50+ open source/free alternatives to Adobe Acrobat


I came across very intresting collection of 50+ open source/free alternatives to Adobe Acrobat.

Downloadable PDF Creators

These simply and emminently usable programs will allow you to quickly create your own PDFs.

  1. CutePDF: Create a PDF file from almost any printable document. CutePDF has an open SDK and doesn’t bog down their software with popups or watermarks.
  2. PDF reDirect: The freeware PDF reDirect offers loads of robust features, including PDF creation, previews, encryption, and more, that go a long way to replacing Adobe.
  3. doPDF: Install doPDF as a virtual PDF printer driver, and you can create PDFs using your printer function.
  4. CC (Free) PDF Converter: This printer driver can be used to create a PDF file from any printable Windows application.
  5. PDFCreator: Use PDFCreator to create PDFs from any printable program, as well as encrypt and autosave files based on predefined terms.
  6. Open Office: Open Office has a PDF export feature that allows you to define compression levels as well as handle thumbnails and hyperlinks.
  7. Scribus: Use this desktop publishing program to create interactive PDF presentations and forms.
  8. HylaFAX: HylaFAX is an open source fax server that can be configured to deliver in PDF.

Online and Desktop PDF Editors

PDF manipulation is easy and free with these tools.

  1. PDFescape: This online PDF solution is a reader, editor, form filler, and form designer. All you need to use it is a JavaScript enabled web browser.
  2. PDFedit: Use this editor to manipulate PDF documents, with an option to do your own scripting and plugins.
  3. Multivalent browser: Although not a pure editor, this browser allows for minimal editing in the form of creating annotations. In addition, it includes several command-line PDF specific tools which allow for things like merging, compression, and extraction.


If you need a simple way to open and read PDFs, look no further than these lightweight viewers.

  1. Sumatra PDF: This Windows PDF viewer is light and minimalistic. It’s even designed for portable use, so you can run it from a USB drive.
  2. PalmPDF: Use this PDF viewer for Palm OS devices.
  3. Evince: Gnome users can take advantage of Evince, a document viewer that supports both PDF and PostScript documents.
  4. Preview: Mac OS X comes with Preview, an application that displays images and PDFs.
  5. ePDFView: This lightweight PDF viewer uses the GTK+ and Poppler libraries.
  6. Okular: This document viewer for KDE 4 supports PDF, PostScript, and lots more.
  7. Xpdf: Xpdf, available for nearly any Unix OS, is a PDF viewer that allows you to read encrypted PDFs, extract images, and more.


Make the PDF format compatible with HTML, XML, non-proprietary formats, and more using these tools.

  1. PythonPoint: Use this tool to create presentations that can be opened with any PDF viewer.
  2. AxPoint: Create PDF slideshows from XML using AxPoint.
  3. DocBook XSL Stylesheets: Create and store documents in a presentation-neutral form that can be published in HTML, PDF, and more.
  4. Unipage: Unipage turns any page, online or local, into an HTML file that can function as a portable document. Although Unipage is currently only available on Windows, additional OS and browser support is coming soon.
  5. EasyPDF SDK: The easyPDF development toolkit helps you create PDF functions with minimum effort and very little code.
  6. KWord: KWord is a word processor for KOffice, and it offers a PDF import function.
  7. PDFlib: The PDFlib development tool offers a way for developers to PDF-enable software and create PDFs on their own server.
  8. Ghostscript: The Ghostscript software can interpret PostScript language and PDFs interchangeably and convert them to faster formats.
  9. Mozilla Archive Format: This extension can save pages in MHTML format, which creates a portable document of the page.
  10. Pstoedit: This program converts PostScript or PDF files to other output formats such as WOMF/EMF, PDF, DXF, CGM, and HTML.

Command Line Manipulation and Editing

These editors won’t be used on your desktop as you would use Acrobat or any other PDF application. Rather, you can use these offerings to build into your own apps so that you can automate the PDF creation and manipulation process.

  1. PJ: Etymon’s PJ, the parent of PJX, is one of the earliest open source attempts to make PDF’s more accessible. PJ is a class library in Java that allows parsing, manipulation, and generation of PDF files.
  2. PDFlib: The PDFlib development tool offers a way for developers to PDF-enable software and create PDFs on their own server.
  3. mbtPdfAsm: The mbtPdfAsm application is an in line tool for assembling and merging PDF files, extracting information from them, and updating PDF metadata.
  4. PDF::API2: PDF::API2 offers a “next generation” tool for creating and manipulating PDF files.
  5. PDF Clown: The PDF Clown is an open source library which includes capabilities such as document splitting, merging, and more.
  6. iText: iText is an ideal library for developers seeking to automate PDF creation and manipulation.
  7. FreeDist: This freeware distiller can convert files into PDF as well as compose multiple files to one PDF in a specific order.
  8. Pdftk: This toolkit offers command-line functionality for lots of features, like merging, form filling, and encryption.

