PDFXML Plug-in Prerelease

I am pleased to announce that we have just gone live with the Adobe Acrobat 9 Professional release of the PDFXML Plug-in (formerly the Mars Plug-in).

The goal of the Mars Project was to create an XML-friendly representation of PDF and this format is called PDFXML. PDFXML is the name of the file format, as well as being the new suffix for “.pdfxml” files.

Installers are now live for Adobe Acrobat 9 Professional and Adobe Reader 9. Please go to the download page to get the new Mac and Windows installers. For backwards compatibility, the Adobe Acrobat 8.1 Professional and Adobe Reader 8.1 installers are also still available at the same place.

The latest release supports all new PDF language features in Acrobat 9, including PDF Portfolios. There are a number of bug fixes, speed increases and other updates included in this release.

For more information, go to the Adobe Labs Mars Page.

Over the coming weeks, I intend to post more details on the PDFXML format and the changes specific to this release.

Mars for Adobe Acrobat 9

Adobe Acrobat 9 has just been announced and an update to the Mars plug-in with full Acrobat 9 compliance will be released towards the end of July or early August. Mars continues to be a stand-alone plug-in for Adobe Acrobat, but Acrobat 9 now has built-in knowledge of Mars and will redirect users to our Adobe Labs Mars page when a Mars file is encountered by someone who does not have the Mars plug-in installed.

Mars Tools Update

Over the past year, we started releasing some Mars tools on the Mars page on Adobe Labs. These tools in general were written for the Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR) and as AIR developed over the course of last year and this year, we updated the tools to run with the latest version. All the tools are now AIR 1.0 compliant, so please check for updates if you are having problems with existing tools. We also might have some new ones up that you have not encountered previously.

Font Obfuscator Tool

There has been some confusion as to how to embed OpenType fonts in a Mars file. Embedded fonts have to go through a Font Obfuscation process to stop them being reused directly on another machine. The process to do this is explained in our specification. However, to ease the process, I have created a simple tool to do this for you [Font Obfuscator]. All it requires is that your Mars document has a DocumentID specified in the root element of the backbone.xml file. This is then used to protect the font. Simply select the OpenType font you wish to use, the Mars document in which you wish to use it and a location for the new font to be output to. It is important to note that the protected version of the font can only be used in the Mars document it was protected for (based on the DocumentID).

Note: This tool requires the new Adobe Air beta.

Mars at MAX

The Adobe MAX 2007 Conference will be held in just over a week and Mars will be making an appearance. There will be two dedicated Mars sessions at MAX , as well as session by Jim King (the PDF architect), looking at the future of PDF (including Mars).

So, if you have any interest in finding out more about the exciting Mars format, come to MAX!

DocEng 07: Mars — PDF in XML

The Mars Project at Adobe is aimed at creating an XML representation for PDF documents. We use a component-based model for representing different aspects of the document and we use the Universal Container Format (a Zip-based packaging format) to hold the pieces. Mars uses XML to represent the individual components where that makes sense, but otherwise uses industry standard formats to represent other components. Examples of these include Fonts (we use OpenType), Images (PNG, GIF, JPEG, JPEG2000), Color (ICC Color Profiles), etc.. We use SVG to represent page content, which fits as both an XML format and an industry standard.

We presented a paper [PDF] on Mars at the ACM Symposium on Document Engineering. The presentation [PDF] [Mars] covered the basics of Mars and gave some examples of converting a PDF to Mars. I actually gave the entire presentation using Mars as my presentation format and Adobe Acrobat® to show it and have included both the PDF and Mars above.

Some files that were shown on the day are not yet available here, but we will try to include them in the near future.