This Imager Document Converter (DCT) demonstrates the use of the Imager Print Capture Driver
(PCD) to convert from any 'printable' file format to a Fax Image format.
A brief history of document conversion solutions can be summarized as follows:
Build a custom converter for all file formats
Get everyone to use the same format
Use the native application to do the file conversion
Building custom file converters (like Inside-Out), or getting everyone to use one common file
format (like PDF) does not address the fact that many documents are WORD or EXCEL in origin.
For Windows based documents (true-type, graphics, extremely-complex, rapidly changing file
formats) the most efficient (time/cost) rendering solution is to somehow use a Windows machine.
Recognizing that all back-end WEB Servers are not always Windows Servers, we propose the
1. WEB Server accepts a 'file' for rendering from Web
2. WEB Server connects to pipe on a DCT Server on local network
3. DCT Server accepts a file and to render it
4. DCT Server passes completion code back up pipe to WEB Server.
The WEB Server can connect with more than one DCT Servers. Basically a DCT Server is a NT
based Windows machine. File conversion are processor intensive and not something you want to
bog down a WEB Server with.
The DCT controls file conversion to TIFF by first launching the file native application (e.g. Word,
Excel, IE), then instructing the native application to print the document via Windows shell
Our experience is that no one utility can convert all file formats. However, most applications have
a mechanism used by the Windows shell to support file printing.
The PDFilCnv.exe application is a console application that is launched with a command line. The
command line includes the name of the source file (among other things). The PDFilCnv.exe
application terminates with a 'number of pages' printed return code, or a negative value if there
was an error. This way, even if a document conversion does fail (due to some required user
intervention); other conversions can still take place. In addition, a Windows Daemon application
(WPDaemon.exe) is provided to support file conversions from a NT service application (such as a
CGI script running on a WEB Server) or from a multi-threading application.
To convert multiple documents in a folder, run the PDDirCnv.exe application. The PDDirCnv.exe
application repeatedly calls the PDFilCnv.exe application, and is a superset program.
We have tested this conversion process with many document types, including Word, Excel,
PowerPoint, RTF, Adobe PDF, HTML, Windows BMP, JPEG, AutoDesk DWG, PostScript, etc.