WISH YOU A VERY HAPPY SINGHALA AND HINDU NEW YEAR!!! 🙂
This post is about a very simple tool that I wrote in 2007 when we were studying at SLIIT. I published this at the time on Google Code. But I noticed that not many people are finding it there. Thats why I am posting about it here.
When we were doing our final-year research projects at SLIIT, it was mandatory to write our reports using Latex. It obviously seemed that we are wasting our time using Latex, instead of using MS Word or something that we already know how to work with. But after some time we noticed that Latex is a better tool to produce technical documentation. It lets you visualize your documentation work in a modularized way allowing different people to work on different parts of the document. Output produced by Latex document rendering gives you better quality with less effort. Unlike word processors it separate content and formatting in a simple way and allow you to produce very good-looking reports with minimum effort.
But the problem is, when you want to insert diagrams / images in to the document, first you have to convert the images/diagrams in to expected output format and then include it to the document. For example if you expect to produce PDF output, you have to convert your images to PDF files and then insert to the document. If you want your output document to be in Postscript format, you need your diagrams in that format. Tools that were available for us to do these conversions were very primitive. There were too many manual steps to get the job done. And there were way too many places that it could go wrong, and it takes a rocket scientist to figure out what went wrong.
My project team decided that our final output should be in PDF. As a result we needed a tool to convert our images/diagrams in to PDF. Instead of converting images one at a time, we wanted a tool that can simply take a bunch of images and produce a bunch of PDF files. Program we developed to do this was very simple. It is just an user interface for iText PDF Library.
You just put all the images that you want to convert in to the source directory. And create a directory to use as the destination. Then you start the tool, give source and destination directories to the tool and run it. It will take all the images in the source directory and create a PDF file for each of them in the destination directory. This tool can convert jpg, png and gif images.
Following is how the user interface looks like
You can find both source and compiled class files of the tool in a single zip file in this link. I have included a RUN.cmd file to run the tool directly. Above Zip file also includes a ‘Read Me’ file which has all the information you need.
If you have similar needs as we did in 2007 you might find this useful. All your comments and feedback are welcome.
PS: We Sri Lankans celebrate the new year in this time of the year. Yes! we have our own new year just like the Chinese dudes.
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