Introducing Pro Plans

In early October we be launching Pro Plan accounts. Pro plan users enjoy various benefits, such as secure uploads (via HTTPS), an ad-free site with no 3rd party advertisements appearing anywhere. Furthermore, Pro plan users can work with PDF files up to 200Mb in size at a time. The price for this additional service will be a monthly fee of 4.99 USD.

Our goal is to enable small and medium companies to use our service to a larger extent as now all uploads and downloads go through a secure channel, increasing the overall security of the apps.

In addition, we will be encouraging all users to sign up for accounts. Registered free users will be able to use larger file sizes than anonymous users.

At the same time, we will be publishing our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy that will appear at the bottom of all our pages.

We emphasize that these changes will only minimally affect our free users. The basic service will still remain free. A login bar will appear on top of our pages, but the apps can still be used anonymously without logging in. We are reducing the file size down to 30 MB for basic services (anonymous), but that can be extended up to 50 MB for free by registering an account. This can then be extended up to 200 MB for the Pro plan which comes with other benefits as well.

The table below compares the Pro plan with the free registered and anonymous plans respectively.

Plan comparison

We hope that our users will benefit from the new services and we encourage you to leave us feedback in the comment section.

Update May 2015: We are now offering the benefits of the previous Pro Plan for free (and more) and no longer accounts as was announced here.

Chrome webapps launched

We have launched new Chrome Webapps for all of our 4 services, that can be accessed free of charge at the links below:

FoxyUtils MergePDF Chrome App

FoxyUtils SplitPDF Chrome App

FoxyUtils ProtectPDF Chrome App

FoxyUtils UnlockPDF

The Google Chrome apps are basically quick access links that appear under Apps whenever a new tab is created. This makes it faster to access our apps than ever before. We hope that our Chrome users will find this functionality useful.

We would like to thank Robert Lee who encouraged us to publish our webapps as Chrome Applications and sent us a prototype implementation that we have extended to all our apps and made publicly available.

What is PDF? Why PDF?

This short entry gives a brief overview of what PDF is, and the motivation for its creation. In addition, our goal is to to cite other and more comprehensive sources that can provide more information for interested readers.

Much of the information in this article came from the Wikipedia article on PDF files (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_32000-1), but information from multiple other sources has been weaved into the article, along with the author’s own experience.

What is it?

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is an open standard published by Adobe Systems for representing documents in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems.

A PDF file is simply a file that adheres to this standard and can be opened by any standard PDF file reader. As an example of free PDF readers, Adobe Reader (available at http://get.adobe.com/reader/) and Foxit Reader (available at http://www.foxitsoftware.com/Secure_PDF_Reader/) are among the most commonly used. A more complete list of readers can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_PDF_software#Viewers.

Each PDF file basically contains a full description of a document, including the text, fonts, graphics, and other information needed to display it. The way that this information is structured is specified by the PDF specifications (a very long and detailed document), which can be found on Adobe's site: here.

Why was it created?

Before PDF was established in 1993, there was a clear lack of an easy way of sharing documents. A common way for many (only on Windows systems) was to share Microsoft Office .DOC files. However that format is not nearly as general (and has been known to change from time to time). The real strength of the PDF file is that it appears the same on all systems and is an open standard, so anyone can create a program that outputs PDF files.

Another format was the PostScript (PS) format, which actually has many things in common with the PDF format. It is still widely used in publishing and it is the native language for many printers. However, it never become very popular among the public, even though it was created long before the PDF format. Perhaps because that the PDF format was released and popularized in the relatively early days of the Internet. In addition the PDF format has many features over PS, such as being self-contained, containing all fonts, images, and so on in a single file. For interested readers, a comprehensive comparison between PS and PDF can be found here.

How does the future look?

The PDF standard has continually been upgraded since its initial release and many new features have been added. For example: password protection, interactive fill-in forms, digital signatures and multiple others. We can therefore expect to see many more features added in the years to come.

Recently the PDF standard has become an ISO (International Organization for Standardization) standard, and Adobe Systems is no longer responsible for maintaining it. Furthermore, in 2008 Adobe published a Public Patent License to ISO 32000-1, granting a royalty-free rights for all patents owned by Adobe that are necessary to make, use, sell and distribute PDF compliant implementations.

Conclusion

As an open and still evolving standard, it is likely that PDF will maintain its role as a leading document exchange format for (at least some) years to come.

Please share with us your view of the PDF format and how you think it's going to hold up in the future!

About FoxyUtils

We specialize in creating and maintaining web apps for PDF.

Our current products are services to convert, merge, split, compress, lock and unlock PDF documents, see home page for a full list.

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