Jump to content
Dazmondo77

Can anyone recommend an acrobat pro alternative?

Recommended Posts

7 minutes ago, Lagarto said:

In what kinds of situations does it crash

To start with I thought it could be just drag and dropping a PDF onto the PACKZVIEW icon in the doc causing the bomb, but going through PACKZVIEW menu / open and selecting the PDF, as soon as you click on open, it bombs - I'll try rebooting my mac as soon as it's finished backing up 


Daz1.png

Mac Pro Cheese-grater (Early 2009) 2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon 48 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC Ram NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 - 2 GBUgee 19" Graphics Tablet Monitor Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6

Affinity Designer, Photo and Publisher 1.9.2 + Illustrator CS5 / VectorStyler mainly for Vector distortion workarounds + InDesign CS5 for multipage spread jobs with Slug + ImageVectoizer / Vectorize for raster to vector conversions

www.bingercreative.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, Dazmondo77 said:

To start with I thought it could be just drag and dropping a PDF onto the PACKZVIEW icon in the doc causing the bomb, but going through PACKZVIEW menu / open and selecting the PDF, as soon as you click on open, it bombs

That's strange! I just tried PACKZVIEW with two of my recent PDFs meant for printing services (both exported from Publisher) and I had no problems whatsoever (10.14.6 Mojave on a mid 2019 iMac).

What this viewer obviously offers is basically just what I was primarily looking for (and which so far had to be done on my older machine still having Acrobat Pro): a quick check on colour separations, ink coverage and overprinting. Nothing too fancy, really, but actually very useful!
One might wonder why an app just providing these basic features hasn't been offered by Affinity/Serif – say: as a free giveaway on any purchase of Designer and Publisher – to give their users that little bit more peace of mind once they're going to actually send their PDFs to some printing service.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, loukash said:

Also, this version doesn't run on El Capitan or Sierra, as it's apparently dependant on system frameworks that came with High Sierra. Which would be a non-issue for me as I have Acrobat X. I'll try to install on Catalina then, as that's my primary target for this whole "exercise" anyway.

Mac OS X PACKZ version
10.6.x -
10.7.5 -
10.8.5 -
10.9.x 3.1, 3.2, 4.0
10.10.x 3.1, 3.2, 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 5.0
10.11.x 3.1, 3.2, 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 5.0
10.12.x 3.1, 3.2, 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2
10.13.x 4.1, 4.2, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2
10.14.x 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 6.0
10.15.x 5.1, 5.2, 6.0
11.1.x Intel 6.0

☛ Affinity Designer 1.9.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.9.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Lorox said:

That's strange! I just tried PACKZVIEW with two of my recent PDFs meant for printing services (both exported from Publisher) and I had no problems whatsoever (10.14.6 Mojave on a mid 2019 iMac).

I tried a reboot - still bombs as soon as it tries to open a pdf?


Daz1.png

Mac Pro Cheese-grater (Early 2009) 2.93 GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon 48 GB 1333 MHz DDR3 ECC Ram NVIDIA GeForce GT 630 - 2 GBUgee 19" Graphics Tablet Monitor Mac OS Mojave 10.14.6

Affinity Designer, Photo and Publisher 1.9.2 + Illustrator CS5 / VectorStyler mainly for Vector distortion workarounds + InDesign CS5 for multipage spread jobs with Slug + ImageVectoizer / Vectorize for raster to vector conversions

www.bingercreative.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Version 1.0.0.7: added viewport, zooming, sampling by average, fixed some errors, too, and added preferences to pick the desired Ghostscript engine and PANTONE csv libraries (so the PANTONE colors are now by default read from the Affinity provided distribution files unmodified to avoid legal issues with PANTONE color definitions).

The next step in the development of this alternative hacked-up-in-less-than-aweek-hobby-plug-in would be supporting multiple page PDF-documents with thumbnail navigation.

pdfop_06.jpg.14d37674ff70960bac5c89541e561433.jpg

 

pdfop_07.jpg.1f15f60461379cb137e603df9d8b5e17.jpg

 

Version 1.0.0.8: zoom control added, and much of the blending routines rewritten to better deal with different kinds of source images 

PDFOutputPreview_Standalone_1008.zip

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you would have used Java instead of C# (?) then the whole would be portable among OS systems.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.9.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.9.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Dazmondo77 said:

I tried a reboot - still bombs as soon as it tries to open a pdf?

try a clean user account - create a new account in System Preferences and try there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, v_kyr said:

If you would have used Java instead of C# (?) then the whole would be portable among OS systems.

