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Office 12 to Include Native PDF Support

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the pdf-and-the-tower-of-babel dept.

Microsoft 473

parry writes "Microsoft announced today at the MVP summit that Office 12, the next version of Microsoft Office, will have native support for the PDF document format. Support will be built into Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, Publisher, OneNote, Visio, and InfoPath." From the article: "Currently, on our OfficeOnline site, we are seeing over 30,000 searches per week for PDF support. That makes a pretty easy decision"

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same old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696891)

That's what they said about office 11, never happened. Hey, whatever happened to Xdoc?

Re:same old (3, Funny)

h15n (904962) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697165)

So, Miros~1 Office 12 is now ``A new theme'' + ``PDF export''.
If it was OSS, they would call it something like Office 11.0.0.1 .

So what does this do to thier "competing" format? (0, Offtopic)

mobiux (118006) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696894)

Metro? Thy production team be disbanded...

Re:So what does this do to thier "competing" forma (3, Insightful)

oncehour (744756) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696986)

This most likely IS their competing format. I suspect Microsoft is just bundling their Office Killer with their Acrobat Killer into a nice, neat package. It's more efficient from a business stand point and gives each of the "Killers" more of an effect. Why buy a seperate license for Adobe or create a program to teach workers how to use OpenOffice when Microsoft Office has familiarity AND a bundled PDF creator in one.

I wonder if Microsoft will suffer any sort of anti-competitive lawsuits over this measure, assuming it is successful and isn't Vaporware as a vast majority of their announcements for current projects are. Of course, with the acquisition of Flash, I'm sure Adobe will be able to stick it out and possibly create an even better PDF product. I hope my faith in the Free Market is well founded.

Re:So what does this do to thier "competing" forma (5, Insightful)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697075)

Metro? Thy production team be disbanded...

More likely PDF support will be built through Metro, as basically Metro is the XPS system in a Document.

As for the post above... Silly...

PDF will be rendered using Metro technologies is my guess, as they are not coding to the GDI but XPS. XPS is the new Windows/Document/Printer XAML format that the OS uses for virtually EVERYTHING.

Even CALLS between applications in exchanging data will pass XAML XPS information, let allow this is how the OS passes info to the Screen to Draw and the Pinter to Print.

GDI conversion layers are included for both way compatibility for Screen and Printer. i.e. your app uses XAML(WPF/XPS) to display something, but your driver only knows GDI, it will convert it.

Does everything Microsoft does have to be sinister?

How about this for a 'senerio'... For better performance and to take advantage of some of the new drawing capabilities in the WPF, chances are Adobe will even make a PDF reader for Windows that uses XAML/XPS/WPF to render the PDF information to the screen and the printer.

So does that make Adobe evil too?

These are such borderline (as a lot of people get them confused) concepts, but yet different. Metro is an extention of how elegant the new 3D Vector system built in Windows is - and also how different it is from anything Apple or anyone else has even attempted to do. Bascially when new applications for Windows are rendering cool graphics on the screen or printer, they are using XML in the from of XAML - which looks a lot like SVG, but has a 'chunk' of different abilities and purposes than SVG does.

So Metro is basically just saying, ok instead of drawing this to the screen, save it in a Document, a Metro Document - because the communication system for Graphic and any form of Media content throughout Windows is built in a simple and efficient XML format.

I though Slashdot like using concepts like XML?

MBOT (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13697111)

Let's cut the crap and do some straight talk. We guys go to the MBOT because we want gorgeous women to give us extras. Am I right? Who dares to disagree with this statement?

If we want someone who is unattractive, then we would go to the MSC. We are paying good money for service. We expect that the providers will be attractive -- especially for $300 or more.

Speaking for myself, I do not want to waste a bloody trip to San Francisco and then find that all the providers would cause a mirror to crack. So, here's the real deal. I have developed a rating system for how the providers look. I will be blunt because I am not going to a Buddhist temple. I am going to the club to get some sex with a hot babe.

I have tagged the dancers according to the following system: princess, bunny, (plain) jane, dog, and hyena. Just to clarify, "bunny" means Playboy-quality. Yep. MBOT still has some Playboy-quality women. "Princess" means exceptional -- beyond your wildest imagination.

"dog" does not mean "avoid" but, rather, means that you will be paying a lot less for her service. "hyena" means "super cheap". There are some feMBOTs who have a hell of a time in getting any customers -- for obvious physical reasons. You usually can get a blowjob or handjob for roughly $100 (or less) from these women -- if you holdout. Don't jump at the first offer that they make. Remember economics. They have a tough time in getting customers. You can drive their prices down. Hold out until you can get the MSC price -- since you are getting MSC quality.

