12 Replies Latest reply on Jul 26, 2006 8:10 AM by Newsgroup_User

    One more time... Open PDF in Director

    createmedia Level 1
      Ok..... Just spent $1200.00 on Director 2004 MX. Now trying to make a simple presentation app with links to PDF files. Was going to do this in Flash.... But thought... since it's for CD... I'll use Director! Now, from reading comments online...they say I have to use a 3rd Party app to open PDF's? What the freakin' hell! After my tantrum and spewing of profanities for hours... I'm back to trying to use it to just open or call pdf in the same directory on the CD-ROM... Now, that can't be too bad... I thought!!!... But I can't get the damn "Open" command in Lingo to just call a "pdf" file in the same directory.... I cannot believe people are paying an extra $300.00 for a 3rd party app to do this!!! What kind of freakin' POS scam is this? OK, you can tell I'm a little pissed at this... but in reality... if you can just give me some simple help on calling pdf's using Lingo (or JavaScript) ... I will owe you one :-) Now I am(was?) a huge Macromedia fan.... but how can damn Macromedia (Adobe) not have this built in at $1200.00 a shot???????? You do not want to know what I have to say to them at this point...

      John
        • 1. Re: One more time... Open PDF in Director
          Level 7
          Hi John,

          Thank you for your constructive criticism.

          With Director you have an almost infinite number of methods available to
          you for most any operation. When you want to open an external file that
          needs another application to be viewed, you have to tell Director what
          application to use. While there is a third party Xtra that will let you
          incorporate a pdf into your director movie, you do not have to use it to
          simply open a pdf in Acrobat Reader.

          If you are working on a Mac and your finished project is Mac only, you
          can simply use

          open "your.pdf" with "Preview.app"

          There is no corollary for Windows, because, you know, its Windows.

          The Mac OS will find the application for you. If you want to use Acrobat
          Reader then you have a bunch of options. If you go to the Acrobat
          section of Adobe's web site, you will find instructions on how to embed
          the reader into your CD. So, if you have room on your CD, you can use
          that method.

          If you want to check to see if your user has Acrobat Reader installed,
          you'll need to use a third party Xtra. You have a choice of two,
          fileXtra4, which is free, or, buddyAPI, which will let you use a limited
          number of functions for free. You set either of these apps loose on the
          user's computer's hard drives and they will find Acrobat Reader and tell
          you the path. Then you can use that path in your open command.

          If the end user doesn't have the reader installed, you could, if you
          choose, put the installer on your CD. Then you can tell the user that
          you will install Acrobat Reader if they like. While you can just start
          up the installer, that may be rude and/or a little frightening to your
          user.

          You can find fileXtra4 here:
          http://homepage.mac.com/klkersten/xtras/FileXtra4/index.html

          and buddyAPI here:
          http://www.mods.com.au/

          Take a look at those, it may help.

          --
          Rob
          _______
          Rob Dillon
          Adobe Community Expert
          http://www.ddg-designs.com
          412-243-9119

          http://www.macromedia.com/software/trial/
          • 2. Re: One more time... Open PDF in Director
            createmedia Level 1
            Thanks Rob for your help.... :-)

            Will try those now. And yes, I am running Windows.... mainly because most of the world and our clients are using Windows so I need to develop something for those users.

            The frustration, I hope, is very short-term. While Adobe now owns both Director and Acrobat .... the functionality of Director working with pdf's should be seamless. You should not have to mention a 3rd party app of any kind.

            I see all these comments on the net for what I still believe are "workarounds" for something as standard as pdf's. Apparently, someone needs to be looking at what people are doing with an application whose pricetag should warrant built-in functionality for anything basic.

            Thanks again Rob. Will give this a whirl and see if I don't head back to Flash to do something Director was supposedly built for.....

            :-)
            John
            • 3. Re: One more time... Open PDF in Director
              Level 7
              FileXtra4 xtra is free, buddyAPI is free if limited to only a couple of
              function calls.


              Dirctor originated before pdf files existed, it has been retrofitted
              with a lot of added media support through the years, but I wouldn't at
              this point expect Adobe to invest much in Director's future.
              • 4. Re: One more time... Open PDF in Director
                Level 7
                John
                Maybe your intention is to run on the same environment a PDF file to
                keep editorial design within your production. If so, maybe Flashpaper
                can be an option at this level if you can access the original files.
                Being a Macromedia fan (if you still are) you might have it somewhere.
                Here's a tutorial to include Flashpaper files on Director:

                http://www.adobe.com/devnet/director/articles/flashpaper_in_director.html

                Chuck Neal, the author of the tutorial, has been developing xtras for a
                while. And since you seem new to Director try listening Director Podcast
                ( http://www.magicgate.com/podcast/director/) BTW, that's where I learned
                some things on Neal.

