Here you are, having to pay for your Hello Kitty drawing class at the local community college, and the only payment option is sending them a hand-written check.

Read more…

Update: The author of pdftk, Sid Steward, left the following comment:

A new version of pdftk is available (1.43) that fixes many bugs. This release also features an installer [for] OS X 10.6. Please visit to learn more and download:
This blog post will stick around for the time being, but I (the author of this blog) advise you to always run the latest version so that you can enjoy the latest bug fixes.

OS X Leopard users: Sorry, neither this version nor the installer offered on works on OS X before 10.6. You might be able to compile from source though. Let us know if you are successful.

Due to my being a remote employee, I get to juggle with PDF files quite a bit. A great tool for common PDF manipulations (changing page order, combining files, rotating pages etc) has proven to be pdftk. Sadly, a current version for Mac OS X is not available on their homepage. In addition, it is annoying (to say the least) to compile, which is why all three third-party package management systems that I know of (MacPorts, fink, as well as homebrew), last time I checked, did not have it at all, or their versions were broken.

Now I wouldn't be a geek if that kept me from compiling it myself. I took some hints from who was nice enough to also provide a compiled binary, but sadly did not include the shared libraries it relies on.

Instead, I made an installer package that'll install pdftk itself as well as the handful of libraries you need into /usr/local. Once you ran this, you can open, and typing pdftk should greet you as follows:

$ pdftk
       pdftk <input PDF files | - | PROMPT>
            [input_pw <input PDF owner passwords | PROMPT>]
            [<operation> <operation arguments>]
            [output <output filename | - | PROMPT>]
            [encrypt_40bit | encrypt_128bit]

You can download the updated package here: pdftk1.41_OSX10.6.dmg

(MD5 hash: ea945c606b356305834edc651ddb893d)

I only tested it on OS X 10.6.2, if you use it on older versions, please let me know in the comments if it worked.

Read more…

Jean Pierre pointed out a fabulous little extension for Firefox 3 on OSX:

The firefox-mac-pdf extension embeds PDF files right in the browser, so you don't have to download them, open them with and remove the file off your desktop afterwards. It works much like Acrobat, except it uses OSX's built-in PDFkit.

That's definitely an extension I'd like to see on AMO.

Read more…

As Adobe's James King has blogged yesterday, the PDF format (in its version 1.7) has just become an ISO standard (number 32000). The final standardization document is expected to be published in early 2008.

Almost a year after the work on the standardization has started, the ballot was passed yesterday with 13 vs. 1 votes. The only country to oppose the motion was France, and Russia abstained.

PDF as an open standard: For the file format landscape, I believe this is a good move. As members of international teams have already known for a long time (at least since the Tower of Babel), you can only really work together if you speak a common language. Standardized, open file formats are the common language of the internet age. Now, PDF is in good company, along with the Open Document File format that has already been standardized in 2006.

Read more…