Anyhow, here is the list, starting with the "Princess" category. You will pay through your nose to get service from a "Princess".

princess
--------
Brittany Rae, MaryAnn Lynn

bunny
-----
Connie Nickels, Taylor Sterling, Juliana Marie, Jennifer York

jane
----
Kelly Lange, Robyn Banks, Trina Banks (see comment below), Ariana Lynn, Nadia Komenichi, Danielle Steele, Brandy Andrews

dog
---
Bianca Knight, Victoria Vaughn, India Foxx

hyena
-----
Shannon Dandridge, Jesse Day, Jezebel Erotica, Cherry Roberts, Esme Williams

Concerning Trina Banks, she really is a jane. However, some guys (suckers?) are turned on by her looks and view her as a bunny. Even though she is a jane, her prices are typically in the bunny category.

Remember. If you want princess or bunny, call the MBOT schedule phone number. Check whether your princess or bunny is working. Just to be sure, call the other number as well and talk to the person on duty. Verify before you drive. Otherwise, you will waste a trip.

P.S.
Shannon Dandridge really needs to retire from this business and find another job. She can't get any dances. Most of the times, she can't make tipout. The only conceivable reason that she is still employed at the MBOT is that (1) the management owes her (but what?) or (2) she is one of the Redbook characters (in this forum) who has been pimping the MBOT. Reason #2 seems likely, given the almost weekly Penthouse-style titillating articles (about the MBOT) that are posted in this forum.

Re:So what does this do to thier "competing" forma (4, Interesting)

Doppler00 (534739) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697112)

Ha, you don't understand Microsoft very well. My guess is that the PDF support will be severly crippled. In which case, they will make the PDF format over time look less desirable than their own competing format. I mean, didn't they do the same thing with Java, releasing their own crippled JVM included in every copy of windows? Microsoft eventually replaced it with .NET.

What better way to defeat the competition than by releasing a crippled version of their format that's automatically bundeled with your system, and then coming out with a better "solution".

Just a theory.

Re:So what does this do to thier "competing" forma (1)

amliebsch (724858) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697140)

I mean, didn't they do the same thing with Java, releasing their own crippled JVM included in every copy of windows?

Maybe I'm misremembering, but I thought it was the opposite: that they extended the JVM to support proprietary, "Windows-only" features. They could try doing the same to PDF, but Adobe clearly has the IP rights to the PDF spec.

Open Document? (5, Funny)

exnuke (734919) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696896)

So we just need to go search for Open Document?

Re:Open Document? (0, Offtopic)

Luke Psywalker (869266) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696919)

Or perhaps Jenna Jamieson hot XXX

So... Let me get this straight... (2, Interesting)

Chordonblue (585047) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696939)

MS is going to support another company's format (PDF) but they won't support OpenDoc - an OASIS format they indirectly helped create?

Sooner or later this sort of hypocrisy is going to catch up to them and their business practices. No doubt there are legal interpretations of this that will eventually have to be answered as well.

Re:So... Let me get this straight... (1)

benna (614220) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696984)

Sooner or later this sort of hypocrisy is going to catch up to them and their business practices.

What makes you think that? Sounds like wishful thinking to me.

Re:So... Let me get this straight... (4, Funny)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697011)

Sooner or later this sort of hypocrisy is going to catch up to them and their business practices. No doubt there are legal interpretations of this that will eventually have to be answered as well.

Yeah for sure! Remember in the late 1990s there was a company doing things like this, and the Justice Department went after them. We got a full ruling on the facts from a federal judge detailing count after count of monopolistic practices. The Justice Department really put that company in its place for breaking the law. What was that company called again? Oh, wait a minute...

Re:So... Let me get this straight... (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697087)

MS is going to support another company's format (PDF) but they won't support OpenDoc - an OASIS format they indirectly helped create?
Well, I guess there is a cure for that...

TFA says that they had received a huge number of requests for PDF support, so they decided to implement it.

Let us forget about the whole of the Massachussets' government for a moment and file a request for making Open Document - not OpenDoc, that was Apple's project - their default format. If they should get enough requests, they won't have to think too much about including it.

The only question left now is:
[The Voice]Can slashdot do it? Will our heroes find it in themselves to go to the MS site and file a request? Or will the bad guys finally prevail?
Watch us again next week, same slash-time, same slash-channel[1]...[/The Voice]

[1] ie. when the dupe comes out.