                Hope it helps
                Juan
                • 5. Re: One more time... Open PDF in Director
                  Level 7
                  On Thu, 29 Jun 2006 20:13:49 GMT, createmedia posted in
                  macromedia.director.basics:

                  > The frustration, I hope, is very short-term. While Adobe now owns both
                  > Director and Acrobat .... the functionality of Director working with
                  > pdf's should be seamless. You should not have to mention a 3rd party
                  > app of any kind.

                  The 'open' command could use some improvement, and that would be a nice one.
                  But because there are several Xtras out there that deal with opening files
                  with associated applications, they may never improve it. I don't think it's
                  been changed since Director was first ported to Windows.

                  That's how the plug-in (Xtra) concept works with many apps; Flash, Photoshop,
                  3D programs, etc... It's actually a Good Thing(TM).

                  In the end, I expect you'll start using a lot of the features that either
                  FileXtra or Buddy API (or DirectOS and other similar Xtras) offer to extend
                  Lingo beyond its built-in functions.

                  > I see all these comments on the net for what I still believe are
                  > "workarounds" for something as standard as pdf's.

                  Not an excuse or defense here, but you should try using Adobe's own PDF
                  reader for Palm OS. I have never seen an application as bad as that one.
                  Thank goodness 3rd party programmers get a chance to do it right.


                  --
                  Mark A. Boyd
                  Keep-On-Learnin' :)
                  • 6. Re: One more time... Open PDF in Director
                    createmedia Level 1
                    Thanks for all your comments fellas...
                    While I too enjoy the work of some great 3rd party developers... I woudn't expect to have to use one for something so basic...

                    You've all made valid points...and I'll give it a shot for a while... If it's not a simple fix.... I'll move the whole thing over to Flash 8. At least someone is keeping up with that... :-)

                    Thanks again all!
                    • 7. Re: One more time... Open PDF in Director
                      Level 7
                      Look, it is a simple fix. It could hardly be easier. With BuddyAPI
                      (which you can download for _free_ from www.mods.com.au/budapi), you use
                      this command. Put it on a button that you want to launch your PDF from.

                      on mouseUp me
                      baOpenFile(the moviePath&"nameOfFile.pdf","normal")
                      end

                      Obviously, change "nameOfFile.pdf" to whatever the file is that you want
                      to launch. This assumes that the pdf is in the same folder as the
                      Director movie.

                      You can use any 2 commands of BuddyAPI for free. If you want to use
                      more than 2 in any given project then you need to buy it. This example
                      uses only one. So it is free.
                      • 8. Re: One more time... Open PDF in Director
                        Level 7
                        > You can use any 2 commands of BuddyAPI for free. If you want to use
                        > more than 2 in any given project then you need to buy it. This example
                        > uses only one. So it is free.

                        To be clear - you can use any 2 commands *any number of times*. So you
                        could use baOpenFile() in 100 separate scripts and still be using only
                        half of your free function tally.
                        That being said, FileXtra4 is free for all its functions and does many
                        things BuddyAPI does.
                        • 9. Re: One more time... Open PDF in Director
                          createmedia Level 1
                          thanks again fellas,

                          Going to use the BuddyAPI Xtra. Seems to work fine.
                          Appreciate all your help.

                          :-)
                          John
                          • 10. Re: One more time... Open PDF in Director
                            bobby296
                            Hi Creatmedia
                            I'm having the same problems with pdf opening in Director. You seem to successfully solved this using BuddyAPI Xtra. Ive downloaded this but not sure how I actually use it (I'm a director beginner!) Could you help me out please/

                            Ta
                            Bobby
                            • 11. Re: One more time... Open PDF in Director
                              createmedia Level 1
                              Hi Bobby,

                              Well, Buddy API did link as they said but I decided not to use it.... Because what I wanted to happen ...is if the user did not have an application player for a particular program.... to give an option to download... and it didn't seem to do that for me. So, I ended up just using Flash anyway.... even though there are several issues with that also.

                              Sorry,
                              John
                              • 12. Re: One more time... Open PDF in Director
                                Level 7
                                If you are using BuddyAPI's baOpenFile command, it does return an error
                                code if there is no application associated with the file you are trying
                                to open. Thus, if you check the return of your baOpenFile command, you
                                will get an error "31" (There is no application associated with the
                                given filename). If you get the error code 31, then you can launch the
                                installer (or ask the user if they want to install it).