Below you’ll find a selection of answers to questions we frequently receive from our customers. If you don’t find your question or the answer doesn’t satisfy you, please send us e-mail. Thank you for your assistance!
You can also refer to our Competence Center to get more information about the PDF format and PDF technology.
What is PDF?
PDF (Portable Document Format) is a file format for representing documents in a manner independent of the software, hardware and operating system used to create them and of the output device on which they are to be displayed or printed. A PDF document consists of a collection of objects that together describe the appearance of one or more pages, possibly accompanied by additional interactive elements and higher-level application data. A PDF file contains the objects making up a PDF document along with associated structural information, all represented as a single self-contained sequence of bytes.
A document’s pages (and other visual elements) can contain any combination of text, graphics, and images. A page’s appearance is described by a PDF content stream, which contains a sequence of graphics objects to be painted on the page. This appearance is fully specified; all layout and formatting decisions have already been made by the application generating the content stream.
In addition to describing the static appearance of pages, a PDF document can contain interactive elements that are possible only in an electronic representation. PDF supports annotations of many kinds for such things as text notes, hypertext links, markup, file attachments, sounds and movies. A document can define its own user interface; keyboard and mouse input can trigger actions that are specified by PDF objects. The document can contain interactive form fields to be filled in by the user, and can export the values of these fields to or import them from other applications.
Finally, a PDF document can contain higher-level information that is useful for exchanging content among applications. In addition to specifying appearance, a document’s content can include identification and logical structure information that allows it to be searched, edited or extracted for reusing it somewhere else. PDF is particularly well-suited for representing a document as it moves through the successive stages of a prepress production workflow.
More information you can find in our Competence Center.
What is PDF/A?
PDF/A is a special PDF format used for standards-based long-term electronic archiving. With its help, methods of archiving electronic documents can be optimized. It is a building block in an optimal archiving strategy in which the specific requirements and concerns of the environment can be addressed (business standards, requirements, applications, data sources). ISO published the standard on September 28th, 2005 as “ISO 19005-1:2005 – Document management — Electronic document file format for long-term preservation — Part 1: Use of PDF 1.4 (PDF/A-1)”. ISO is currently working on an updated version of the standard: ISO 19005-2 (PDF/A-2). PDF/A-2 will address the expanded functionality of PDF 1.7. The new standard will no longer be based on Adobe’s PDF standard but rather on ISO Norm 32000-1 (PDF 1.7).
Files that are created with the PDF/A standard display electronic content such that the presentation thereof in a PDF viewer remains the same over a long period of time. This must be independent of the software and hardware with which the PDF is created, saved and viewed. For this reason, PDF/A files may not include links to external sources like images, texts or non-embedded fonts. They may not be encrypted. As a result, the PDF/A standard permits, limits or forbids certain features that are part of the normal PDF standard in order to ensure that the resulting documents will be displayed correctly.
What programs can I create PDFs from?
Nearly all capable printing applications, like Microsoft Office, graphics programs, CAD programs, Internet browsers and email clients can create PDFs.
Why can’t I start Perfect PDF® Master?
PDF Master is not an independent program that you can use directly. It is a PDF printer driver for creating PDF files and accessed via the print menu of the application you used to create or view the document that you want to convert to a PDF file. Perfect PDF® Master installs a virtual printer on your computer called “soft Xpansion Perfect PDF® Master”. It “prints” your print jobs as PDFs rather than on paper.
What are the differences between the programs in the Perfect PDF® family?
With the free Perfect PDF® Reader, you can read and view PDF documents. Unlike many competing products, it also includes other useful features, allowing you to fill out PDF forms, annotate PDFs, sign them digitally, save them, etc.
Perfect PDF® Master is a free printer driver that allows you to create professional-quality PDF documents from many programs.
PDF Converter is a universal solution for creating PDFs from printable files. It allows you to create PDFs via Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird as well as the most important Microsoft Office products. Perfect PDF® Converter includes Perfect PDF® Reader for viewing, printing, annotating and signing PDF files. Version 8 allows you to import a collection of metadata from Office and other programs.
With Perfect PDF® Editor, you can edit PDFs. A powerful, easy-to-use page editor allows you to work with any page content, not just text or images. Additionally, completely new documents can be created, starting with a blank page. The program offers a wide range of annotation tools as well as the ability to alter the structure of PDF files, and much more.
The Perfect PDF® Premium bundles together all the functionality of the other programs in one powerful package. With Perfect PDF® Premium, you can create, design, edit, combine, annotate and sign documents—and much more! There’s hardly anything it can’t do.
