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MW Software reveals PDF work

By Chris Williams. Published: 26th Apr 2006, 10:34:35 | Permalink | Printable

TechWriter family updates and Ghostscript releases [Updated]

Maths textbookMartin Wuerthner has turned around two publishing related developments: PDF export support for the TechWriter family, and an updated Ghostscript package for RISC OS. Ghostscript can be used to create PDFs and process Postcript files.

Martin told TechWriter and EasiWriter users that version 8.6 of the word processing software will include the ability to save documents in PDF format. The update, which comes with a price tag, will be released in time for next month's Wakefield show.

He said: "Not only does that option allow you to save your documents as PDF files in a single step operation - with the conversion being handled transparently by GhostScript - it also allows EW/TW to include additional information leading to richer PDF documents than could be created by any RISC OS software up to now."

The software, published by Icon Technology and developed by Martin, can also embed links to other documents and websites into exported PDF documents.

He added: "Most notably, EasiWriter and TechWriter 8.6 will be the first RISC OS application allowing users to create PDF documents with a so-called Document Outline, a tree overview of the document's structure that is displayed by PDF viewers and that allows the reader to jump to specific sections directly."

Version 8.53 of PDF authoring package GhostScript is also now available from Martin's website, bringing RISC OS up to date with other platforms. This new release includes improved font and page size handling, and a much enhanced PDF viewer which can cope with transparency objects, graduated fills and other features.

• In a MacAuthor history article in the March issue of MacUser magazine, a photo of Icon's Mike Glover from the 1980s stands alongside a mention of EasiWriter and TechWriter, with Douglas Adams name dropped.

Update at 22:06 27/4/2006
ArtWorks 2.6 will include a tool to allow the tips of arrowheads to be positioned using handles at the ends of lines.


TechWriter family website Ghostscript for RISC OS

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Sounds like a fabulous update - I used to use TW alot and found its export of Word files very useful to communicate to PC-users. However, it wasn't perfect and so the ability to export PDF (perfectly?) would be so much more useful. Bravo!

 is a RISC OS Userharmsy on 26/4/06 1:04PM
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It's another great update from the men who seems to be one of the only 'real' developers left for RISC OS. Martin must be having a full time day job in rolling out all those updates to Artworks / TW and other freeware products.

A big thank you is required and hopefully a few more people will comment on this great effort, I mean 2 people in 12 hours ?

BTW looking forward to see Martin in action at the dutch Expo2006, 17th of june 2006.

 is a RISC OS Usernico on 26/4/06 8:10PM
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In reply to nico:

I'll second that. Thank you, Martin. Techwriter really has moved forward over the last year or so, and this will be a most useful upgrade. Long may it continue.

 is a RISC OS Usergdshaw on 26/4/06 8:24PM
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Gee I am slack now!

No excuse for me not to get EW/TW now with these great updates from serious 'real' developers, I sure hope the enthusiasm rubs off elsewhere in RO World?

I have a couple of important Impression Publisher files that need to be in a PC format OR a format suitable for the printers to publish.

Would Imp Pub to PDF be the best option, or Imp Pub to EasiWriter be possible?

Any suggestions please?


 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 26/4/06 8:52PM
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Imp to Ovation pro and use Ovationpro on windows. Also soon to be Mac, since you will soon be able to run win apps on mac (without windows and the doalboot,I mean native)

Anyway I don't wat to plug another system, just pluggin another riscos genius, the great St. David.

cheers bob

 is a RISC OS Usernijinsky on 26/4/06 10:38PM
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nico: Sorry - in contrast to previous years, I might not be at the Dutch Expo this year. I already had other arrangements for that week-end by the time the show was announced.

And yes, it is a full time day job indeed (well, sometimes, rather a night job).

 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 26/4/06 11:38PM
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Great news! With Ovation Pro's existance on RISC OS looking shakey, I'm really pleased that we still have some decent publishing software which is still recieving such useful development.

Does !PDF support document outline?

 is a RISC OS Usertimephoenix on 28/4/06 3:40AM
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 is a RISC OS UserDaveW on 28/4/06 6:59AM
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Sawadee: You will not have much luck converting documents from Publisher to EasiWriter. It will be much easier to create PDF representations. Alternatively, OvationPro can load Publisher documents and runs on both RISC OS and Windows.

 is a RISC OS Userwuerthne on 28/4/06 10:25AM
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In reply to Sawadee:

If you want to get Impression files into EasiWriter, then you "Save text story (with styles)" in Impression, and drop the file into EasiWriter. This exports the text (with effects, e.g. bold, italic, styles) and you can then export any graphics files from Impression and drop them into EasiWriter.

Whether this will work for you, depends upon your document. If you've used lots of frames and graphics, then this might be a bit fiddly. Having said that, I've converted lots of Impression documents in this way, and they can then be saved as Word documents which can be edited on other platforms.

