[wellylug] Documentation - PDF

Daniel Pittman daniel at rimspace.net
Fri Nov 28 20:32:35 NZDT 2008

"Tim O'Flaherty" <tim.oflaherty at woosh.co.nz> writes:

> Have just finished writing some documentation for an application that
> I am responsible for, and have used PDF Creator to create a PDF of the
> file.
> While that is all good, does anyone know of an app that will allow me
> to edit a PDF file so I can do the usual things like create bookmarks,
> links within the document and so forth.

The only tool I know is 'pdfedit', which is packaged in recent Debian
and Ubuntu, at least.  However, it is a terrible tool to try and edit
documents in and you *REALLY* don't want to do that.

> Am under an extremely tight deadline (boss needs to show off the app
> AND the documentation "By 9am Monday please..." - and yes, that DOES
> mean I am working at home and in the office for most of the weekend)
> so not sure how much time I can afford to learn some of the markup
> languages that are out there, or indeed if I can actually do what I
> need to get done with them.
> Any help would be gratefully accepted.

Well, depending on what format you wrote your documentation in you
should be able to edit that and produce links more quickly.  Since you
didn't specify, some guesses:

You wrote it in Microsoft Word.  If so, load the original document with
OpenOffice, create the links in the text there[1], then use the PDF
export facility to obtain a PDF.

This preserves hyperlinks and works effectively.  You can potentially
even automate the PDF production with the 'unoconv' package from the
command line.

You wrote it in HTML.  If so, I strongly suggest that PrinceXML is a
fine choice.  We use this in-house, and the licensing is inexpensive for
what you expect.

For the demo the "free" mode of operation might do, though you *WILL*
need to buy a license to be able to legally use it for anything
commercial at all.  Please don't violate that licensing.

You wrote it in something else.  If so you can *probably* turn that into
HTML without too much drama.  In that case, do so, then see the previous


[1]  ...or use the original software to do it, and check them once you
     open them in OOo.

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