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PDF format for layouts


 
8/22/2000 10:33 AM
JD Sleep
PDF format for layouts
I've been experimenting with PDF and it looks like I will be able to replace all the GIF files with PDF format on the GuitarEffectsProjects site.  
 
R.G. recommended the freeware program GSView to write out PDF files from PS files. Works like a charm, thanks for the tip R.G.! I have a few questions for everyone before I commence this major conversion project...  
 
1) I found a shareware program called Mayura Draw that will convert my BMP files to postscript. There is a $25 registration fee. Anyone know of a FREEWARE program or a free way to do this (win95)? I will spend the $25 if I have to, but I'm on a tight budget and I'd rather buy $25 worth of parts and actually build some of this stuff :)  
 
2) Does anybody out there have any objections to PDF files (instead of GIF)?  
 
3) Any preference - separate PDF file for each layout and parts placement diagram, or include them both in a single PDF file, or include the whole project (layout, parts placement, parts list and instructions) in a single PDF file?  
 
Sorry, I know I'm cluttering up a perfectly good effects forum with this kinda thing, but I wanted to make sure the effects builders see this and have a chance to give me some input.  
 
Your input is appreciated (feel free to email me if you don't feel like posting)  
 
JD
 
8/22/2000 1:28 PM
JHarvey

The main problem with PDFs vs Gif(or another similar format) is that you can not paste multiple boards on one page to print. Photoshop 5.5 will load PDFs so its not a huge problem for me, but it might be for others.  
BTW great site JD!  
 
J.
 
8/22/2000 2:29 PM
Mark Hammer

"2) Does anybody out there have any objections to PDF files (instead of GIF)?"  
 
No, in fact I'd prefer PDF, but that's me.  
 
3) Any preference - separate PDF file for each layout and parts placement diagram, or include them both in a single PDF file, or include the whole project (layout, parts placement, parts list and instructions) in a single PDF file?"  
 
The beauty of a PDF is that the whole thing is intact. This was one of the reasons why zip-files were such a god-send to the shareware movement; you could send ONE file with all the parts, and as long as you kept an intact version, you would KNOW you had all the parts.  
 
The only disadvantage is that sometimes you want to have links embedded in comments. I'm assuming one can do that with PDF, but personally, I don't know how. If you're like me in that respect, it might be better to have documentation in HTML and pictures in both GIF and PDF. So, to illustrate, the project page would have what you have now, plus a link for downloading a document with all elements of the page: documentation, bill of materials, PCB, schematic, and component layout.
 
8/22/2000 9:49 PM
anonymous

quote:
"I found a shareware program called Mayura Draw that will convert my BMP files to postscript."
JD,  
 
Mayura Draw can import BMP and several other bitmap graphic formats, but I don't believe it has the capabilility to actually convert them to Postscript. It simply inserts the bitmap into the Postcript file as-is, with the resulting printout being exactly the same as if you had printed the bitmap on it's own. In other words, there's really nothing to be gained from doing this, other than grouping a number of bitmaps together within a single Postscript file.  
 
--tboy  
 
8/22/2000 10:51 PM
JD Sleep

tboy,  
 
Yes, you are right, as I have discovered today. Mayura Draw and GSView can create PDF files (it can save as a PDX file which can be read by GSview), but the resulting PDF file is enormous! Absolutely not feasible for posting.  
 
Back to the drawing board.  
 
JD
 
8/23/2000 1:28 AM
Steve M.

JD,  
 
I don't get to this forum very often, what is the URL for your site?  
 
Thanks,  
 
Steve
 
9/1/2000 9:51 PM
Jon Blackstone
The bit-mapped images need to be autotraced to be converted to efficient .pdf files. I can tell you how you'd do this on the Mac platform. Maybe there are PC versions of the software.  
 
Adobe Streamline is an auto-trace program that offers a lot of control, including whether lines are interpreted as pure lines, or as long skinny rectangles.  
 
Full-featured drawing programs like Freehand or Illustrator also have pretty good autotrace features. Recent versions save directly to .pdf files.  
 
Whatever you use, there'll be some "cleaning up" to do after autotracing.
 
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