I doubt this could be handled effectively with anything other than native calls and controls. I use Drawing2D for blending and double buffered bilinear zooming, and do grayscale coloring and over-the-TAC painting pixel by pixel (in memory devices) on up to 8 layers, and it works this fast -- would this be possible in Java? Another problem is that I have no much experience in Java, and I wanted this up and running fast so if I need to learn (like I had to learn to use C# -- I do most of my programming in C/C++ for native apps and PHP/ASP Classic/.NET for web) I'd rather spend some time learning how this can be ported to native macOS...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Should also be possible with Graphics2D there too, though you would have to see if it runs performance wise also adequate in time then. For C# and Java the syntax of the two languages is very similar, also the execution of the code in a VM can be counted among these similarities. - Related to MacOS, even there is VS for MacOS and so C#, there are a bunch of prerequisites and dependencies needed for that one, so a native version might be better suited here. For a native MacOS port you would have to go the ObjC/C-C++/Swift route then.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.9.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.9.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/20/2021 at 1:37 PM, v_kyr said:

For a native MacOS port you would have to go the ObjC/C-C++/Swift route then.

Yes, it seems so. The actual code is pretty much library and control dependent so the app probably needs to be more or less completely rewritten. I might get into that sometimes later. However there does not seem to be so much demand anymore now that we know about PACKZVIEW, and hopefully PDF Checkpoint, too, evolves in a way that will include output preview amongst its tools.

So version 1.0.0.9, released here, will be my last effort for a while -- I'll create yet a bit more finalized version of it with some error routines and instructions, but won't be adding new features for now. This version has now support also for opening previously created separations via File menu based on the name of the composite TIFF file.

PDFOutputPreview_Standalone_1009.zip

 

pdfop_08.jpg.9b2f3f0aaaaedef91543c727d0c990b5.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
36 minutes ago, Lagarto said:

However there does not seem to be so much demand anymore now that we know about PACKZVIEW, and hopefully PDF Checkpoint, too, evolves in a way that will include ouput preview amongst its tools.

Can't tell for sure, but I believe PACKZVIEW is first of all meant for prepress business oriented usage and thus not that much for common end users outside of that business domain. In contrast to that, the PDF checkpoint tool I once pointed to, is here more general usable, probably also for common end users.

51 minutes ago, Lagarto said:

The actual code is pretty much library and control dependent so the app probably needs to be more or less completely rewritten.

That's mostly always the case when dealing with crossplatform development, as OS systems and their own provided libraries and app development concepts are usually very different here.

However, good project work so far!


☛ Affinity Designer 1.9.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.9.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, v_kyr said:

Can't tell for sure, but I believe PACKZVIEW is first of all meant for prepress business oriented usage and thus not that much for common end users outside of that business domain. In contrast to that, the PDF checkpoint tool I once pointed to, is here more general usable, probably also for common end users.

I'm not so sure about that: considering my own needs as a graphic designer who sends PDFs to print services every now and then, I generally and primarily just need to check my PDFs in regard to correct colour separation, ink coverage and overprintig. For this purpose PACKZVIEW seems to be absolutely sufficient and easy to use, too.

Judging from the info on their website PDF Checkpoint is actually quite comprehensive and may offer a lot more than what I (and probably other ussers, too) need on a regular basis. The advanced features of PDF Checkpoint – e.g. like converting colour profiles in PDFs etc. – may, however, be be extremely useful, when you come across problems in your PDFs hat you cannot solve by just going back to Publisher, changing a colour and/or some setting there and then exporting the PDF again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Lorox said:

I'm not so sure about that: considering my own needs as a graphic designer who sends PDFs to print services every now and then, I generally and primarily just need to check my PDFs in regard to correct colour separation, ink coverage and overprintig. For this purpose PACKZVIEW seems to be absolutely sufficient and easy to use, too.