Re:Open Document? (1)

TheWanderingHermit (513872) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697009)

Might as well organize a small percentage of /.ers to make regular searches every few days for "Open Document", Linux, "Open Office", BSD, Java and a few other terms.

Seriously, it'd be interesting if you could get a lot of people to do that and see which ones they actually pay attention to. I seriously doubt they'd consider adding support for any of the above, but, then again, I'm rather surprised they added ANY kind of support for anything that isn't pure MS.

MS Office 12 is OpenOffice killer (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13697145)

No doubt about it. Software backed by proper resources always beat software that is not.

Similarly, we can expect Windows Vista to finish Linux once and for all. Of course, Linux doesn't even have QA testing, so it's no wonder it crashes all the time. If only the open source gang had copied the blue screen of death, people wouldn't be staring at frozen consoles...

How "native"? Importing too? (5, Interesting)

codergeek42 (792304) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696898)

Does this mean it will have PDF-import capabilities too? Or is this just export-only? It says on the article that it can publish to PDF. Just curious...

Re:How "native"? Importing too? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696926)

I worked for a major engineering firm for a few years, and documents were distributed in PDF format specifically because they were read-only.

If you were reading one of our PDFs, you could be assured that the content was accurate. Even printed versions of the document were (supposed to be) considered suspect.

Making PDFs Read/Write would torpedo a LOT of current practices.

Re:How "native"? Importing too? (4, Insightful)

AussiePenguin (83326) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696952)

But you can already write to them with acrobat professional.

Re:How "native"? Importing too? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696981)

But you can already write to them with acrobat professional.

Which is available for a snip at a mere few hundred dollars per seat.

Re:How "native"? Importing too? (4, Informative)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697005)

So? The point the poster above was making is that PDF is not the answer to document security. Especially if you're not using the password protection built into PDF, but even with it, the information can be manipulated by someone who wants to. The GP poster didn't make any sense - why would putting docs in PDF guarantee they hadn't been changed? Someone could easily create an entirely different PDF if they didn't want to buy (or steal) acrobat to toy with the original one.

Re:How "native"? Importing too? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696994)

Are you serious? PDF files can be edited with Adobe acrobat. I've done it. If you haven't encrypt the files why can't you edit them?

I'm also sure you can edit the text in a normal text editor.

This is not security!!!!!

Re:How "native"? Importing too? (3, Informative)

sonamchauhan (587356) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697092)

> Making PDFs Read/Write would torpedo a LOT of current practices.

We do the same thing in our workplace too.

Someone already mentioned writing to PDFs in Acrobat professional. IIRC, this is limited to minor changes - correcting words, inserting new pages, etc).

However, there is software to create Word documents _from_ PDFs. Once someone has a word file, he can edit it as much as he likes, and reexport it as PDF.

Some links from Google are below (search term: "create PDF from Word" -- look at the
'Sponsored Links'):

http://www.solidpdf.com/pdf/_to_word_converter/42 [solidpdf.com]
http://www.verypdf.com/pdf2word/index.html [verypdf.com]
http://www.eprintdriver.com/PDFoptions/PDF-Writer- ex.html [eprintdriver.com]

uh-oh... (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696989)

That was my question below too... Being able to export to PDF is something third party extensions have been doing long before OSX came along, and even the third party extensions put the export command in the "print" dialog for every other program, so it might as well have been built into the OS. I am sure Windows users have had similar options for years too. The searches they're getting for "PDF support" probably want something more involved than an "export to PDF" command.

If that is what they're doing, this could be pretty useful.... But I also would not trust MSWord to import PDF files and screw with them. Look at what they did with HTML import-export -- and that's just an open markup language, not a complete document format. Just imagine how badly they can screw up PDF if they put their minds to it.

"I don't think that means what you think it means" (4, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696902)

I don't know about you, but I can't wait for Microsoft Office with Pretty Darn Fast technology!

Doesn't this somehow infringe? (1)

InsideTheAsylum (836659) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696903)

I thought that there was a big lawsuit a while back by adobe about the PDF standard..

Re:Doesn't this somehow infringe? (1)

ProKras (727865) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696934)

I thought that there was a big lawsuit a while back by adobe about the PDF standard.

There probably was. But when was the last time Microsoft lost a lawsuit, after appeals? And more importantly, when was the last time that losing a lawsuit actually made Microsoft change its business practices? Microsoft does what Microsoft wants, lawsuits be damned!

