Thursday, December 19, 2013

What is Non-Standard Encoding?

Let's start by looking at what standard encoding is and how it works.

Each English alphabetical and numerical character A, B, C or 1, 2, 3 and so on has a corresponding ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) Decimal or Hexadecimal code associated with it. Microsoft Word, Notepad and plain text editors use ASCII to display the desired characters.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Batch Processing with Solid Commander

Looking for an automated batch processing solution for PDF processing? Try Solid Commander - automated PDF to Word conversion, PDF/A validation, PDF to PDF/A conversion, searchable PDF creation and text extraction.

Take a video tour and learn more.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Scanners ...TWAIN... WIA...

Question: What is TWAIN and WIA? What does this have to do with Solid Converter v8?

Answer: TWAIN and WIA are standards for communicating with imaging devices - scanners, in our case, and software applications.

"The word 'twain' is an archaic form meaning 'two'. It appears in Kipling's 'The Ballad of East and West' - '... and never the twain shall meet ...', reflecting the difficulty, at the time, of connecting scanners and personal computers. It was up-cased to TWAIN to make it more distinctive. This led people to believe it was an acronym, and then to a contest to come up with an expansion. None were selected, but the entry 'Technology Without An Interesting Name' continues to haunt the standard." - from Free On-Line Dictionary of Computing
TWAIN drivers are provided by your scanner's manufacturer (Brother, Canon, Epson, HP, etc.). When you run Solid Converter it discovers what TWAIN drivers you have installed so it can talk to your scanning devices.

WIA (Windows Imaging Acquistion) is from Microsoft and is an utility that allows you to scan into any application that supports WIA.

Solid Converter v8 only uses TWAIN as its interface to scanning devices.

If you scanner does not support TWAIN you can use the software supplied with your scanner to scan your paper documents. Save the scanned images as tiff and then create a PDF using Create PDF with Solid Converter.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Solid PDF to Word for Mac v2 - OSX 10.9 support

Solid PDF to Word for Mac v2 works with the latest OS X Maverick operating system.

To run the Mac PDF to Word converter, your Mac must meet the following requirements:

  • A Mac computer with an Intel processor
  • Requires Mac OS X v10.6, v10.7, v10.8, v10.9
  • 150 MB of available hard disk space
  • iWork Pages required to create .pages documents from converted .docx documents

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

PDF/A1-b or PDF/A-2b?

Question: Is it recommended to use PDF/A1-b or PDF/A-2b?

Answer: PDF/A-1 is based on PDF version 1.4.  PDF/A-2 is based on the latest PDF standard which supports more functionality and better compression than the older format (compressed object streams and compressed cross reference streams for example). With this in mind, we recommend PDF/A-2b.

Monday, September 30, 2013

What makes it a PDF?

Often people will ask "What is a PDF file?" or "How do you View a PDF File?". These lead to a couple of basic answers.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

DOCX is Not a Portable Document Format

We have had some customers wonder why .docx files display differently in Microsoft Office on OSX versus Office on Windows.


Layout in all documents depends upon font metrics. There are vertical and horizontal font metrics. Even if horizontal metrics look the same, the vertical metrics can be so different that the text line with the substituted font takes more or less vertical space than it does for the original font. This affects the layout of the entire document.

Mac OSX has its own set of fonts that are not available on Windows. If you have Office installed on OSX then it also adds typical Microsoft Office fonts. The Mac has a super-set of fonts and that means that documents converted on Windows  have more chances to be displayed well on Mac than vice versa.

Windows and OSX

Microsoft Word is a word processor. While it has powerful formatting and design functionality it was never written to maintain the original document formatting for printing and viewing on multiple computer platforms. This is the purpose of PDF - Portable Document Format.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Solid PDF to Word for Mac v2 Released

We just released version 2 of Solid PDF to Word for Mac. 

