Today we’re pleased to announce the release of an add-on that allows Concrete5 developers to seamlessly integrate the Java version of the GroupDocs.Annotation library into their sites. GroupDocs.Annotation lets your users annotate over 50 common document and image types straight from within your Concrete5 site and without having to install any office software or browser plugins. Among supported file formats are: PDF and Microsoft documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, Visio diagrams, raster images (JPEG, GIF, TIFF, BMP, PNG) and many more.
Key features at a glance:
- Browser-agnostic – documents can be viewed and annotated using any modern web-browser, including Internet Explorer 8+, Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari 5+.
- Easy deployment – there is no need to download or install anything on the client side.
- A comprehensive set of annotation tools: sticky notes, rectangle, polyline, arrow, text underline/strikethrough, redaction, watermarks, etc.
- Support for native PDF and Microsoft Word annotations.
- Multi-user annotation sessions allow several users collaboratively review and annotate the same document simultaneously.
This new add-on is the third in a series – Concrete5 developers now have a choice to integrate any of the available GroupDocs.Annotation versions: an on-demand cloud service or .NET and Java libraries that can be deployed on-premises. For more feature details and installation guides, please visit corresponding add-on pages in the official Concrete5 marketplace:
Good news for Orchard developers and site owners – after a successful release of the module that integrates GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET into Orchard CMS, we’re pleased to inform you that we’ve recently released yet another module - this time for integrating the .NET version of the GroupDocs.Annotation library.
Like GroupDocs.Viewer, the GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET library supports all common business document formats, provides cross-platform compatibility and doesn’t require any installations on the client side. In addition to that, the library provides comprehensive document annotation functionality that allows your users collaboratively review and annotate documents on your Orchard site.
GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET features 14+ annotation tools (including sticky notes, polyline, rectangle, arrow, text underline and strikethrough, redaction, watermarks, ruler, etc.), supports native PDF and Microsoft Word annotations and allows several uses to annotate the same document simultaneously.
With this new module, Orchard developers now have a choice between two deployment options:
- On-premises - by installing the downloadable GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET library.
- SaaS – by integrating the cloud version of the annotator.
Users who already have a GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET license can use this new Orchard module for free. If you don’t have a license yet, but would like to test the annotator on your Orchard site, please feel free to contact GroupDocs sales for a 30-day trial license, or simply download an evaluation copy of the library.
For more details on the GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET module, please visit the Orchard gallery.
Kentico is quite a popular CMS focused largely on document management. At GroupDocs we create APIs that allow developers to enhance their applications and sites with convenient document collaboration tools. One of such tools is a multi-format, cross-platform compatible document viewer – GroupDocs.Viewer. It allows end users to view over 50 types of documents and images from any modern web-browser and without having to install any office software or plugins.
To name just a few, the file formats that the viewer supports include: PDF and Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, Visio diagrams, Outlook messages, CAD drawings, multipage TIFF files and a lot more.
Another important feature – is the ability to display documents in a “read-only” mode. GroupDocs.Viewer allows you to prevent unauthorized copying of your documents while still sharing them with others. You can disable print, download and text copy options for specified documents and add watermarks to protect documents from screen-grabbing.
Currently GroupDocs.Viewer exists in different forms: it is available as a .NET class library (DLL), Java library (JAR) and as a Cloud API (SaaS). Earlier we already released a plugin that allows Kentico developers and site owners to seamlessly integrate the Cloud (SaaS) version of GroupDocs.Viewer into their sites. The plugin can be found on the Kentico marketplace.
The cloud version of the viewer simply creates an iframe on a web-page and redirects all input documents to the cloud API. Hence, documents have to be hosted on GroupDocs servers.
Although we use secure Amazon EC2 infrastructure, there are cases when you need to keep your documents in-house and avoid any external requests to them or deploy the viewer on your intranet. If that is the case, you may be interested in a new plugin that we’ve just released for the .NET version of the viewer. This version can be deployed on-premises and doesn’t require any external API calls.