Re:Doesn't this somehow infringe? (5, Informative)

krunk4ever (856261) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697048)

I always thought the PDF format was a free format (hence Apple has preview) and there's also tons of other PDF editors and printers besides Adobe. The format that is licensed to Adobe is the PS (post-script). That's why printers that support PS are so expensive because each printer with PS support sold needs to pay royalty to Adobe.

from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portable_Document_For mat [wikipedia.org]

These documents can be one page or thousands of pages, very simple or extremely complex with a rich use of fonts, graphics, colour, and images. PDF is an open standard, and anyone may write applications that can read or write PDFs royalty-free.

Now if only... (5, Interesting)

Deacon_Yermouf (900678) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696913)

... they could incorporate a minimalist, fast pdf viewer into Windows itself, I would happy. Ever since zip support was incorporated into XP, I've been so pleased that I've had no reason to download winzip. And the Windows "Picture and Fax" image viewer is exactly what I had wanted for a while- a fast, simple way to view images, zoom in, etc. That's what I would want for .pdf's in Windows, a simple way to quickly open, view, and print. And with Adobe's latest offerings getting bigger, more bloated, and more irritating with each new release, believe me, it can't come fast enough. Thank God for www.oldversion.com [oldversion.com] .

Re:Now if only... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696957)

And Bill Gates smiles, shifts a little and ask you to spend a little more attention on the balls.

Re:Now if only... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696958)

What are you on about? Adobe reader 7 is the fastest yet, and to print the PDF, just right click and choose "print" just like any other recognised format.

Re:Now if only... (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697014)

Acrobat Reader 7 is "fast" to load because it sits resident in memory the whole time. Same reason Explorer is "faster" to load than Firefox. Version 5 still seems to be the best option until people stop distributing version 5-compatible PDFs.

Try Foxit PDF Reader (5, Informative)

manastungare (596862) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697045)

Foxit [foxitsoftware.com] reminds me of OS X's Preview every time I use it. Fast, lean, and loads quickly. It may not read some of the more advanced stuff that PDFs may contain, but it's great for previewing/printing. Free as in beer. No install required, so I even carry a copy on my thumbdrive.

Re:Now if only... (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697052)

I agree! They could call it "Preview."

Re:Now if only... (1)

b0r1s (170449) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697065)

I've always been unhappy with acrobat, and then Macromedia came out with FlashPaper (a SWF posing as a document). I didn't notice it at first, then I saw a resume come in with a FlashPaper attachment. Like most flash, it's got a very small filesize and loads fast.

It'll never be picked up by Microsoft (even though SWF is an open format), because MS is still trying to push it's Flash Killer line of graphics / motion tools. Real shame, because it's one of the better uses of Flash.

Re:Now if only... (0, Offtopic)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697133)

huh, what? SWF an open format? WTF since when?

Not quite what you want but... (2, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697166)

Give ACrobat Speedup a try http://www.tnk-bootblock.co.uk/prods/misc/index.ph p [tnk-bootblock.co.uk] to get it. Basically it turns off all the damn plugins that ACrobat loads by default. This does mean that some advanced stuff won't work but who cares? You never see PDFs with it anyhow.

It really does drop the loading time singificantly.

4.5 years after OS X had PDF file output standard (5, Interesting)

XavierItzmann (687234) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696916)

OS X 10.0 (Cheetah), March 24, 2001
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_OS_X [wikipedia.org]

"Redmond, start your photocopiers"

Re:4.5 years after OS X had PDF file output standa (1)

LO0G (606364) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696956)

Actually Word for the Mac has had PDF support for years.

My father's always been pissed at Microsoft for including PDF support in their Mac products but not in their PC products.

Re:4.5 years after OS X had PDF file output standa (3, Informative)

pauljlucas (529435) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697101)

Actually Word for the Mac has had PDF support for years.
I don't think it has/had anything to do with Word for the Mac. Mac OS before OS X had PostScript support from any application for years. But it was most likely PostScript support back then, not PDF directly, that you're thinking of.

Re:4.5 years after OS X had PDF file output standa (1)

Anthony Liguori (820979) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696962)

ps2pdf has been around since.. hell, as long as I can remember using Linux (probably before Office95). Since printing in Linux has always been based around postscript, I've never even thought about the fact that people have trouble printing to PDF.

PDF has been a target printer in Gnome for a long time. I reckon longer than OS X has been around.

Re:4.5 years after OS X had PDF file output standa (1)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697017)

PDF has been a target printer in Gnome for a long time. I reckon longer than OS X has been around.

The GNOME project was started in August 1997 [wikipedia.org]

OSX around in one form or another since 1989 [wikipedia.org]

Re:4.5 years after OS X had PDF file output standa (1)

treff89 (874098) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697053)

KDE, GNOME _and_ cli-based Linux have had pdf output support for far, far longer than Apple operating systems - in their specific incarnations.

