- Paperback: 298 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (August 26, 2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0596006551
- ISBN-13: 978-0596006556
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #530,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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PDF Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tools 1st Edition
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About the Author
Sid Steward is a programmer, writer and entrepreneur. He maintains the PDF Toolkit and wrote PDF Hacks. When he's not working on PDF, he's creating goodies like LookLeap (a better TinyURL), GoJot (social bookmarking meets site commenting), and The Punch Poll. He continually battles entropy and will gladly tell you about G del's incompleteness theorem. Bjarne Stroustrup is one of his heroes. Feel free to contact Sid.
Top customer reviews
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Adobe Acrobat/Reader is a very complex piece of software, and like many Adobe products, mastery is more an art than a science. Right from the start, this book provides clearly written tips that make master the beast somewhat more manageable. For those who actually write and manipulate PDFs, the later sections will make your life easier at some point, I can say with some certainty.
Well worth it for anyone who has a PDF-intensive workflow.
Also, you can search for "PDFTK", one of the tools discussed in the book, to find the author's site. There are sample hacks you can read in full to get a better idea of the type of content. And there's of course "Look Inside".
For example, Steward shows how to have URLs link to specific points inside a PDF document. So if you are maintaining a website that has PDFs, you can do far better than most, by having links not just to the entire documents, but to pertinant locations within. A competitive advantage. The great majority of PDFs accessible on the web require you to view the entire document, for find what you're looking for. You should do better.
Steward also shows a logical inverse. How to embed standard URLs inside a PDF. Knowing both capabilities means a fuller integration of PDFs inside your website.
It also turns out that much of what the book discusses can be done with free editing tools, at least on linux/unix machines.
Good book for demystifying PDF.
PDF Hacks are divided into four main sections: consuming, managing, authoring, and manipulating PDFs. Some of the hacks are quite interesting and cover things you might not otherwise think of. Once interesting hack is #25, "Convey Your Document's Value with Good Design". This hack actually discusses different issues with fonts including various typography tips and alignment issues. This is certainly an issue I think of rarely, but this hack shows some of the reasons to really think through this issue. There are many such hacks which are quite enlightening.
My favorite part of the book was toward the end, where the author discusses the tool "pdftk", which can be used to freely modify PDF files. The author proceeds to show how this tool can be used to change text within exiting PDF files without significant work. While this hack might not be used by everyone, it illustrates the type of advanced tips this book provides.
Like I said at the beginning of this review, I just wish I had read this book three months ago. After reading this book, the reader will have a much better understanding of the PDF format, as well as having a knowledge of the tools that can be used to extend the PDF format beyond what you might have initially thought possible. If you want to understand the PDF format and what information on how to "hack" your PDFs, then you need a copy of this book!
The rest of the Hacks were more of a PDF education for me than anything else. I appreciated the numerous explanations, such as Hack #43 Embed and Subset Fonts to your Advantage, which described the need (or not) of embedded fonts in a PDF. I also like the descriptions about how to make your PDFs smaller (Hack #40). I also found the section on publishing interesting.
I used to think the only thing anyone ever did was distribute and read PDFs. This book proved there was much more to PDFs than that.
Most recent customer reviews
I purchased this book and software from Broderbund, after reading the reviews posted here at Amazon, believing the book and software...Read more