Improvements in version 2 include:

* Prompt for Page Range (convert 1 page or as many pages as you need)
* PDF to PowerPoint and PDF to .csv data
* OCR languages supported include English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish
*Improved OCR (Optical Character Recognition)
* We continuously use your PDFs to improve our conversion output. Get all the latest updates
* Simplified unlocking from the application menu

Mountain Lion support with this version. We support OS X v10.6, v10.7 and v10.8

Download version 2 (free 15 day trial, fully functional but we watermark output)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Virus checkers, valid software blocked and hangs...

We have been hearing from our customers that Norton and Symantec our quarantining parts of our version 8 applications. Why would anti-virus software block applications that do not contain malware or viruses?

Symantec and other anti-virus software companies use detection techniques to try and determine if something might harm your computer. Based on certain attributes that they decide, they quarantine or block applications from running if their tools believe your software may cause harm. These detection techniques also make mistakes and can block clean software applications from running.

What does this look like for Solid Documents software?

Software Hangs at Start

Run Solid Converter v8 or Solid PDF Tools v8 and you see the splash screen and then the cursor just spins and spins and spins. Hopefully you see your anti-virus software pop up a notice that it has blocked one of our services. The potential services that could get blocked:


Microsoft Word Addin Gets Quarantined

We add a toolbar ribbon to Microsoft Word with version 8. This can also get blocked and quarantined by Symantec or other anti-virus checkers. You will see a message that SolidWordAddin.dll has been quarantined.

Our software is safe and free of any malware or adware. We use code signing certificates to mark our software from Solid Documents. You can trust the software you download from our website. When you install you will always see our company name when Windows verifies that you trust the provider of the software you are trying to install.

Fortunately Symantec has a way to report these false-positive quarantines to get us off their list. We have submitted our software for review to them and they have white-listed our software. Now they have to push out the definitions that include our software to all their users. We will pro-actively continue to ask for Symantec (and Norton) to white-list our releases to try and eliminate these false-positive reports from happening and hindering your use of our software.

If you ever have questions regarding our software, please email us at If other anti-virus checkers are blocking our software please let us know.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

v8 has New User Interface

v8 includes a new and improved user interface where the core tasks are easily available.

Solid PDF Tools v8 User Interface
The v8 rewrite was a conscious shift back to our core features : a focus on document reconstruction functionality. 

Adding new features to the product going forward is prioritized by customer requests so please send your feedback to

The v8 rewrite was required to take advantage of 64-bit architectures and multi-core processors. A rewrite using Microsoft .NET was required so that we could engineer the product using our own Solid Framework SDK (unlike the older products which were based on a legacy architecture).

Watch our getting started video.

Where's my Solid Converter PDF printer driver?

If you had a pre-version 8 of Solid Converter PDF or Solid PDF Tools, you know that you would choose Solid Converter PDF (or Solid PDF Tools) when you wanted to create a PDF from the File | Print menu:

Pre-v8 printer driver

With v8 versions of our software we are shipping Solid PDF Creator as the printer driver for PDF creation. File | Print and choose Solid PDF Creator from the printer list:

v8 printer driver

Please note that Solid PDF Creator is pre-unlocked. When you purchase Solid Converter v8 or Solid PDF Tools v8, Solid PDF Creator is ready to use. File | Print | and select Solid PDF Creator and get creating PDFs.

Monday, April 1, 2013

New Version 8 Available

We have released version 8!

Solid Converter PDF and Solid PDF Tools helps you improve, create and convert PDFs into Word and Excel in addition to other file formats, resulting in accurate, high quality documents that are easy to reuse. 

Included in this version 8 release are two process automation applications: Solid Automator and Solid Commander. Solid Documents has also released three new applications with specific functionality: Solid PDF to Word, Solid Scan to Word and Solid PDF/A Express.

"The v8 rewrite was a conscious shift back to our core features : a focus on document reconstruction functionality" said Michael Cartwright, CEO of Solid Documents. "The v8 rewrite was required to take advantage of 64-bit architectures and multi-core processors. A rewrite using Microsoft .NET was required so that we could engineer the products using our own Solid Framework SDK (unlike the older products which were based on a legacy architecture)."

Getting started videos are available, along with other product feature tutorials.