The plugin has been tested by Kentico and is now officially published on the Kentico marketplace. This new version of the plugin is free for customers who own a GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET license. If you don’t have one, you can test the viewer on your site in an evaluation mode, or request a free fully-functional 30-day trial simply by contacting our support team. For more details on GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET, please visit its homepage. Also please visit our documentation portal for a detailed guide on how to deploy the viewer on your Kentico site.
GroupDocs.Viewer for Java is a multi-format document viewer library that allows developers to seamlessly enhance their Java applications with the capability to display over 50 document and image types. Designed based on the client-server architecture, GroupDocs.Viewer doesn’t transfer documents to client machines during view sessions. Instead, the library converts documents to web-compatible content, transfers it to clients and then renders in a web-browser. This client-server architecture provides you with the following benefits:
1. End users see only web copies of the shared documents, while original files stay on the server. Combined with the in-built Digital Rights Management feature, this allows you to share documents in a “read-only” mode. You have complete control over documents security and can easily prevent unauthorized content copying.
2. Since documents are converted to pure HTML, CSS and SVG or raster images, they can be rendered in any standard web-browser. You don’t have to worry about whether end-users have the software required to open and view a document.
3. There is no need to install and maintain any 3rd party software on the client side, which significantly reduces IT overhead.
Recently we’ve created a new Java PDF viewer sample built using the GroupDocs.Viewer for Java library and dropwizard framework. The sample allows you to quickly explore key features of the viewer and get an idea of how the viewer can be customized and integrated into your web-based Java app or website.
We’re pleased to announce the release of a plugin that lets GetSimple developers and site owners to seamlessly integrate the GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET library into their websites. Once deployed, the library enables end users to view and collaboratively annotate 50+ types of documents and images straight on your website. To name a few, supported file formats include: PDF and Microsoft Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, CAD drawings and raster images (TIFF, JPEG, PNG, GIF and BMP).
How does GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET work?
The library converts documents to a web-compatible content (HTML/CSS + images) on the server and then renders it on your website within a document view widget along with an annotation toolbar. End users can view and annotate such embedded documents from any standard web-browser. You don’t have to worry about whether your users have the software required to open a document.
The same document can be annotated by several invited users simultaneously. Each user can add annotations, see others’ comments/markups and reply to them in real time. As a result, all involved parties can get a fast feedback on reviewed documents, discuss the necessary updates and get documents approved in a breeze.
GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET has been built from the ground up with security in mind. Original documents embedded to web-pages are not downloaded to user machines during view/annotation sessions, but stay on your server and behind your firewalls. End users only see web-copies of the shared documents. Although available by default, the copy, print and download options can be disabled for specific documents, so that they are shared in a “read-only” mode.
Currently we offer two deployment options: on-premises and SaaS. This new plugin integrates the downloadable .NET library that can be deployed on your own server and allows you to store and host documents locally. We also offer a plugin that integrates our cloud version of the GroupDocs.Annotation app. It doesn’t require any server-side installations, but documents need to be stored on our servers. We use Amazon EC2 servers to guarantee the security of the service.
For more details on the plugins, please visit the GetSimple marketplace:
For more details on the GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET library and to download a free evaluation copy, please visit its homepage.
Building a simple ASP.NET PDF viewer is quite a trivial task. There are tens of different open source projects across the web that offer a quick and free solution to display PDF documents in both ASP.NET MVC and Web Forms. Often a simple implementation of a PDF viewer is all you actually need. But things become a lot more complicated when the viewer needs to meet your customer’s business requirements. The most common are:
1. Security. This obvious business demand creates great challenges for developers when implementing a PDF viewer. Businesses demand uncompromised security for their confidential documents. You need to prevent any access to source PDFs from the client-side and limit or totally restrict viewers from being able to download, print or copy the shared PDF documents.
2. Cross-Platform Compatibility. Businesses require being able to share PDFs with customers, partners and team members without worrying about whether they have the software needed to open the documents. Hence, you need to be sure that end users can access and view the shared PDF documents from any web-enabled device and regardless of the browser used.