Re:4.5 years after OS X had PDF file output standa (1)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697066)

What a stupid post, honestly...

He clearly said as long as OS X has been around, not as long as it has been around in one form or another.

By your logic, Windows XP has been around since 1995, when Windows 95 was released, since they share the Explorer shell. Oh, wait, Windows NT 3.1 used an earlier version of the XP kernel, so Windows XP has been around even longer.

In-case you misunderstood what I am getting at, he means since OS X was released as a product that came in a box that said OS X on it. It being owned by NeXT, not containing Aqua, and only sharing some base code doesn't really count.

Re:4.5 years after OS X had PDF file output standa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13697093)

I've used ps2pdf and various gs options [gnu.org] with Samba to create network printers available to Windows machines that can print to to various types of tif, gif, jpeg, pdf and other printers. We use it in the IT department as a support tool for the users. Someone emails a user a visio file or some other type of off the wall file format they need to look at? First thing they do is email the IT department with something like "How do I print this?". We open our copy of Visio or whatever app we can find that works for what they have which our 1000 or so users do not have and print the file to our virtual network printers which converts it something they can print and open and use from their desktops. Sure, it is not as user friendly as converting or printing to the PDF printer that is supplied with using the full version of Acrobat but this is VERY flexible and much cheaper. Another good use is converting multi page tifs that are users recieve that are not in a standard fax format but should be. Quite often, our users recieve a two or three page tif file that is over 2MB in size but is nothing more then a black and white document and the sender used 24 bit RGB to scan it.

This link [linuxgazette.net] is very old but provides the basis for setting up various network printer convertors using Samba.

Re:4.5 years after OS X had PDF file output standa (1)

Trillan (597339) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697182)

There have been free Mac-native PDF solutions since about the same time, including a port of ps2pdf. The grandparent was probably referring to single click PDF generation in Mac OS X: you don't even have to pick it as your printer. It's definitely very convenient having it available as a command button in every print window.

Re:4.5 years after OS X had PDF file output standa (-1, Troll)

NineNine (235196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697041)

You can have it. PDF's are banned from my business. I won't even allow Acrobat to be installed on any machines. If a vendor can't furnish documents in some other format, too bad for that vendor.

Re:4.5 years after OS X had PDF file output standa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13697069)

Uhm, why? Is it because jpegs are much more concise ways of delivering that free porn, or do you have an objection to PDF as a format in general?

Re:4.5 years after OS X had PDF file output standa (1)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697080)

Any reason why exactly? Or are you one of those people who will make decisions about technology solutions for your business based on your personal like or dislike for a particular company?

Re:4.5 years after OS X had PDF file output standa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13697143)

Don't worry, there plenty of businesses that want to make money that have no problem with PDFs.

Re:4.5 years after OS X had PDF file output standa (1)

Mechcozmo (871146) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697177)

What DO you use then? OpenOffice is great but few use it, Word format is, well, Word and as we all know, finky, JPEGs and PNGs are not really suited for text display...

You don't need Acrobat Reader to use PDFs. I use OS X's Preview and happily stay away from the 50MB crap Adobe calls a PDF reader.

Office 12 Screenshots (5, Informative)

d2_m_viant (811261) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696921)

For those who haven't seen them yet, Office 12 Screenshots: http://pdc.xbetas.com/?page=o12preview1 [xbetas.com]

ughhhh.... (2, Interesting)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696961)

The new Word looks like a nightmare. I'm glad I use it on a Mac. Native PDF support's been in the OS for a while so that's never been an issue. Hell, under MacOS 7.5+ I could print to PDF from Word using third-party extensions.

The real question though is what they mean by native PDF support. Will I be able to fire up Word, open a PDF document, edit it and save as a Word document that someone else using earlier versions of Word can open? I bet a significant portion of the searches they see for PDF support involve something on that level, rather than simply being able to print to PDF - if I've been able to do that on a Mac for this long (long before OSX had it natively) I'm sure there are many similar options for Windows users.

Native PDF Support (5, Funny)

KajiCo (463552) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696928)

WOW, PDF support in Office 12, amazing how innovative microsoft is... let me just print and save this amazing article through my Native PDF print driver here on my little ole' primitive Macintosh for later use...

pdf support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696929)

how about a whole OS that can save to PDF? (cough...OS X)

PDF Printer Driver (5, Interesting)

mlewan (747328) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696947)

A solution that would be kinder to the competition would be to have a system wide PDF printer driver, like MacOS X has. In that way you could print to PDF from any application.

