Short for "Portable Document Format," PDF is an open standard format for electronic documentation exchange invented by Adobe. PDF files are used to represent a two-dimensional document in an device- and resolution-independent fixed-layout format. You can generate PDF output from your project directly, or you can generate a PDF while simultaneously building Word output.
You can also set PDF options in the Target Editor. These options let you specify the way that images, document properties, the initial view, and security are handled in the output.
PDF output consists of a file with a .pdf extension that you can print or distribute to users.
You can stitch existing PDFs into your output by adding links to them in a table of contents (TOC). This is supported in PDF output and all of the online targets.
See Stitching PDFs.
If you have tracked changes in Flare, you can preserve the changes so they are visible when you generate PDF output.
You may want to use tracked changes in a PDF document for a number of reasons. The most common reason to use tracked changes is for internal review processes. For example, if you have many reviewers who only review content occasionally, you may want to use tracked changes in PDF so the reviewers can use familiar software. This may help to speed up the review process.
Another reason to preserve tracked changes in PDF is if you need the reader to see changes in a document. By preserving changes in PDF output (and by using change bars, if necessary), the reader can easily locate new material.
When you produce PDF output from Flare, the following changes are preserved.
- Concepts proxy
- Endnotes proxy
- Glossary proxy
- Glossary terms
- Index proxy
- Inline styles
- List-of proxy
- Mini-TOC proxy
- Page headers/footers for master pages
- QR codes
- Relationships proxy
- Snippet conditions
- Snippet variables
Note: Inserting or deleting a snippet tracks the entire snippet. Changes within a snippet are not reflected in the output.
- Style classes
- Style IDs
- Text effects
- TOC proxy
Note: Some changes are tracked using change bars. You can enable change bars in the Options dialog (Review > Review Options).
Note: Tracked changes may not be visible in all PDF readers.
When you preserve track changes in a document, you can also use change bars to identify new, revised, or deleted text. When change bars are enabled and a revision is made, a vertical line appears in the left margin. This visual cue alerts readers that there was a change in that line. Change bars appear in both the XML Editor and PDF outputs.
You can enable change bars from the Review tab of the Options dialog (Review > Review Options). Change bars can be enabled in addition to other track changes options (e.g., balloons, inline markup).
You are editing a document with track changes turned on. Some of your changes are very large (e.g., removed or added words), and others are small (e.g., fixed typos, changes to single words).
Because all of the changes are important, you decide to turn on change bars. By enabling change bars, a red bar appears next to the paragraph whenever there is a change, regardless of whether it is a large change or a small change.
When you publish the PDF output with the changes preserved, readers can scan the document for change bars. When they see a change bar, they know to look in that paragraph for the change. This is much easier and faster than skimming the entire document searching for additions or deletions, at the risk of missing an important change.
Note: In order to see tracked changes (including change bars), make sure you have chosen to preserve tracked changes in the output.
You can insert pages from PDFs as images. When you select a PDF file, you can choose the specific page from it to be inserted as an image.
PDF images are supported in all outputs. However, the way these files are treated depends on the output format:
PDF If you generate PDF output, the page you inserted is kept as a PDF. So it's sort of like a one-page PDF within a big PDF. You'll find that you can select text in that PDF image, just like you can in the larger PDF.
Also, any vector-based information is retained, therefore retaining the quality and clarity you expect. This is especially useful if you inserted a PDF that contains Microsoft Visio diagrams or vector drawings from CAD (computer-aided design) software.
All Other Outputs If you generate any output other than PDF, the PDF page you inserted is converted to a PNG file, even if it contains vector-based drawings. That's largely due to the fact that browser-based output types do not support vector images. Because the image displays in a raster format, you will find that it is not as crisp as its vector counterpart in PDF output.
See Inserting Images.
PDF output from Flare is designed to be accessible to users with disabilities.
Accessibility in PDF includes the following:
- Images—Alternate Text HTML "alt" (alternate text) attributes are converted to the PDF equivalent during compilation so that screen readers have a way to describe the image. It is up to you to ensure that alt attributes are present on all images and descriptive enough to be useful to your end users.
See Inserting Images and Editing Images.
- Language for Content XML "lang" attributes are converted to the PDF equivalent during compilation. This applies to both the project-level language (i.e., the language of the entire output document) and to element-level languages (i.e., languages applied to specific XHTML elements). This is an automatic process that occurs behind the scenes without user input.
PDF Tagging You can select an option on the PDF Options tab of the Target Editor to generate a tagged PDF. This gives the file a structure similar to that of the source XHTML documents. This structure is necessary for certain accessibility applications, including screen readers. For more information about viewing the tag structure in Adobe Acrobat Pro, please refer to the documentation provided with that application.
See Specifying PDF Options.
Note: If you enable this feature, the size of the PDF output may increase somewhat. Compilation time should not be significantly affected.
- Tables—Header Cells Tables in PDF output are given a structure that designates which cells are header cells and which are content so that screen readers can translate the table data in a useful way.
For more information about creating header cells in tables, see Inserting Tables and Editing Table Properties.
Note: Some font families contain bold or italic variants (e.g., the font Georgia has a relative named "Georgia Bold" and another named "Georgia Italic"). If you are generating native Adobe PDF output, bold or italic formatting that is applied to text will display properly in the output ONLY if the font you are using already has a bold or italic font relative. You can determine the availability of such fonts by opening the Fonts folder from the Control Panel in Windows. For example, let's say you open the Fonts folder and see that, in addition to many other fonts, you have the following: Andalus, Angsana New, Angsana New Bold, Angsana New Bold Italic, and Angsana New Italic. If you use Andalus and apply bold or italic to some of the text, that content will not display in bold or italic in PDF output. However, if you use Angsana New and apply bold or italic to some of the text, that content will display in bold or italic in PDF output. The reason for this is that Andalus does not have a bold or italic relative, whereas the Angsana New font does.
Note: You can link to PDF files outside of your project by simply creating an external link with absolute path. See Inserting Links to External Files—HTML, PDF, Microsoft Office.