commands.
Has a stand-alone UI window with no background activities.
Requires no internet connection if you have the native-client patch and Ghostscript client.
Available for all browsers and platforms.
This video gives you an idea of how the extension works in your browser.
Managing and manipulating PDF files can prove to be a daunting task and quite time-consuming feat if you dont have the right tools. PDF Tools, a web browser extension, promises to end these problems for you. In this review, we have shed light on its features, pros and cons. Please continue reading!
It is a lite addon, which helps to manage PDF files right in the browser. Its biggest advantage lies in the fact that the user is not required to open the PDF file in another software at all or have internet connection. Whether you want to convert a PDF file in any other formation or resize it, you can do it right from your browser, fast, and easy. Furthermore, this extension also allows the user to merge different PDF files into a one file. Files can be inputted using different ways; you can either click on the - Choose files - button by opening the extension or drag and drop the files. Once the files have been selected, click the desired command (action to be taken) and press the - Save & Run - button. If you have selected the wrong command or file, you can cancel the process execution by clicking on the - Stop Process - button.
This extension is lightweight; hence, it doesnt cause the browser to act sluggish or slow down. Another great feature of PDF Tools is that it is compatible with any modern browser. Thus, there are no limitations as you can install it on any browser you like to use. Furthermore, it can run on all the platforms/operating systems as well. The best part of PDF Tools is that it requires no active internet connection to run. Thus, even if you don’t have an internet connection, you can still use its feature and convert, resize or merge your PDF files. This extension uses an open-source software called Ghostscript, this software needs to be installed in your system to use this extension. Furthermore, it also requires users to install a native-client patch. Without these two requirements, this extension cannot work.
Ghostscript is a suite of software programs that provides an interpreter for the PostScript (PS) language and the Portable Document Format (PDF), as well as converting those formats to a variety of other formats. It is often used to convert PS and PDF files to raster image formats such as PNG, JPEG, or TIFF, as well as to convert those formats to other vector formats such as EPS or SVG. Ghostscript is a powerful tool that allows users to manipulate and convert PostScript and PDF files in a variety of ways. Ghostscript was originally developed by L. Peter Deutsch and Aladdin Enterprises, and was first released in 1988. It is named after the "Ghostscript" interpreter that is used to execute the PostScript code. Ghostscript is written in C, and is available for a wide variety of platforms, including Windows, MacOS, Linux, and Unix. Ghostscript is often used by printers and other devices that need to process PostScript and PDF files. For example, when a user sends a document to a printer, the printer's software may use Ghostscript to convert the document to a format that the printer can understand and process. Ghostscript can also be used to create PDF files from other formats, such as Word or Excel documents, or to convert PDF files to other formats such as JPEG or TIFF. Ghostscript is also used by many graphic design and page layout programs, such as Adobe InDesign or QuarkXPress, to preview and print PostScript and PDF files. Ghostscript can be integrated into these programs, allowing them to process and display PostScript and PDF files directly, without the need for external viewers or conversion tools. In addition to its use in printers and graphic design programs, Ghostscript is also commonly used by researchers and scientists to process and analyze PostScript and PDF files. For example, Ghostscript can be used to extract text and images from PDF files, or to convert PDF files to other formats such as CSV or XML for further analysis.
For beginner users, please read the below FAQs for more information on installing this software and patch. This extension does not allow multiple actions or processes to run at the same time, and only allows for the processing of a single file at a time. Despite this limitation, PDF Tools is a useful and convenient extension that offers all the necessary tools for manipulating PDF files directly in the browser without the need for an internet connection or multiple applications.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is PDF Tools?
PDF Tools, is a simple and very lite add-on which allows you to easily manipulate (convert, resize, merge, etc.) PDF documents right in your browser. It uses an open-source software called Ghostscript. Ghostscript is an engine for interpreting portable document formats (PDF) and postscript (PS). In order to get more info about Ghostscript please read the Wikiedia page. This addon uses nativeMessaging technology to communicate with Ghostscript software on your machine. Before using this addon, you need to install Ghostscript on your machine. You also need the native client patch in order to build the communication between Ghostscript and your browser. Please read the following FAQs to get more info about this addon.
2. How can I operate with this addon?
In order to operate with this addon, please click on the toolbar button. The app UI will be open in a small and stand-alone window. Within the app, there are seven sections. From top to bottom, section 1 is for choosing the input file or files. Please note that input file should be a PDF or Postscript document only. You can drag & drop files in the designated area within the app. Section 2, lists all the input files. Please note that this section only lists all the valid files (.pdf and .ps). Section 3 is for the Ghostscript path on your machine. In windows 10, 64bit machine, the default Ghostscript path is: "C:\Program Files\gs\gs9.26\bin\gswin64c.exe". If you have a different OS, please make sure to write the correct path in the filed. In section 4, you can write your desired commands. There are some sample commands available in the UI. There is also a history list which contains the list of previously used commands. If you are not familiar with Ghostscript commands, please read this page to get more info. In section 5, please write the destination folder for the results. By default, "C:\Users\Public" is set as the default folder for storing the results. section 6, is for the console logs. All logs in the app are written in this section. In the last section, you will find the - Save & Run - button. Once you press on this button, the commands and input files are sent to the Ghostscript and the final result is generated. If the app encounters any errors, you will see the message in the console area.
