PDF Checker is our free command line application that scans PDFs for a broad range of conditions and generates a report that helps to identify problems, notable traits, and the potential for optimization. With the new 1.5.0 release, PDF Checker can now tell you more about the origins of your documents and how you might want to improve them. Let’s take a closer look at these updates.
An Origin Story
Many PDFs begin their life directly in PDF authoring software, such as new documents created from scratch in Adobe Acrobat. These PDFs often contain content like text, tables, graphs, images, annotations, etc. It is often important to know if your document was created this way. For example, this type of document typically doesn’t need to be processed with optical character recognition (OCR) software, as the textual information was digitally created. Passing it through OCR software without a targeted purpose would be a waste of both time and resources.
Other PDFs might be created as the result of paper documents (e.g. hand-written forms) that are scanned, where the scanner software produces PDFs directly, or the result of raster images that are converted directly to PDFs. Filtering for these documents allows for special handling, including targeted OCR processing to add text back into the image-based document.
With these differences in mind, we’ve added a new check that specifies whether a PDF was ‘born digital’ or is an ‘image-only’ PDF (e.g. produced by a scanner). This information is useful to drive conditional processing, such as OCR, only where appropriate.
We’ve also added new checks to tell you if a PDF claims conformance to the various PDF-based standards, including PDF/A (archival), PDF/X (graphics), PDF/E (engineering), PDF/VT (variable and transactional), and PDF/UA (universal accessibility). This offers insight into the original intent of your documents and provides you with an easy way to route different PDFs to different application workflows, depending on their PDF types.
While PDF Checker is useful as a standalone product, it’s also designed to easily integrate with PDF Optimizer to both identify files that require further processing, and conditionally optimize them for your specific needs. With this unique integration in mind, we’re now making it easier than ever to try PDF Optimizer alongside PDF Checker. We’ve included a new option to immediately install PDF Optimizer during your PDF Checker installation, and we’re sending out a free 2-week evaluation license for PDF Optimizer with your PDF Checker download confirmation email. We’ve also improved the PDF Checker report to be clear about specific conditions that can be directly addressed by using PDF Optimizer, and we’ve also added a machine readable value “canBeOptimized” that allows you to programmatically run PDF Optimizer only for relevant files.
We invite you to download a free copy of PDF Checker to gain comprehensive insight into your PDF documents, and we encourage you to evaluate PDF Optimizer to help ensure that your PDFs are optimally formatted to help you achieve your goals.