PDF Creation Libraries, Scripts and Systems

If you’re a developer and you want to move beyond the capabilities of a desktop PDF creator, these libraries, scripts, and systems will help you incorporate PDF creation into your own applications.

  1. CUPS: The Common Unix Printing System (CUPS) is primarily a system for enabling a computer to act as a print server, but which has a robust feature that allows PDF exporting.
  2. Lout: This document formatting system, the implementation of which is referred to as Basser Lout, can be outputted in PDF, plain text, and more.
  3. Indexed PDF Creator: This tool automatically generates a keyword index for PDF documents which allows readers to quickly locate specific words and phrases in a document.
  4. Cairo: Cairo, a vector drawing library, allows creation of PDF documents.
  5. LyX: This document processor which is particularly popular amongst the scientific community offers PDF exporting.
  6. Fly2PDF: You can create PDF documents directly using this ActiveX library.
  7. PDF Creator Pilot: Use this library to create PDF files from popular programming languages like Visual Basic and ASP.
  8. XeTex: XeTex is a typesetting program that offers PDF creation.
  9. FPDF: Use FPDF to create PDF files with PHP. You don’t need PDFlib to use it.
  10. Inkscape: Inkscape is an open source vector drawing program that offers support for PDF exports.
  11. PdfTeX: This typesetting program can output PDF files and allows a number of features like links and tables of contents.
  12. ReportLab: This library offers a PDF generation solution specifically suited for web publishers, developers, and creative designers who are looking for a high-speed automated PDF generation.
  13. Tiny RML2PDF: You can create a PDF document from RML with this tool, giving it the appearance of a printed document.
  14. HTML_ToPDF: This PHP class allows users to convert HTML to PDF files quickly and easily.

Other Tools

Get even more function from your PDFs using these tools.

  1. Skim: For OS X, Skim is a PDF reader with features that allow you to take notes and highlight on any PDF file.
  2. Notepad Generator: This tool makes it easy to create a PDF notepad, and it’s fully customizable.
  3. PDFmap: PDFmap offers automated generation of interactive PDF maps.

With these tools, you should be able to go way beyond Adobe. Even better, you can do it for free and have the option to customize your experience using their open source status.

Related Link: PDF Editing & Creation: 50+ open source/free alternatives to Adobe Acrobat

subclipse: SVN Plug-in for Flex Builder (Eclipse)


subclipse is an open source SVN plug-in for Flex Builder (eclipse).

Find out more details here…
How to install subclipse in Flex Builder (eclipse).

New Flex Skin from Yahoo!


Yahoo! has released new flex skin. This is very basic but sleek skin.

You can view flex skin here or Download from here
Learn how to build your own skin for flex.

Related Links: Yahoo! and Flex: Feel Good In Your Own Skin

Yahoo Flex Skin 1

Yahoo Flex Skin 2Yahoo Flex Skin 2

AIR Beta 3 Released


Adobe Air LogoAdobe AIR lets developers use their existing web development skills in HTML, AJAX, Flash and Flex to build and deploy rich Internet applications to the desktop.

Beta 3 includes the following new features:

  • Applications built on Adobe AIR Beta 3 can register to run at start-up/log-in.
  • Web Launcher provides the ability to detect and launch an installed AIR application from a web browser.
  • Support for H.264 video and Advanced Audio Coding (AAC).
  • Full Screen Hardware acceleration.
  • Flash within HTML Support allows Flash content to be integrated within HTML based applications.
  • Adobe AIR also supports automatic runtime updates, similar to how Adobe Flash Player can be updated.
  • Thawte (http://www.thawte.com/) offers an Adobe AIR developer certificate, so developers can certify applications built on Adobe AIR are from a trusted source.
  • Support for the Mac OSX Leopard operating system.

Download: Adobe Labs

Related Links: Adobe AIR Beta 3 Released on Labs

initRIA – The RIA conference at Bangalore (India)


initRIA is a day long developer conference of Rich Internet Applications enthusiasts organized by the Bangalore Flex User Group. This is the first conference dedicated to Rich Internet Applications in India.

When: 16th December, 8.30 am onwards

HoneyWell Technology Solutions (opposite IIM Bangalore)
151/1, Doraisanipalya, Bannerghatta Road,
Bangalore 560076

What topics can be talked about?
The talks can be about any RIA technology AJAX, Flex, AIR, Silverlight, JavaFx or others. We are hoping to get a good mix of talks on different technologies. The nature of the talks has to technical in nature this is not a marketing event so no marketing mumbo jumbo please.

How long can a talk be?
55 minutes max including setup and questions. If you wish you could have talks that are shorter in length.

How many talks?
We are currently looking at 1 track of 8 talks, althought this may change if we get a good number of interesting proposals . Send your topic proposal to organizers@initria.org After we receive your topic a panel of experts will decide if your talk has been selected

Who can speak?
Anyone can submit topic proposals by sending a proposal to organizers@initria.org . After we receive your topic a panel of experts will decide if your talk has been selected. In your proposal please describe in detail the nature of your talk.

