Office 12 - Word to PDF File Translation

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Scoble recently caught up with Luke Williams, a software developer on the Office team, who helped create a nifty new feature in Office 12: Word to PDF file translation (you can save a Word document as a PDF file by simply choosing Save As...PDF, etc).

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MS Office, Office

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    The Discussion

    • User profile image
      Shark_M

      Very Cool. I cant wait to get my hands on this. I wanted this feature ever since office 2003, so its cool to hear that this will be in office 12.

      One question. Will you be able to create PDF FIles that end users can fill stuff in? like a special form, where the users fill in the blank spaces or even select things, as in the PDF tool from Adope , or this is just for text and pictures and links?

      another thing, is there a way to print a PowerPoint presentation into a PDF file with 6 slides / page using the new feature in Office 12? or is this just for word?

      very cool stuff

    • User profile image
      Zeo
      Besides the new UI....I believe this to be the KILLER feature of O12. 
      Smiley

      And this is the first time we've heard scoble use a really interesting technical term...[6]
    • User profile image
      izzy
      Wow, all versions of Word are made in pure C? No (I need to watch my language), go figure. That explains why the app is so fast !Tongue Out
    • User profile image
      winston
      Just curious - what's the scoop on all the red cups ??
    • User profile image
      dmarsh
      I guess my only question is, why isn't print to PDF just a feature of Windows Printing and not specific to Office? If it's just a print driver, it should work with every application that prints... why limit the technology to Office 12?
    • User profile image
      AndyC
      Printing to PDF is easy (there are already free solutions), the problem is that you lose a lot of information that way (hyperlinks, document flow etc) - this is something that can only really be added by native PDF support at the application level.

      PDF support in Vista would be great, not sure we'll see it though (sadly)
    • User profile image
      dmarsh
      Andy,

      Thanks for the reply. I was actually trying to bait the MS folks into responding because I realize the fancy linking and bookmarking certainly only comes at the application level and therefore clearly it isn't simply a print driver solution. Wink

      If they do however have some kind of driver solution which they then do some kind of post processing on, it would be really silly if they didn't offer this as part of the Vista platform. So I guess I'd just like to hear all the geek details on how they decided to implement it.

      Cheers,
      Drew
    • User profile image
      PetKnep
      Good work Luke! Nice to see some Wolverines up on Channel 9.
    • User profile image
      LukeWill
      Shark: For this version there's no interactive forms support planned (although they'll show up statically in the PDF).  Ppt can do multi slides per page, there's a "handout" print option on their dialog.

      izzy: There are actually a few rare spots in assembly, but otherwise yeah, it's always been C.  We've had a decent amount of debate over how to best leverage the benefits of C++ in the product with the recent decision to switch over.

      winston: My office mate and I stay well-hydrated... that's several months' worth of cups in one Yoda-capped monolithic sculpture.

      PetKnep: go Blue!

      Glad people are looking forward to this, I think we're going to be able to deliver something good.  As an added note, we're souping up the accessibility capabilities - we can do significantly more now with structure tagging than in November, when this video was taken.
    • User profile image
      staceyw

      Go Blue Luke!  I should be PC and say Go Green as well.  From Brighton myself.  Robert, you seemed suprised there was any computer people in MI?  Go ask David Cutler where he went to school Smiley  So, I guess you can say NT came from MI.  JK

      Now that it is in C++, anyone flip the /CLR switch yet to see how ~fast it runs as managed code?

      Like the PDF export option.  That is handy in Sql RS as well.  Would be nice to be able to import from PDF, even if we did not get full formatting.  Hope it has got a "Sent To" in PDF as well for mail.  That would save an export step for mailing a document.  This may be there already, but would also be cool to have a Word/XPS control in Expression/WPF/VS so we could have something better then RichTextBox.  In Sql RS too so that we can have embedded docs (xps, doc, pdf) in reports.  Cheers!
      --
      William Stacey [MVP]

    • User profile image
      IRenderable
      Did you change the codebase to use the "C++ way of doing things" versus doing the "C way of things" (OO and C++ features (Templates, operator overloading, etc.) instead of procedural code etc.) Or did you just make the minor changes you needed so it would compile in a C++ compiler and write new code in C++?