Isn't there such a thing hanging around as freeware already in Windows, btw?

Re:PDF Printer Driver (5, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696983)

Two options that I know of:

PDF995 [pdf995.com] , which is ad-supported (or was last I used it).

PDFCreator [wurzel6.de] , which is free and open-source.

I know there are others, those are just the two I've used - successfully, I might add.

I'll second the PDFCreator recommendation (3, Informative)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697183)

http://sourceforge.net/projects/pdfcreator/ [sourceforge.net] is the site that I know for it but at any rate. One of the undergrads asked for it in the labs so I checked it out. Seems to work very well, it correctly rendered everything thrown at it from sinple Word documents, to complex Excel sheets, to Matlab output to other PDFs. Thus far, I've seen no crashes and no goof ups. It doesn't have all the features that Acrobat does but it doesn't much matter for most things. It installs a printer driver that works well and creates usable PDFs.

Re:PDF Printer Driver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696987)

Yes, there are a few PDF printer drivers for Windows. I've had good results with PrimoPDF [primopdf.com] , printing documents from Office 2000.

Re:PDF Printer Driver (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13697004)

There are generic and free Postscript-to-PDF converters out there, but this is different - support within the application means that application metadata (such as web links and headings) will be written into the PDF as well - at the moment this is only supported by commercial PDF creators (Jaws, Adobe) by incorporating additional code in the office application (which often enough breaks with service packs or security hot fixes)

M$ version of PDF (1)

tonywestonuk (261622) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696948)

So, I guess the PDF standard is here:

Embrace ***
Extend
Extinguish


It wont be too long before we all have to have Microsoft Document Reader (tm) installed somewhere on our boxen!

Re:M$ version of PDF (1)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697162)

No no, it's

  1. Embrace
  2. Extend
  3. ...
  4. Profit $$$

But why? (1)

kweg (305533) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696949)

Microsoft didn't even invent pdf!

Re:But why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696967)

Wait, are you saying that Microsoft has to invent things?

Re:But why? (1)

dorkygeek (898295) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697149)

A few days more and they did.

Innovation (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13696954)

Say what you will about Microsoft, this is one company that knows how to innovate. Innovation runs in its blood. Microsoft really innovates like nobody else. Built-in PDF support is an excellent idea. No one ever thought about doing it but Microsoft did. Sometimes we are ready for their innovation as is the case with the PDF support. And sometimes Microsoft is ahead of the times as in the case of Microsoft Bob. This is one innovative company though.

OpenOffice.Org... (2, Informative)

DarkProphet (114727) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696963)

...has had this for a long time.

But, let me be one of the first to say - "Its about freakin' TIME!"

Re:OpenOffice.Org... (1)

Original Cynic (677379) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697021)

Gee... Somebody at Microstuff FINALLY downloaded a copy of Open Office and figured out that that their "low budget" competition actually implemented useful tools instead of the typical Microstuff "features".

OpenOffice (1)

AussiePenguin (83326) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696968)

So they're about to offer the same thing that OpenOffice.org has offered for ages?

Re:OpenOffice (5, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697016)

While I'm generally system-agnostic (It'll get me modded to oblivion, but IMO the best system is the one which does what you want it to do), there is one minor historical fact here.

Microsoft are not an innovative company, technology-wise. Innovation, invention, call it what you will, implies either creating something totally new or at the very least putting an original spin on something which already exists.

Where Microsoft do excel is in marketing. They have historically been masters at looking at the market and making their decisions based on where the market is going - generally by buying out or essentially copying the competition. cf. Excel vs. Lotus 1-2-3, Netscape vs. IE (granted, Netscape 4 was more than a little bloated and crufty, but I don't think the outcome would have been much different if it was sleek and efficient).

Don't get me wrong, they do have a few good products in their portfolio (I don't care whether or not YOU find shared calendars in Exchange useful, the business world does). But practically nothing that's particularly innovative.

There is a pint of beer sitting on my desk waiting for the first person who can name a reasonably successful product or technology - past or present - which Microsoft pioneered.

BS Regarding the 30,000 (4, Interesting)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696975)

Is it not amazing that MS is supporting PDF? AFTER MA made its decision with use on Open Document formats? I mean if this is such a great feature, then why was it not discussed at the PDC? Oh yeah, forgot at that time the MA decision was not final. So I wish MS would admit that they are doing this so that they can be MA decision compliant (http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/windows/0,390203 96,39215912,00.htm [zdnet.co.uk] ) and not because "the customer" wanted it. BECAUSE the customer has wanted it for ages!