Who can attend?
Anyone who is interested in development of Rich Internet Applications. Register here to attend. As this is our first attempt at organizing something like this the number of attendees is capped at 100. Registrations will be on a first come first serve basis. If you register and later feel that you cannot attend please so that someone else can attend.

How can you contribute??
1. Become a speaker: share your knowledge with the community.
2. Spread the word Tell the whole world about it, get experts on all sorts of RIA technologies to speak and attend.
For suggestions please write to organizers@initria.org

iPhone: Dive in to facts



I came across some amazing facts behind origin of IPhone.

[Source from wikinvest http://www.wikinvest.com/concept/IPhone]

Companies that benefit from the iPhone’s success

Apple, Inc, as the producer of the iPhone, stands to gain from its success. The components used in the iPhone cost Apple around $200 for the $499 iPhone, and $220 for the $599 version (excluding the cost of assembly), suggesting margins in the 50% range.
AT&T has an exclusive contract with Apple, and the iPhone will only be available on AT&T’s cellular network. If the iPhone proves to be a success, it would be a competitive advantage for AT&T and could draw customers away from other cell phone providers
Synchronoss Technologies (SNCR) runs AT&T’s internet customer service system, including phone activations. Synchronoss makes about $8 for every iPhone that is activated. A successful iPhone launch would boost their revenues.
Google has partnered with Apple to provide its maps / directions service over the iPhone. Google has previously said mobile applications are an important part of the company’s future growth; the success of the iPhone could further Google’s leadership in this area.

Component suppliers that benefit from the iPhone’s success

Apple uses a number of contract manufacturers and suppliers to make its products. Most are Taiwan-based. While shares of some of these companies are listed on U.S. exchanges as ADRs, others can only be purchased through the Taiwan or Hong Kong stock exchanges.

Balda AG (FRA:BAD) is a German company that makes what technology experts believe is the most expensive single component — the touch screen. At $60, the screen represents 30% of the cost of the iPhone components.
Samsung Electronics Co. makes the main microprocessor that runs the phone’s operating system and various applications.
Infineon Technologies AG (IFX) makes the chips that power the iPhone’s wireless data capabilities.
ARM Holdings (ARMHY) licenses the technology used in the iPhone’s CPU.
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer, received the initial order to assemble 12 Million iPhones
Quanta Computer (TPE:2382), a laptop manufacturer, received an order for an additional 5 million iPhones, apparently destined for sale outside of the United States.
Catcher Technology Co. (TPE: 2474) makes the casing for the iPhone
Primax Electronics (TPE:2336) which makes digital camera modules for cell-phones and is a supplier for the iPhone
Entery Industrial Corp. (TPO:1333) is a flash memory manufacturer and a supplier for the iPhone
Unimicron Technology Corp. (TPE:3037) is a printed circuit-board manufacturer specializing radio frequency (RF) modules. It is a supplier for the iPhone
Texas Instruments (TXN) makes a power management chip.
Marvell Technology Group (MRVL) supplies the chips that allow the iPhone to connect over Wi-Fi networks

This is truly a good example of how product gets build by the contribution of the various components, people and minds.

Flex 3 on RAD way


Ted Patrick has posted the new feature for Flex 3 Beta 2 CURD wizard for ASP .NET, PHP, JAVA and WSDL Introspection.

Flex 3 Beta 2 will have the feature to generate server side Code for data exchange with ASP .NET, PHP, JAVA. Where you can simply select the database and select the table and you will have options to retrieve, create, update and delete record.

This will have the WSDL integration where you have to type WSDL URL in wizard and it will give you all methods exposed by the web service so you can use it.

CURD Generated code will use XML format for exchanging the data between Flex Application and CURD generated scripts.

On RAD (Rapid Application Development) way:

This feature will be very helpful for creating data driven Rich Internet Application Prototypes in quickly. It will be easy for any entry level developer to understand the Flex by creating small data driven applications.

Gmail Ad Campaign: A worth watching creative video


This Video is compilation of clips submitted by Gmail fans as part of google‘s collaborative video project. Selected from over 1,100 clips from fans in more than 65 countries.

The iPhone User Experience


Today I came across an interesting article on “The iPhone User Experience” this has a brief analysis of iphone user experience.

This article has brief history of Cell phones, step by step Interface Description. I enjoyed reading Multi-Touch Interface History which gave a good prospective of Multi-Touch Technology.
I will be posting about Multi-Touch Technology soon.

You can read the article here
IphoneIphone Multi-Touch

Flash Player 10 code Name “Astro”


Emmy Hung has made it official that next major release of Flash Player will be


 Flash player 9 had released in June 2006 and this will be next big release after long time.Â

Flash Player 10 will be demonstrated at Adobe MAX 2007.

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