We also have two printing programs in our product range: Perfect Print Professional and Perfect Print Express. The print templates help you flexibly design documents so that they fit perfectly on envelopes, include an additional logo or combine several pages into one. The programs make it easier to create and manage print output and lighten daily work with all content that can or must be printed on paper (texts, photos, tables and graphics). Reports, brochures and complete documentations can be professionally designed and printed according to your individual needs, without the limitations of the original program used to create the document.
You’ll find more information in our Perfect PDF® & Print 8 handbook.
Can I buy a CD-edition?
In general, we are offering our products on our homepage as a download. The prices you can see there are only intended for the download section. You can buy a disc at commercial software stores.We only got the GERMAN MANUAL for CD-editions!
Integration in Standard Applications
Via Windows Start/Programs/soft Xpansion/*Your Program*/Product Configuration you can access many possibilities for integrating your PDF program with other applications. Just click on the option you want, like converting websites to PDFs via your browser or turning integration with Microsoft Office programs on or off.
What does editing PDF documents mean?
You can do a lot of things with PDFs: change pages, edit properties, make annotations, etc. Editing PDF documents means that you change the page content itself: edit text, correct images and vector graphics and insert new content objects. Using this functionality, you can appropriately change PDF documents.
You can edit your PDF documents with the help of our Perfect PDF® Editor.
What does annotating PDF documents mean?
Annotating does not change the content of PDF document pages. You can add annotations according to the PDF specification, as well as sticky notes, stamps, markup, additional text comments, vector forms and a free-draw pen as well. This additional data is not part of the document content and can be hidden when printing or in other contexts.
Can I convert my PDF into a Word file?
Perfect PDF® does not include this feature, but it allows you to edit PDF documents directly: text, vector graphics, images, etc. Usually, you do not need to back-convert, which can lead to reduced quality.
Can I export text or images from a PDF document?
Yes, via the “Save as” function in the Perfect PDF® application menu. Or you can also export your document pages as images.
I have a form in which the same fields appear multiple times. Can I link the fields with one another, so that the user only has to fill out the fields once?
It is possible as long as the names of the fields as well as the content of the fields are identical. It does not work if the option fields have different export values.
Where can I find my current version number?
Open the program and go to Help / About in the main menu. The version number located on the caption bar of the About dialogue.
I can’t convert PDF documents with soft Xpansion PDF printer in Windows 8 from Windows Apps (Windows RT Apps). Why?
Windows RT is an operating system and development platform for tablet PCs. It has been developed preferably for Apps and uses completely another driver system. Our programs being developed for actual Windows operating systems cannot use their printer drivers in Windows RT Apps/Windows Store Apps yet. However our PDF Xpansion Reader for Windows RT is already prepared for free use to read and display PDF documents.
Support for Windows Store Apps
Soft Xpansion Windows Store apps have been checked by Microsoft and certified for the usage in certain operating system versions and devices. Download, installation, updates and program start are managed by Windows and Store app, but not by soft Xpansion.
For this reason, soft Xpansion cannot provide any support for the aforementioned processes. The questions about your purchase, returns or related subjects should be also applied to Microsoft as a supplier of apps . Therefore please contact Microsoft or Windows Store directly.
Regarding the implementation of the actual functions of the respective app you will be supported by soft Xpansion. Please use the email address for the support requests.
How can I print from Windows 8?
In Windows 8 you do not print out of the program, but from Windows. You simply need to touch the right edge to bring up the Windows panel. There you click on “Device” and look for the printer to which you want to print.
Why do I still have a DEMO watermark in my documents being converted in PDF with a trial version in case I’ve purchased the full version?
All Documents being created in a trial / demo mode have the DEMO watermark. There are both technical and legal reasons for it. Only the new documents will be created without this DEMO watermark.
Where can I get more assistance in the functionality of the program?
Every Perfect PDF® Program can help you with the utilization of your version. An integrated manual gives information about all usable functions. Over the menu item “start” you will find a column ”help” on the right side. You will discover the manual in this column. Another simple way to open the manual is to press the key “F1”. If you have further queries the support will certainly help you.
Product activation is a license validation procedure for software products. It prevents software from being copied or used illegally and is usually based on the product key or serial number and a connection with your hardware and software system. Product activation is commonly used and doesn’t require special effort on the part of users of legitimately purchased, properly licensed software.
Usually, you do not need to activate freeware or demo/trial versions. Product registration should not be confused with product activation. The registration is optional, that means even if u are not registrated, it does not affect the functionality of the product. If you purchase a software license, you will not be forced to register in order to use it. You will still need to activate it, though.
Can I activate my product by phone?
Unfortunately, no. During the activation procedure, you’ll receive an activation file. We cannot send it via phone. You will need an active Internet connection or a valid email address to which we can send the file.
Please use our easy form to reactivate your product.
Where do I find my product key for Perfect PDF® & Print products?