See the following posting from the user, which somehow resembles what I overall mean here ...

On 2/18/2021 at 2:52 PM, loukash said:

Well, for the fun of it, I have requested a "product key", and this is what I've got:

Quote

Dear [loukash],
Thank you for requesting PACKZVIEW. However, we cannot approve this request.
This is an invalid website. The website URL and e-mail address should be from an existing labels/packaging company.
For more information, please contact the Hybrid Support Team

Not being "an existing labels/packaging company", obviously I don't apply.

... so despite the usuability of that software, the software vendor might be (for several understandable reasons) more interested in applicable business cutomers at all.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.9.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.9.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 hours ago, Lorox said:

Judging from the info on their website PDF Checkpoint is actually quite comprehensive and may offer a lot more than what I (and probably other ussers, too) need on a regular basis. The advanced features of PDF Checkpoint – e.g. like converting colour profiles in PDFs etc. – may, however, be be extremely useful, when you come across problems in your PDFs hat you cannot solve by just going back to Publisher, changing a colour and/or some setting there and then exporting the PDF again.

Give it a try if you use mac. It is quick and fluid but does NOT supply print preview where you could check ink coverage, overprinting and rich black, of which rich black check would be most wanted feature.

I am not keen on convert features as they are more prepress functions. If there is a problem with file you should go back to original file and fix it as it is probably a work flow problem that should be corrected. (Of course if you get an advert with problems it may be easier just fix it and pass on.)

Edited by Fixx
sorry, missed one crucial word... "NOT"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Fixx said:

Give it a try if you use mac. It is quick and fluid but does supply print preview where you could check ink coverage, overprinting and rich black, of which rich black check would be most wanted feature.

As I do use a Mac I may actually do give it a try – thanks for pointing me to PDF Checkpoint's print preview functions (which I wasn't sure about). As it is I didn't find explicit info or screenshots for this on their product website – so I sort of concluded that maybe they (surprisingly) didn't care so much about it... 😥

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Fixx said:

does supply print preview where you could check ink coverage, overprinting and rich black

I have a license for PDF Checkpoint and I think that I have the latest version installed but I have failed to find anything like this. I have probably just missed how this information can be obtained, the only thing I see is an image list with resolutions, sizes and color spaces, a font list, and then preflight warnings for no PDF/X compliancy, non-allowed color spaces, font types, etc. -- very basic stuff, much the same that can already be checked with built-in Affinity preflight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Fixx said:

oops sorry, I did not write "NOT" word n my post....

Well... so IF they added that feature, PDF Checkpoint might actually be useful for me. Guess I'll wait then before giving it a try...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/22/2021 at 11:50 AM, v_kyr said:

That's mostly always the case when dealing with crossplatform development, as OS systems and their own provided libraries and app development concepts are usually very different here.

The good news: practically all of the core of the code seems to be directly supported by Microsoft in their implementation of Visual Studio 2019 for macOS so support for TIFF format and the blending functions required would be available also on macOS build (both multiply and screen that are needed in superimposing the initial grayscale TIFFs colored and having the dynamic over-the-TAC pixel screen shown on top, and casting the output for the zooming viewport in doublebuffered bilinear/bicubic view, are supported in a way that would be more or less ideally rendered with equivalent native methods and using macOS kinds of controls, the equivalents in Mono/Xamarin for the PictureBox and standard controls like Checkbox, Label, TextBox and common dialog boxes like Color, OpenFileDialog etc.).

But the bad news is that Ghostscript itself does not currently seem to be supported on Big Sur, neither in Rosetta 2 (Intel) nor in native M1, so there is a natural pause for the development, which I have now set up on my new M1 machine, and do not plan to re-establish it on a legacy macOS computer. While I am willing to go back up to Leon covered by the VS supported MS/macOS framework itself (though I do not know yet up to which Mac OS the functionailty of the underlying GDI+ drawing library functions are supported), I want to have the app functional up to Big Sur (including M1, once available in Ghostscript, and Visual Studio for macOS). The alternative path -- recreating the whole thing using Xcode and native controls -- would require rewriting everything from the scratch, which is something for which I do not have time at the moment. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Lagarto said:

But the bad news is that Ghostscript itself does not currently seem to be supported on Big Sur, neither in Rosetta 2 (Intel) nor in native M1, 

Ghostscript works for me on Big Sur, I use the installer from here:

https://pages.uoregon.edu/koch/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, leob said:

Ghostscript works for me on Big Sur, I use the installer from here:

Thanks! Will give it a try... I tried with Homebrew but could not have it working with that.