Re:BS Regarding the 30,000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13697072)

This change has been in the works for ages. Don't fool yourself into thinking a company that big "invented new features" in a few weeks due to a policy change.

Re:BS Regarding the 30,000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13697131)

This change has been in the works for ages. Don't fool yourself into thinking a company that big "invented new features" in a few weeks due to a policy change.

Office 12 isn't even in beta yet. It currently isn't due to be released until the second half of 2006. Microsoft has a long, long history of pushing their deadlines back a year or more. They also have a long, long history of announcing new features to cut off their competition but failing to follow through on their promises for a couple years.

In Bill Gates' book, he brags about how he founded his business by lying to IBM about what functionality he had already completed. While he made the deadline after the first lie, he missed the deadline on the second lie--and that's how he learned he could lie about features, fail to deliver, and still not suffer any consequences.

Nevertheless, it is entirely possible that Microsoft has had PDF support ready for Office for ages; but they just didn't want to include it until their hand was forced.

This just makes OpenOffice doomed. (0, Flamebait)

ABeowulfCluster (854634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13696977)

I liked Openoffice because it could save a file in PDF format. Maybe I'll swtich to MS Office. Nobody can read my Openoffice resume anyways.

Re:This just makes OpenOffice doomed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13697018)

If you switch to MS Office I don't want to read your resume anyway.

Re:yah doomed,... right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13697026)

yeah doomed,... riightt, that makes sense.

Re:This just makes OpenOffice doomed. (1)

smeenz (652345) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697070)

Unfortunately, you are correct.

Despite what other people will no doubt say about how they won't read resumes send in word format, I'ld wager than 90% of human-resources staff don't read or post on slashdot, and if their standard-image computer with standard corporate software can't open the resume, then it doesn't get opened.

Many companies even state that it MUST be in word format.

PDF in Vista? (2, Interesting)

broothal (186066) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697006)

Great - now they're finally catching up with Open Office :)

Actually, I'm wondering. If they're really implementing PDF support in that many products, wouldn't it be easier to just do it one place - say in Vista? Windows Vista could have native PDF support, and in turn all the programs would have PDF support - not just the above mentioned.

Re:PDF in Vista? (1)

efuzzyone (919327) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697037)

I cannot agree more, and not just include PDF viewer, provide a PDF writer/printer too.

Re:PDF in Vista? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13697154)

I a fear a PDF support like the actual HTML support

Oh, *really*? (2, Insightful)

Darkforge (28199) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697007)

From the article: "Currently, on our OfficeOnline site [microsoft.com] , we are seeing over 30,000 searches per week for PDF support. That makes a pretty easy decision"

So, how's about you, me, and a few thousands of our friends search for OpenDocument support [microsoft.com] ?

I applaud you for your realism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13697061)

in noting that only a few thousand people give a shit about OpenDocument

Re:Oh, *really*? (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697067)

Class - thanks ;-)

finally? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13697013)

Good to know that Microsoft is only half a decade behind Apple Mac OS X and Sun StarOffice/OpenOffice!

microsoft bashing (2, Insightful)

mrterrysilver (826735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697023)

everyone on slashdot bashes microsoft non-stop and its very annoying.

take for example pdf support. it became a feature that maybe they didn't do first but realized there is a need for it and they added it. are they supposed to never add features they didn't originally think of? isn't the most important thing that they reconize it is something customers want and they give it to them?

also i'm sick and tired of hearing that there's no innovation from microsoft. i've used office 12 and it is very cool and has lots of very useful innovative features. the menu tabs make finding what you need much easier than digging through drop downs. theres also an instant preview when you mouse over different fonts, and it displays it right in the document. same thing if you're adding tables, an instant preview of the table appears as you are creating one. these are just a few quick examples i thought were great.

will they get credit for these types of innovations? not on slashdot.

Re:microsoft bashing (1)

Original Cynic (677379) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697043)

Gee I can't wait to have my company force another piece of CRAP office software down our throats again. Another group of undocumented FEATURES crap that doesn't do anything to enhance the product and the the inevtiable cross platform issues related to transferring documents between PC's and Macs. Oh and lets not forget the pile of crap that the marketing folks will shovel to convince management that they can't live without the LATEST AND GREATEST STUFF from Microsoft. I JUST CAN'T WAIT!

How to completely uninstall Office ? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13697024)

Sorry for the OT, but when will Microsoft release a decent uninstaller for Office ? When I uninstall 2003, it leaves a whole lot of files in various directories, and it's impossible to know what pertains to it.