3. How can I download the source code for PDF Tools?
To download the source code for this extension from Chrome Web Store, it is recommended to use Extension Source Downloader. With this addon, you can download the source code as a ZIP or CRX format to your machine. If you want to download the source code from the Firefox addons store, please open the firefox download link (if available) in the Firefox browser and then right-click on the - Add to Firefox - button and select - Save Link As... - item. Choose the destination folder on your machine and then save the file in XPI format. You can then rename the XPI format to a RAR or ZIP file. Some extensions may have a GitHub repo address, which you can use to download the source code as well. But, it may not be the latest version of the addon. Therefore, downloading the source code from the official web stores is the best option as it always gives you the latest version of the addon.
4. What do I need to do before using the addon?
When you first install the addon, please open the app UI and adjust the path for the Ghostscript client (command-line client). Depending on your operating system, the path for Ghostscript could be different. For example, in Windows 10 the path for Ghostscript is: "C:\Program Files\gs\gs9.26\bin\gswin64c.exe". If you choose a different folder for installation, please make sure to adjust the path accordingly. Once you set the correct path, please install the native-client patch. This patch is used to make the communication between the addon and Ghostscript (native app). Please read the following to get more info about installing the native-client patch on your machine.
5. What is native-client?
Native client patch is used for connecting your browser (Firefox, Chrome, and Opera) with native applications on your machine (Windows, Linux, and Mac). If you have an add-on in your browser that needs to communicate with an external application on your computer, this native client patch can be used to easily make this connection.
6. How can I install the native-client patch?
After installing the addon, you need to connect it with native applications (i.e. Ghostscript) on your machine. In order to make this connection, a separate patch is provided in GitHub. Please download and install this patch from here. Follow the instruction in the GitHub page to download and install the related patch to your system. After installing, the "PDF Tools" addon your browser can communicate with Ghostscript on your machine (Window, Linux or Mac). In order to get Ghostscript software, please head to this page and find the right package for your operating system.
7. Can I use a different software other than Ghostscript to manipulate PDF files?
This addon only works with Ghostscript software. But in general, there are a lot of open-source and commercial software to manipulate PDF/PS files.
8. How can I add commnads for Ghostscript?
If you are not familiar with Ghostscript commands, please head to this page and read the instructions on how to write Ghostscript commands. Some sample commands are as following:
a) Convert postscript (PS) to PDF: -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite
b) Merge PS and/or PDF: -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite
c) Extract page(s) from a PS or a PDF: -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dFirstPage=1 -dLastPage=1
d) Embed fonts in a PDF: -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dPDFSETTINGS=/prepress -dEmbedAllFonts=true -dSubsetFonts=true -dCompatibilityLevel=1.6
e) PDF resize options
-dPDFSETTINGS=/screen (screen-view-only quality, 72 dpi images)
-dPDFSETTINGS=/ebook (low quality, 150 dpi images)
-dPDFSETTINGS=/printer (high quality, 300 dpi images)
-dPDFSETTINGS=/prepress (high quality, color preserving, 300 dpi imgs)
-dPDFSETTINGS=/default (almost identical to /screen)
f) Paper size options
-dDEVICEWIDTHPOINTS=w -dDEVICEHEIGHTPOINTS=h (point=1/72 of an inch)
-dFIXEDMEDIA (force paper size over the PostScript defined size)
-gWIDTHxHEIGHT (page size in pixels)
g) Output devices:
-sDEVICE=png16m (24-bit RGB color)
-sDEVICE=pngalpha (32-bit RGBA color)
-sDEVICE=jpeg (color JPEG)
-sDEVICE=jpeggray (grayscale JPEG)
-sDEVICE=epswrite (encapsulated postscript)
-sDEVICE=txtwrite (text output, UTF-8)
h) Other options
-dNOPAUSE (no pause after page)
-dBATCH (exit after last file)
-dAutoRotatePages=/PageByPage or /All or /None
-rXRESxYRES (XRES & YRES in pixels/inch)
-rRES (same XRES & YRES, affects images and fonts converted to bitmaps)
9. Can I open the addon in toolbar popup?
No, this addon only opens in a stand-alone popup window. Simply press on the toolbar icon to open the UI.
10. Is this addon available for mobile browsers?
Yes, this addon is available for all browsers and platforms including mobile browsers. Please note that, in mobile view, the app UI may not look good since the mobile screen is not large enough to render the whole UI.
11. How can I reset the addon?
In order to reset the addon, please open the app UI and press on the - Reset - button. Please note that pressing on this button will reset all settings to default values. There is also a reload button on the top left corner of the UI. You can press on this button to simply reload the UI.
Your feedback goes a long way towards making this addon even better. With this feedback and bug report form, you can report bugs or suggest features/enhancements for the functionality or performance of this addon. Please note that this form will be sent to the developer(s) of this addon. You will not get an immediate or personal response at the moment. However, the developer(s) may contact you through the email address provided in this form for further clarifications or to request additional information regarding the reported bug(s).
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