Modifying PDF: the Case of the Additive Edits

A company working in the food industry received information bulletins on food additives from its suppliers in PDF format. Those were then sent on to their clients with a different logo, contact details, and article number. Because PDFs are only editable to a limited degree, a roundabout production method had been devised which was time-consuming and error-prone. It also resulted in PDFs of poor quality that were up to 20 times larger than the originals.

What was achieved


To produce an information sheet, the supplier document is opened and a routine is started that asks which changes are to be made. The routine makes the changes, replaces the logo, and saves the PDF under a new name. The whole process takes no longer per document than the user can type. There is less scope for mistakes and the quality and file size of the original is retained.

What it took


Before, the information sheets were produced by saving the PDFs delivered by the suppliers as images. Those were then opened in a graphics program where the necessary changes were made. Finally, the edited images were re-saved as PDF. Programming PDF has made all this work redundant. Once it was clear what the routine was to achieve, we could write it. In a couple of days it was ready for testing and a few days later the whole project was completed.