Re:How to completely uninstall Office ? (0, Offtopic)

kerohazel (913211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697104)

Yeah, a lot of MS programs do stuff like that. :/
Well, at least you'll never have to worry about them integrating it into the operating system, a la IE. Fully functional office software bundled with an OS, at no extra cost? Not on MY watch.

So Does Massachusetts (2, Insightful)

Been on TV (886187) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697062)

Coincidence that this announcement comes a few days after Massachusetts goes for PDF as one of the approved formats to use in government? Methinks not...

PDF --- A Relic of the Age of Paper (4, Insightful)

Lucas Membrane (524640) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697063)

PDF is the most miserable format to have to read the way that most of us do most of our reading -- on a computer. I've got lousy (ie over-50) eyes, so I magnify everything with that zoom magnifier so that the text fills the screen horizontally. What happens when I scroll down? Because pdf is for paper, and paper has different right and left margins depending on whether you're on a right or left page, the next page won't have its print filling my screen, it's off to the left or right. Play with the horizontal scroll bar every page. Thanks, pdf. Then, because it thinks the printed page is everything, Ctrl-A doesn't select 'All' text, just all text on the current page. And don't get me started on documents presented newspaper style, where I've gotta keep scrolling up and down, left and right. And page down gives the next page of text (according to the hypothetical paper), not the next screen of text according to the actual viewing device. That's so close to useless, you'd think MS invented it. The objective in software is to achieve device independence. The PDF viewer manages to achieve device dependence on a device that isn't even in use (paper). Paper is going to be an exception. A printable e-book would be nice, but if I want a paper book, I don't need a computer. To make the computer subservient to the dead tree is upside-down design.

Re:PDF --- A Relic of the Age of Paper (3, Interesting)

Arandir (19206) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697119)

That's because PDF is a WYSIWYP (the "P" standing for "print"). Yes, it's a pain, but PDF is hardly alone in this regard. Most word processing formats have the same drawback. I don't know if these fixed-width formats are because of the "Age of Paper" as you say, or whether it's because so many people can't stand the user/reader being in control of the formatting. IMHO, HTML and other markup languages are better (as well as simpler) for information content than rigid page formats.

Your post --- A Relic of the Age of Paper (1)

fprog (552772) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697135)

Your post is the most miserable format,
I have read compare to all the other posts, especially when
the way that most of us do most of our reading is on a computer.

Seriously, use some return please, next time.
Thank you!

Re:PDF --- A Relic of the Age of Paper (2, Insightful)

lwells-au (548448) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697161)

I'm currently in the process of writing my honours thesis, so I have used hundred and hunreds of lengthy PDFs this year (as most journal access is electronic this day). I completely agree with you that PDFs make for crappy screen reading, but used for certain purposes PDF make a lot of sense. I would make two points:

1) When writing an academic text you invariable reference your sources (otherwise its, obviously, plagarism). PDF is useful because you (usually) get a scan of the original article, with the original formatting. Often when articles are presented in other formats -- html and text -- you loose the formatting, and vitally, the page numbers which makes referencing that much more difficult.

2) Consider the context in which MS is adopting PDF: Office. The main use, I would assume, will be for people who are writing documents -- be they spreadsheets, powerpoint presentations or word documents. PDF will enable Office users to be sure that their document will display properly on other machines. I can't tell you the number of issues there are with ensuring correct display and print out of MS Word documents across multiple machines. I often print articles out on the Uni machines before handing them in, but because of different MS Word versions, software and hardware setup, your perfectly formatted essay (on your home machine) can look bizarre on the Uni computer. Saving it as a PDF means that I can be sure that when I come to print it at Uni, all my formatting stays the way I intended it. The more complex the document -- different margins, footnotes, bullet lists, etc -- the more these issues crop up. If you're just writting a letter it may be irrelevant if the formatting is slightly changed; if you suddenly find your footnotes gobbled its a major issue.

In that respect PDF can be a godsend as far as portablilty goes, and that's not even considering the cross platform issues (i.e. not having access to a machine with MS Office). To some of us, the tree is still vital ;-)

I have used pdf995 for a few years. (1)

elgee (308600) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697064)

It costs less than $10 and is great. That is if you actually wish to pay for it. Just another printer option in windoze.

ahhhhh!!! (5, Interesting)

GimmeFuel (589906) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697113)

Anyone else cringe when they read this?

native support for the PDF document format

In other words,

native support for the Portable Document Format document format

And yet I've been doing this in OpenOffice (4, Insightful)

bahwi (43111) | more than 8 years ago | (#13697139)

for awhile now. Which is great, open up presentation, make one, and save it as a PDF makes for great easy marketing PDF's. =)
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