Word import/export gets better with each new release of EasiWriter, so it's worth upgrading just to get the everyday benefits of that functionality.

And EasiWriter can also save as HTML which is a useful way to turn your documents into web pages.

 is a RISC OS UserStewy on 28/4/06 11:56AM
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In reply to wuerthne:

The older version of EasiWriter I have does not take on Publisher files like Ovation Pro.

I have tried the Demo of Ovation Pro last year and found it does a good job with Publisher imports.

I may need to explore the PDF suggestion.

The two Publisher files I want to set up for the commercial printers has 70 pages in one file and 35 pages in the other file.

They are quite big these document files and I wonder if they are not too big for PDF or Ovation Pro under RISC OS?

They also have extensive clip art borders with ruled light lines in the !Draw format and are overlayed with a frame for large sized fonts for the words.

They are a phonetic reading programme for schools that a friend and I developed over the years and we are intending to get it to the publishers in one format or the other.

When you say that Ovation Pro loads Publisher documents and runs on both RISC OS and Windows, do you mean that the RO & Windows files of Ovation Pro can read on either computer? (It sounds obvious that it should?)

Thanks, Steve.

 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 28/4/06 12:08PM
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In reply to stewy:

Yes I have noticed the great improvements in the newer EasiWriter updates.

I also did consider those great ideas you mentioned too, but I fear that it will be very fiddly in the nature of the embedded !Draw graphics of borders and ruled lines (to create an "exercise book" style of page for school children) under the text frames on every single page.

The text frame was very fiddly in lining up the large sized typed text over the ruled lines of !Draw graphics.

It was the way my friend wanted the pages to look and so was the way that I first set it up some 7 or so years ago.

You can see part of the Publisher page layout that I mean in my User Gallery on page 12 here...


This sample does not show the borders around the page.

The borders were 12 different designs taken from an Acorn BitFolio7 (can't remember the name from memory, the clip art book's at work), I used one border design for each 10 pages.

Anyway, do you know if EasiWriter can handle big 70 pages of text and graphics like Publisher?

The latest EasiWriter I assume should?

Thanks, Steve


 is a RISC OS UserSawadee on 28/4/06 12:31PM
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In reply to Sawadee:

Thanks for the link top the example image, which makes your needs much clearer. Though EasiWriter is very flexible, it's perhaps not your best bet in this case.

"Anyway, do you know if EasiWriter can handle big 70 pages of text and graphics like Publisher?"

If you mean can it handle lots of text and graphics, then the answer is 'yes'.

I recently copy-edited a book for an academic publisher which had more than 300 pages and a number of graphics files (more than 1MB each). EasiWriter coped beautifully. The end result had to be in Word format and I'd expected to have to tweak the file a bit in Word. To my delight, I didn't have to, because EasiWriter gave me a perfect Word file!

With another HUGE vote of thanks to Mike Glover and Martin Wuerthner for their continued efforts and support.

 is a RISC OS UserStewy on 28/4/06 1:45PM
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In reply to nijinsky: "Also soon to be Mac, since you will soon be able to run win apps on mac (without windows and the doalboot,I mean native)" How? Is this touted in a forthcoming version of Mac OS or do you need additional software? Can you post a link?

 is a RISC OS Usergovind on 28/4/06 6:29PM
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In reply to Sawadee:

Importing Impression into Ovation Pro works pretty good ... though you will have to amend the result a bit since some things might not transfer in full. AFAIR a grid for the text lines to keep them on the same base lines across colums which is defined on the master page didn't quite make it when I tried years ago.

Transferring Impression to Easi/TechWriter on the other hand might be simply impossible due to the different conecpt of the two apps. Easi/TechWriter is a text processing application and thus expects a reasonable structured basic layout like you find in books but does offer lots of things needed for that task. Impression/Ovation Pro are DTP packages where you draw frames all over and put whatever you want to into and it is no real problem to create a textflow resulting in close to non-followable text flows. Thus if your Publisher document layout makes too much use of the flexibility of the DTP app then it might simply not be possible to sensibly transfer that to Easi/TechWriter.

 is a RISC OS Userhzn on 29/4/06 8:11AM
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Sounds good, though it is not the first application on RISC OS to support generation of PDFs with outlines. It may be the first one that's publically available, but certainly not the first one written.

That said, the application to which I refer generates the PDF files directly without GhostScript using a PDF version of its internal rendering engine. While this produces very tidy, highly customised files, it suffers some restrictions as a result too, particularly with respect to font handling. In this sense TechWriter and EasiWriter are the first to produce such PDFs using the GS engine specifically.

 is a RISC OS Useradh1003 on 5/5/06 4:17PM
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