EDIT: Up and running -- so I now start porting the app!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 2/26/2021 at 11:55 PM, Lagarto said:

The good news: practically all of the core of the code seems to be directly supported by Microsoft in their implementation of Visual Studio 2019 for macOS so support for TIFF format and the blending functions required would be available also on macOS build (both multiply and screen that are needed in superimposing the initial grayscale TIFFs colored and having the dynamic over-the-TAC pixel screen shown on top, and casting the output for the zooming viewport in doublebuffered bilinear/bicubic view, are supported in a way that would be more or less ideally rendered with equivalent native methods and using macOS kinds of controls, the equivalents in Mono/Xamarin for the PictureBox and standard controls like Checkbox, Label, TextBox and common dialog boxes like Color, OpenFileDialog etc.).

Be forwarned the MS Visual Studio 2019 for macOS  installment is huge, it has a lot of needed lib dependencies. - Apple offers a bunch of image related functions in it's Core Image library (beside UIImage etc. libs), which might be helpful for your porting over tasks.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.9.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.9.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, v_kyr said:

Be forwarned the MS Visual Studio 2019 for macOS  installment is huge, it has a lot of needed lib dependencies

It seems so, and it is still unclear to me which drawing functions I should go for. The core of the code (the whole file io, and app environment, e.g. reading in PMS values from CSV files from Affinity installations, executing GS commands and arranging the output) can be used much as it is, and the whole UI with drag and drop, file open, system color picker and standard controls like text boxes, labels, check boxes and combo boxes and a picture view are covered by a standard "modern" Xamarin app (but this would then be limited on macOS to High Sierra). But the drawing functions have been implemented differently there, so while blending functions are available, it seems that direct TIFF image support is not (JPG and PNG only), and it seems now that image processing needs to be handled differently. GDI+ appears to be supported at some level in .NET Core latest versions so in a command line utility it might be that the existing image handling routines could be used directly -- but with its complex dependencies it may be too cumbersome and might only work well on Linux. So it may be that the learning curve is equally steep with porting as it would be in doing the whole thing in Xcode.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Lagarto said:

...but with its complex dependencies it may be too cumbersome and might only work well on Linux. So it may be that the learning curve is equally steep with porting as it would be in doing the whole thing in Xcode.

That's always the overall time consuming difficulty in porting platform framework dependent apps. - Further .Net C# for Mac will behave and offer slightly different things here, since it's no 1:1 port of everything that Windows supports and so has to adapt to the underlayed Mac specifics. Another point to think about is, that Mac users commonly might not be used or willing to preinstall some .Net C# MS & Mono runtime package dependencies for their platform in order to be able to run a program.

All in all it might be less stressing to just reimplement the program's functionality then here with the means of the Apple ecosystem, namely via Swift/ObjC/C++ in Xcode. It's also a chance to familiarize yourself a little bit with Swift (which is nowadays the defacto dev language on Macs) and the by Apple supplied system supporting libraries, as far as you already didn't.


☛ Affinity Designer 1.9.3 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.9.3 ◆ OSX El Capitan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, v_kyr said:

that Mac users commonly might not be used or willing to preinstall some .Net C# MS & Mono runtime package dependencies for their platform in order to be able to run a program.

Considering the nature of the task (front end on a utility run via command shell and that itself is not directly developed for macOS) -- the users who want to get any benefit of the app need to be willing to do a bit more than a standard macOS user who expects to get pixel polished stuff from the App store  -- what they get is after all much more than monochrome TIFF output that they'd get if they ever learned to enter GS commands in Terminal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Please note there is currently a delay in replying to some post. See pinned thread in the Questions forum. These are the Terms of Use you will be asked to agree to if you join the forum. | Privacy Policy | Guidelines | We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.