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11.1 PDF2DTP General Conversion Notes - PDF2DTP User Guide - 1

PDF (Portable Document Format) is an open standard for document exchange. This file format created by Adobe Systems in 1993 is used for representing documents in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. Each PDF file encapsulates a complete description of a fixed-layout flat document, including the text, fonts, graphics, and other information needed to display it.
PDF2DTP for InDesign is an extremely valuable utility that converts a PDF to an editable application document. If for example you discover you have lost your original document but only have a PDF you can convert the PDF back into a document thus saving a lot of time it would otherwise take to re-create the document from scratch by hand. However, a conversion may not reproduce the original document 100% and there are several limitations of which you need to be aware of (See the list later in this manual).
It helps to always think of a PDF as a “drawing” and that because the conversion process is quite complex the software sometimes needs to make an “educated guess” where the end-result may not be a completely satisfactory conversion. In other words you will no doubt need to make some manual changes to compensate. By a “drawing” we mean a PDF contains specific information in order to render the fonts and images on the computer screen, or to print the PDF. For example, a PDF can contain certain “glyphs” which are comprised of drawing commands which enable the data to be drawn or printed, but the original TEXT characters may not be defined within the PDF and so a conversion to an actual story may not even be possible.
A PDF often contains embedded fonts so that it can be displayed or printed on any platform. However, if the fonts are missing (or not activated at the time) then the document created by the conversion will have limitations or text flow problems.
A PDF also often contains images but the links to the original file path may not be known. The images may also be down-sampled (lower resolution) and this poses a problem if you intend to create a document and wish to use the original hi-res images.
Therefore, the actual goal isn’t necessarily to obtain a 100% conversion back to the original document. The only real way to achieve a complete “full circle” is to embed the generated PDF with additional data that will serve as “hints” to assist a conversion tool to be able to perform an accurate conversion. This could include information for Styles Sheets, Guidelines and so forth, not to mention saving the image pathnames.
If you do run into some problems, please feel free to contact Markzware Technical support so that we can learn how to improve and provide the best conversion solutions for you.

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