3. Usability. Finally, businesses want to have tools delivered by standard office software, such as Adobe Reader, to be able to seamlessly browse and collaborate on PDF documents from a web-browser.
If you’ve been looking for an ASP.NET PDF viewer that meets all the mentioned requirements, you may be interested to try out this C# demo which is built based on the GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET library. The demo helps you quickly setup, configure and explore key features and functionality of the out-of-the-box PDF viewer for ASP.NET.
Before proceeding, I’d like to clarify that the GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET is a commercial library and is not free or open source. The C# demo includes a free evaluation copy of the library that has several functional restrictions. However, I’d strongly encourage you to contact GroupDocs support for a free 30-day license to be able to test the ASP.NET PDF viewer without any restrictions.
So, here we go. First, let’s look into how the library works:
GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET is a downloadable library (DLL) that allows you to display different types of documents (including PDF) on the web. What makes it stand out from other web-based PDF viewers is its client-server (or “thin client”) architecture.
Unlike client-based viewers, GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET doesn’t download source PDFs to end user machines. Instead, the library converts original documents stored on the server into a set of HTML markup, CSS and images. Once converted, a web-compatible copy of the PDF document is streamed to clients and rendered in web-browsers just like a regular web-page. Web copies look exactly like the original PDFs. Layouts are retained and fonts are sharp.
Such “thin client” architecture allows you to build an ASP.NET PDF viewer that meets both of the two core business requirements – security and cross-platform compatibility. End users can view PDF documents using a standard web-browser and without having to install Adobe Reader, Flash or any other plugins. For sure, PDF documents can be properly displayed in Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari5+, Opera and, what is important, in commonly used by large organizations – Internet Explorer 8+.
The original PDF files are not downloaded to user machines during view sessions, but stay secure on your server and behind your firewalls. Combined with the in-built Digital Rights Management (DRM) features, this allows businesses to share PDF documents in a “read-only” mode. DRM controls all document copy options available in a web-browser, including downloading, printing and text copy/pasting. It allows users to decide on their own which PDFs to share in the “read-only” mode and which – with full access rights.
When displaying PDF documents in a web-browser there is another potential security flaw, called “Print Screen”. This is where even DRM won’t help. To deal with the issue, we’ve implemented a capability to add watermarks over the displayed PDF documents. The watermarks are only rendered as a separate layer on top of the displayed documents, so that your original PDFs are not altered.
Now, what about usability?
GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET comes with an out-of-the-box GUI which can be seamlessly white-labeled and integrated into any ASP.NET site. The GUI provides end users with tools needed for convenient viewing and navigation of PDF documents in a browser. Our sample PDF viewer for ASP.NET provides all the most commonly used UI controls available in native Adobe Reader’s plugin, including:
- Scroll view, one page in a row, two pages in a row view, double page flipping
- Page rotation and zooming
- Page thumbnails
- Text selection and copying to the clipboard
- Text search with different match types
- Document downloading and printing
The GUI can be seamlessly customized and embedded straight to your ASP.NET site. Alternatively, you can build your own GUI from scratch to meet your customer’s requirements.
But enough with words – let’s take a look how this works. Below is an example of how your ASP.NET PDF viewer built based on the GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET library may look:
- Being a “thin client” solution, GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET doesn’t require any downloads or installations on the client side. End users can view PDF documents from any standard web-browser, including IE8+, Mozilla Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Safari5+ and their mobile versions.
- To deploy and properly configure the sample on the server, you will need a .NET Framework version 4.0+ and a “.NET-compatible” web-server: IIS, IIS Express or ASP.NET Development Server (Cassini).
- The viewer works with both ASP.NET Web Forms and ASP.NET MVC version 3+ frameworks.
Running the Sample
To help you setup and run the ASP.NET PDF viewer quickly, we’ve prepared a quick start guide. Please refer to this page for further instructions, as well as to download the C# demo itself.
For more details on the GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET library and the list of all supported file formats, please go to the products homepage.
GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET Library Version 2.8.0 – New Page Layout, Smoother Scrolling and Enhanced Document Sharing Security
Recently we’ve updated our GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET library up to the version 2.8.0. In this post I’d like to discover some of the most remarkable updates implemented in this latest version:
New Page Layout Options
So far, when viewing documents, you had the following page layout options:
- Scroll view – pages are placed in a continuous chain, one after another.
- One page in a row – one page fit to client’s screen. No page turn animation.
- Double page flip – two adjacent pages fit to client’s screen, plus flipping page animation (available in the image-based rendering mode only).
Starting with this new version, you have a choice between two more options:
- Two pages in a row - two adjacent pages fit to client’s screen. No flipping page animation. This layout is available in both the images-based and the HTML-based rendering modes. This layout is especially useful when viewing documents on a widescreen display, as it allows users to cover unused screen space appearing when viewing documents with the scroll view or one page in a row layout.
- One more layout added in this release is actually a modification of the above one – a cover and then two pages in a row. This is useful when reading books, as the cover page can be placed apart from the subsequent adjacent pages.
All the options can be configured by end users on their own, straight from the viewer’s GUI. You can also set a default layout using the Layout method from the GroupDocs.Viewer widget. This method accepts a Groupdocs.Web.UI.ViewerMode enumeration, which has the following values: ScrollView, DoublePageFlip, OnePageInRow, TwoPagesInRow, CoverThenTwoPagesInRow.
The geography of clients using the viewer grows rapidly. This time we have good news for our customers from Italy – an Italian GUI localization has been finally added in this build. The following are all GUI localizations currently available:
- ar-AE - Arabic (U.A.E.)
- en-US - American English, the default
- es-ES - Spanish
- it-IT - Italian (Standard)
- nb-NO - Norwegian
- pl-PL - Polish
- pt-PT - Portuguese
- ru-RU – Russian
The default localization is en-US. You can change it to any other from the list above by using the Locale method from the GroupDocs.Viewer widget. There are two overloads of this method: the first one accepts the needed locale as a string code, while the second one accepts an enumeration value. They are completely equal, so you can use any of them.
The new virtual scrolling feature improves page scrolling speed in client browsers. This is useful when displaying large documents of more than 1k pages. When enabled, the viewer streams to the DOM tree only the pages that are currently visible in the browser. New pages are added to the DOM only when the document is actually scrolled to those exact pages. This way, instead of rendering all document pages, the viewer needs to handle only a few pages at a time.
To enable the virtual scrolling feature, you should apply the true Boolean value for the UseVirtualScrolling method in the GroupDocs.Viewer widget. When set to false, the virtual scrolling feature is off.
Faster Word Documents Rendering
A new parameter has been added – embedImagesIntoHtmlForWordFiles – to the UseHtmlBasedEngine method. When set to true, it forces the viewer to convert documents to HTML with SVG or raster images embedded straight into the HTML markup as Base64. Otherwise, images are stored as external files. Embedding images into the HTML markup significantly increases browsers’ rendering speed of Word documents that have a lot of images in them. Naturally, this parameter is available only in the HTML-based rendering mode.
Share Documents with Watermarks
Now you can let viewers to print or download a PDF copy of the original documents you share, along with watermarks burned in. This is useful when you want to prevent users from copying your content, while still need to share it with others. When enabled, viewers can print or download only a PDF copy of your original document with your custom watermarks in them. While viewers get a PDF copy with watermarks, your original documents stored on the server stay intact.
In order to enable this feature, you should apply watermarks, using the Watermark method from the GroupDocs.Viewer widget, and set the true value for the last parameter - printWithWatermark. Please note that this feature is disabled by default! You need to set it explicitly.
- Added an XML documentation file (called Groupdocs.Viewer.XML) into installers to enable IntelliSense in Visual Studio.
- A new SupportListOfContentControls option added. It allows you to display content controls with their headers, similar to what Microsoft Word does. Currently this option is available only in the HTML-based rendering mode.
- Numerous code optimizations and bug fixes.
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