PDF Direct

Offering Flexibility, Innovation and Affordability

PDF Direct, version 3, is available as both a PDF print driver and a database plug-in. The print driver is designed to work independently from, as well as with, the database plug-ins. The database plug-ins are designed for direct printing of PDF files from within Filemaker Pro and 4th Dimension database application environments.

The PDF Direct Print Driver for Windows

The PDF Direct print driver is sold separately from our plug-in products. It can be licensed under a one-time fee, as a low-cost print driver alternative to individuals or companies needing general PDF print requirements. Under a separate package pricing plan, however, it is bundled automatically and included free with our database plug-in products.

The PDF Direct Windows Print Driver is also available for general use for the printing of PDF files from any Windows or Macintosh application outside of 4D and Filemaker Pro. The fee schedule for general licensing and deployment will be posted on this site around mid-November, 2009.

PDF Direct Plug-in Deployment

The PDF Direct plug-in is available today for 4th Dimension, v2004 and 4D v11. The PDF Direct plug-in for Filemaker Pro is currently under development and expected out in the 1st quarter, 2010. The plug-ins are (and will be) available on both the latest operating system releases of the Windows and Macintosh platforms.

The PDF Direct Windows Print Driver is automatically included with the purchase of a PDF Direct plug-in deployment license. A PDF Direct plug-in deployment license can be purchased once a developer license is purchased. Deployment licenses are both server-based and unlimited in scope (OEM deployments). Both licenses are renewable annually (see pricing below).

4th Dimension (4D) plug-in

The PDF Direct plug-in for 4D provides the ability to print a PDF document directly from within a 4D database. Using PDF Direct, 4D developers can programmatically name and deliver any 4D Print job, with appropriate specifications, into an Adobe Acrobat “PDF” format file.This capability is possible through a set of PDF Direct programming commands that communicate directly with designated compatible PDF print drivers. PDF Direct is compatible with 4D 2004 – 4D v11. Please contact Soft Solutions directly if you require support for earlier 4D releases. The new PDF Direct version 3 plug-in for Mac provides OS X Snow Leopard compatibility and 64 bit support. The PDF Direct v3 plug-in for Windows provides Windows XP, 2000, Vista & 7, including 32 & 64 bit compatibility.

Benefits of Printing PDF Files Direct from a Database

Portable Document Format (PDF) is the most commonly used document format in the world and the most widely used format for viewing on-line documentation. Using PDF Direct, 4D Developers can programmatically name and deliver any 4D Print job, with appropriate specifications, into an Adobe Acrobat “PDF” format file.

The PDF format has great appeal when paper or a “hardcopy” is not required for the intended readers. With the predominance of email and Adobe’s free Acrobat Reader, attaching a PDF document within an email transmission is universally appealing because of it’s speed and thrift. Similarly, in comparison to a faxed document, PDF has no loss of resolution as it delivers your documents with the exact same definition in which they were created. PDF supports color, grayscale and, in general, preserves the creator’s document with no loss of definition regardless of the reader’s computer platform.

PDF Direct supports color & grayscale and generally preserves the creator’s document with comparable definition regardless of the user’s computer platform. On Macintosh OS X, PDF Direct utilizes the OS X operating system’s PDF creation capabilities.

While PDF Direct gives Developers access to PDF document printing capabilities directly from within Filemaker Pro and 4D, these print capabilities should not be confused with the direct construction of a PDF document using PDF language and commands. This type of ground-up, complex, piecemeal building and construction of a PDF document is not a feature of PDF Direct.

NOTE: The Soft Solutions PDF Direct print driver or Tracker’s PDF-Xchange are required print drivers for PDF Direct to run correctly from the PDF Direct plug-in (i.e., when accessed programmatically from a database). The PDF Direct plug-in does not work with Acrobat and Distiller. Previously, our plug-in worked with PDF Writer, however, this product is no longer available.

Important: The PDF Direct print driver is an excellent tool for end-user database PDF printing needs. PDF Direct offers a very low cost alternative to the more feature-rich, higher priced PDF Print drivers available. The PDF Direct print driver does not provide hyperlink support for table of contents, high resolution vector graphics output and optimized file sizes, however. If you need these capabilities, we recommend the PDF XChange print driver versions 3 & 4 as well (prices and details below). PDF XChange versions 3 and 4 print drivers are Windows-based and are fully compatible with the PDF Direct v3 Windows plug-in(s).