PDF Explained
The ISO Standard for Document Exchange
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: December 2011
Pages: 142

At last, here’s an approachable introduction to the widely used Portable Document Format. PDFs are everywhere, both online and in printed form, but few people take advantage of the useful features or grasp the nuances of this format. This concise book provides a hands-on tour of the world’s leading page-description language for programmers, power users, and professionals in the search, electronic publishing, and printing industries. Illustrated with lots of examples, this book is the documentation you need to fully understand PDF.

  • Build a simple PDF file from scratch in a text editor
  • Learn the layout and content of a PDF file, as well as the syntax of its objects
  • Examine the logical structure of PDF objects, and learn how pages and their resources are arranged into a document
  • Create vector graphics and raster images in PDF, and deal with transparency, color spaces, and patterns
  • Explore PDF operators for building and showing text strings
  • Get up to speed on bookmarks, metadata, hyperlinks, annotations, and file attachments
  • Learn how encryption and document permissions work in PDF
  • Use the pdftk program to process PDF files from the command line
Table of Contents
Product Details
About the Author
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews

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oreillyPDF Explained
 
4.0

(based on 3 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (3)
  • Well-written (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

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Reviewed by 3 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Very good introduction

By The Wolf

from San Jose

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about oreilly PDF Explained:

      I purchased this book to aid me in writing my own pdf library. The author did a good job with introducing concepts. The tool that he used to generate pdf files from a text file is just that, a tool. This greatly sped up my understanding of the pdf format. I got what I needed to accomplish my task. I really appreciated the chapter on graphics. Good detail is always welcome. The only thing lacking was a more in-depth discussion of embedding fonts.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      3.0

      Beware the examples, downloads

      By Shon

      from Atlanta, GA

      About Me Developer

      Pros

      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Well-written

      Cons

      • Outdated Examples

      Best Uses

      • Expert

      Comments about oreilly PDF Explained:

      The writing is of the quality I've come to expect from O'Reilly's books- easy to read, not too fluffy, packed with good technical information. But while the text helps make the PDF format more accessible to mere mortals, the example code doesn't fare so well. Not only does the recommended tool not work on my hand-typed source, but the downloaded code produces the same error. Until this little detail is rectified, be prepared to sing a bit louder for your supper.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      A good introduction

      By Val

      from Russian Federation

      About Me Developer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

      • Not comprehensive enough

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly PDF Explained:

      I had some previous experience with PDF, and bought the ebook in expectation it will help me to build an overall picture of PDF specification.

      It did that job. The book is good introduction to PDF, and you can easily acquire in-depth knowledge of subjects you are most interested in directly form the specification.

      Granted, a 100+ page book can't be as thorough as 800 page specification, but I'd like more advanced sections of the book (namely, annotations and encryption) to dive deeper in the subject. Compared to "basic" sections (text, graphics, file structure), these are more like a review than a textbook.

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