      I understand you can't rewrite everything in C++ but just wondering how big the change was.
    • User profile image
      DCMonkey
      Will saving thumbnails in documents be enabled by default in Office 12 so that the Windows Vista document views can use them? And will there be a VBA api to enable them programatically for old documents?
    • User profile image
      nektar
      About accessibility, I know that many people use the Save AS Text option in Adobe Reader to save the PDF as text in order to read it. Some PDFs save to text without losing any of their connents. However, some do not save at all because they are represented as a picture in the PDF or save only parts of the contents.
      Will an Office 12 Word Document converted to a PDF and then from Adobe Reader 7 saved as text retain its textual contents in full? If not then we have a serious accessibility issue.
      Also, nobody ever asked MS employees which development tools they use. You said that you use C and now C++ but which development environments do you use on a daily basis? Visual Stuiod? How is your build system? How do you check in and out code? How do team members collaborate? Do you have a special platform for that? Which editor do you use for writing code? Do you use some tools on a daily basis which we can use as well? What tools and code testing utilities do you recommend?
      I think we can learn a lot by seeing how MS employees write and manage a large software project, like Word, in practice and not only in theory.
    • User profile image
      littleguru
      The current output is not so good. The PDF file size is really big and of poor poor quality. I hope they get it better in the final version!

      But it's a really cool feature! And I'm sure that the PDF output in the final version will be great!
    • User profile image
      sbc
      Zeo wrote:
      Besides the new UI....I believe this to be the KILLER feature of O12. 

      I wouldn't say that as when you use that term it is more appropriate for products that do not have the largest share. It is part of OpenOffice, so is not really a 'killer' feature. A very useful feature though, that should have been part of Office a long time ago.
    • User profile image
      mgama
      Robert, it would be nice if all of the channel 9 presenters had a separate monitor devoted to you to film (as the Sparkle team did).  But I imagine that would be a difficult task for some people who have multi-monitor setups. 
    • User profile image
      dkelly
      Luke, would it be possible to get a copy of a PDF created by Office. I'm active on the PDF/A committee and would love to give you some feedback on the quality of the PDF structure and possible ways to make it PDF/A compliant.

      Thanks,
      Dwight Kelly
    • User profile image
      SlackmasterK
      Scoble said "sh!t"!!!
    • User profile image
      DavidJSmith
      Scoble: "How did you get into computers in Michigan?"

      Steve Ballmer, from Michigan.
      Co-founder of Google, from Michigan.
      David Smith, from Michigan.

      Need I say more?

      Go Green! Go Blue!


      There's even a thumbnail of the MSU sweatshirt on Channel9!  =P Woot!
      ( http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=103183  Wink )
    • User profile image
      dkelly
      Luke, my email is dkelly.at.apago.com

      Great to hear that Office 12 will be support PDF/A out of the box.
    • User profile image
      LukeWill
      stacey: Send To didn't make the cut this time.  No idea about the CLR build.

      IRenderable: like I said, pretty minimal changes... we use a couple templated classes, but operator overloading is not an accepted practice.  Other Office teams have more fully embraced C++ (e.g. Powerpoint and IGX) with common use of smart pointers, OO code, etc.

      nektar: you will retain your text content in the PDF.  We don't convert it to a big picture.  We use several IDEs, it's just personal preference - VS, SlickEdit, Codewright, and Source Insight are common.  Source control, testing, and bug tracking are all handled with internally developed tools.

      guru: filesize is something that's been looked at closely and improved since Beta 1.  As far as quality, I'm not sure what kind of documents you're publishing, but do make use of the Beta 1 reporting tools, we look at everyone's feedback.

      Dwight: if you give me your contact info, I'll pass it on to any interested parties.
    • User profile image
      AngelWorks
      Contrary to the video PDF Files aren't just fixed formats. XDP files for instance are XML PDF files. There's a good example here > http://partners.adobe.com/public/developer/xml/topic_samples1.html
    • User profile image
      dibs
      Hi Luke,

      Just joined this community today. I was going through the translation features of Office 2007 when I came upon your video. That was great !!!
      I have a question. With the 'Save as PDF' functionality of Office 2007 can I programmatically convert any office document to PDF. My desired language is C#.
      Will I have to use the COM object model APIs for the translation.

      regards,
      Dibs
    • User profile image
      mrleokarthik

      hi,

      Can I convert Excel and powerpoint files to pdf programmatically.
      I can able to conevert word to pdf.

      PIA for word has feature
      object format = Microsoft.Office.Interop.Word.WdSaveFormat.wdFormatPDF;

      But i don't find pdf in Excel and powerpoint enumerator.

      Atleast can you tell me the coressponding number.

      thanks in advance.

      karthik

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