There are two possibilities: If you bought the program in a box, the product key is printed on a slip of paper or on the front/back of the handbook. If you downloaded the software, it was included in the email that you received from Avangate (our e-commerce partner). The product and activation key as well as the serial number are identical! They are just used under another name by our licensee. If you already activated the program, the product key will appear in the activation field that appears if you click on Windows Start/Programs/soft Xpansion/*Your Program*/Product Activation.
Where do I enter the product key? How do I activate my PDF program?
After installation, you’ll see a dialogue field in which you can select Internet or email activation. If you have an active Internet connection, Internet activation is the easiest option. Enter your 8-character product key and activate your program. If you do not have an active Internet connection, we can send you the activation file via email. You’ll have to send us your hardware code, which is also displayed in the activation dialogue. Additionally, if you have not yet activated the program, you will be prompted to do so when you start the program. You can also activate the program via Windows Start/Program/soft Xpansion/*Your Program*/Product Activation.
How do I activate a trial version?
You can download a demo version and try first. If you have decided to purchase, you can activate the program simply by “All Programs -> soft Xpansion -> Perfect PDF® … -> Product Activation” with your purchased product key. In Windows 10, click the tile “All Apps -> soft Xpansion -> Product Activation”
Where can I find my hardware code?
Your hardware code is displayed in the product activation dialogue when you select “Activate via email”.
How (where) can I reactivate my license (product key)?
You can do so by filling out a small reactivation request form on the reactivation page. It’s very easy if you have your uninstallation code from the previous installation.
Why Should I Note my Uninstallation Code?
Your uninstallation code will be displayed at the end of any licensed Perfect PDF® & Print program uninstallation. It certifies that you have really uninstalled the program from one of your systems and have freed your license. The uninstallation code can be used for the next program installation and activation in order to simplify the activation process – it will be done automatically.
Defect note : Connection-Error
Please check your internet connection, especially the connection to our server „soft-xpansion.eu“. Disable your firewall programs which are in progress on your computer. This means programs like Norton, McAfee, Zone Alarm, AVG and others. This software’s could disturb the activation of Perfect PDF® & Print. You can enable your firewalls after activating your product.
What Information will be sent to soft Xpansion during activation?
The only information that will be sent is that which you see in your activation dialogue: product name, product key, and the hardware code generated by our program. No personal or secure data will be sent.
Where is the difference between Upgrade and Update?
Product updates allow you get the latest version of your product, taking advantage of any bug fixes or improvements. If you purchased any of the products in the Perfect PDF® & Print family, you can receive and install all available updates free of charge.
You can perform an upgrade if you have bought an previous product already. That means, you can get the “new” product more favorable as if you bought it without this upgrade. A single license for Perfect PDF® 9 Premium costs for example 79.99 €. If you performed an upgrade because you possess Perfect PDF® 8 Premium already, it would costs you only 39.99 €, for instance. An upgrade from the version 5 or 6 is not available anymore.
What is a single workstation license?
The standard license for PDF & Print product family is a single workstation license (for a single operating system on a single computer). The product must be activated for each workstation. The single workstation license permits the installation and use of the product on one workstation. Installation on another workstation requires that the software be uninstalled on the previous workplace. Two or more simultaneously installed copies of the product under one workstation license are prohibited. Using a single workstation license with two or more simultaneous Remote Desktop Connections for Citrix or Terminal Server installation is not allowed.
LNL (Local Network License), Netzwerklizenz
The local network license (LNL) allows you to install and use a product simultaneously on multiple workstations (multi-user solution). The number of workstations is limited to the number of clients on the network. The product must be activated on a network server (any computer used for licensing services).
The network license enables you to:
- Install and use a product on multiple workstations on your local network without activation
- Install a product via Citrix or Terminal Server and use it on multiple workplaces
- Install a product in a virtual instance of Windows via a VMware host and use it over multiple Remote Desktop Connections
Please don’t confuse the LNL with a floating license (see below).
For more information about the LNL, click here.
Are floating licenses also supported?
“Floating licensing is a software licensing approach in which a limited number of licenses for a software application are shared among a larger number of users over time” (Wikipedia). “Floating license” means that you can install the product on arbitrarily many workstations but use it only on a certain number of workstations, as defined by your license, at the same time.
Perfect PDF® & Print products don’t have floating licenses. The most important reason for this is that one of the most-used functions is PDF creation, which can be done via the virtual printer in a second or two. That’s why it is almost impossible to avoid this procedure being used by many users at nearly the same time. Please use the LNL (see above) instead.
What about your PDF freeware products?
Our PDF freeware line contains of the following: Perfect PDF® Reader, Perfect PDF® Master, Perfect Docureader. You can download these products and use them free of charge for private use or in the office. You are not allowed to distribute them within your company or publicly or bundle or include them with your own products. You’ll find more details about each application in the individual product descriptions.