Save Annotations in a DB and Set User Avatars in the GroupDocs.Annotation for Java Library

Today, I’d like to present several great enhancements that we’ve implemented in the GroupDocs.Annotation for Java library version 1.6.0:

User Avatars

Remote collaboration in groups is much more engaging and productive when we can see each other (or at least put a face to each other). In this release we’ve implemented functionality that allows users to use personal avatars when annotating documents in a group.

The avatar functionality can be easily configured through the library’s API. The {{AnnotationHandler}} has two new methods for handling user icons:

The array used in these methods contains a binary picture that can be set for each user. For example, you can check if an avatar is already set, and if not, load one:

Save Annotations in a DB

In this release we’ve added the capability to configure how you store annotation metadata. The ORMLite persistence framework is now used to support a huge variety of storage providers. You can still use good old local file storage but if you need more consistency you can now easily integrate GroupDocs.Annotation with your application’s database, be it a MySQL, Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, or other supported DB. For more detail on this feature, please see this page.

New Annotation Objects

GroupDocs.Annotation for Java version 1.6.0 has two new annotation tools:

  • Ruler - allows users to measure the distance between specified points in pixels.
  • Underline tool - allows users to underline selected text.

Besides, we’ve improved support for native PDF and Word annotations and added the capability to export annotated Word documents to a final .doc/.docx file with the Word’s “Track Changes” feature active.

Print Preview

One more enhancement that you may be interested in is the ability to generate a document print preview when users try to print the annotated document. The print preview displays documents with annotations added.

To see a full list of changes and download the GroupDocs.Annotation for Java library version 1.6.0, please visit our download archive. For more information on the library please visit its homepage and documentation. We also encourage you to use the code examples that we’ve prepared to help you explore the library’s functionality quickly.

Zero-Footprint, Cross-Platform Java PDF Viewer for Your Apps

Java PDF Viewer Library - GroupDocsGroupDocs.Viewer for Java is a lightweight library that allows developers to display PDF (as well as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and over 50 other types of documents) within their Java apps. The Java PDF viewer provides cross-platform compatibility, allowing end users to view PDF documents from any web-enabled device, including mobiles and tablets.

The viewer works with all modern browsers: IE8+, Chrome, FireFox, Safari 5+, Opera and their mobile versions. There is no need to install anything on the client side. Users can view PDFs without having to install Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Fast & Clear PDF Rendering

Depending on the chosen rendering mode, the viewer rasterizes PDFs to images or converts them to pure HTML+CSS+SVG. When rasterizing documents, the library extracts text and renders it on a separate layer on top of background images. As a result, both modes provide high-fidelity font rendering - texts look sharp regardless of the zoom factor.

The Java PDF viewer library can load remote documents via URLs, from streams and files located on your storage. To load documents faster, the library cashes PDFs on the server side when they are loaded (viewed by a user) for the first time. There is also an AOT (ahead-of-time) caching option that allows you to force the library to add any specified PDF to cache before it has even been displayed to users.

Convenient User Interface

We’ve packaged our Java PDF viewer with an out-of-the-box web UI that helps end users to easily navigate PDFs in a web-browser. You can adjust the UI's look and feel by tweaking CSS or completely customize its functionality by complementing the JavaScript front-end. The demo below gives an idea of how the UI can be customized to match your app or website requirements. The embedded PDF document you see in the demo represents the default look and functionality of the UI, while the demo viewer itself is slightly tweaked with our CSS:

In addition to that, the library provides a choice between English, Spanish, Portuguese, Norwegian and Russian UI localizations.

Keep Your PDFs Safe

The GroupDocs.Viewer for Java library comes as downloadable JAR that can be deployed on your own server and behind your firewalls. All your PDFs are processed locally and hosted on your server, which ensures complete control over documents’ security. If you don’t want users to copy the contents of displayed PDFs, the printing, downloading and text copying options can be restricted or removed from the UI at all. And for an additional layer of security, the library allows you to add watermarks over the displayed PDF documents.

Try the Viewer for Free

Please feel free to download an evaluation copy of the library or contact sales for a 30-day fully functional trial. To help you explore the library quickly, we’ve prepared a bunch of code samples along with detailed documentation. We are always happy to help you resolve use-cases of any complexity, so feel free to contact our support team for help. For more details on the Java PDF viewer library, please see this page.

Spotlight on GroupDocs.Comparison for Cloud API – GroupDocs October 2014

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October, 2014
Need quick and easy online comparison features?
GroupDocs.Comparison for Cloud API is a REST API that lets developers add comparison features to their applications quickly. It offers fast comparison between documents and displays differences with an intuitive redline view. Changes can be accepted or rejected, and the combined document can be downloaded for convenient offline editing, while integrating with your application's business logic.
Product News
 GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET Library 

  • Added the ability to rotate the orientation of pages for PDF and image files.
  • Added support for configuring watermark text when viewing documents using the HTML-based viewing engine.
  • Russian localization.

 GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET Library

  • Allow access to print view options when printing.
  • Navigate annotations using a tab-based view.
  • Increased UI usability including quick annotation selection, and numerous bug fixes.
  • Improved annotation print view compatibility with Internet Explorer.
  • Various updates and fixes to improve annotation handling.

 GroupDocs.Annotation for Java Library

  • User avatar which shows picture of the reviewer associated with comments now available.
  • New UI tools added for PDF files: ruler, underline.
  • More tools now export to Word files: area, point, typewriter, watermark, underline, strikeout, text and resource redaction.
  • Print preview dialog now shows added annotations.
  • Added abstract database connector so developers can use any database.
  • Various updates and fixes to improve annotation handling and display.

 GroupDocs.Signature for .NET Library

  • Quick configuration of database providers when initializing signature. Supported providers are JSON and MSSQL.
  • Unified syntax for single and multiple signers to simplify development.
  • Increased responsiveness since signing of the document is now switched to a parallel task.
  • Fixed various issues related to placing the signature onto the document being signed.

 GroupDocs.Signature for Cloud Library

  • Added new image stamp field type to field preparation and execution for envelopes and forms.
  • Envelope owners can now allow users to drag/move fields when signing.

 GroupDocs.Comparison for .NET Library and Cloud App

  • Improved detection of subscript and superscript when comparing Microsoft Word files.
  • Improved detection of bold, italic and underline formatting when comparing Microsoft Word files.
  • Improved performance by 40% for Word-based document comparison.

 GroupDocs.Conversion for .NET Library and Cloud App

  • Implementing custom trial limitation for each document type: Microsoft Word, Excel, Visio, PowerPoint, Project, PDF, email, image, and HTML.
  • Preparation of Conversion platform for resizing and re-flowing content for viewing on a specific device.

 GroupDocs.Assembly for .NET Library

  • Added new feature to get template editor fields via C# or JS.
  • The new Template Editor which allows fields manipulation of template fields using a rich UI.
  • The Template Editor supports 3 different types of fields: TextBox, Image, CheckBox.

 GroupDocs.Assembly for Cloud App

  • The Template Editor can now create an assembly template from any Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat PDF file.
  • The Template Editor supports text, image and checkbox fields.
  • The Questionnaire Builder introduces date/time and multiline fields.
Coming Soon
 GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET Library 

  • View Microsoft Project documents directly, without conversion to PDF.
  • Improved support for logging exceptions and operations within the library.
  • New option to adjust scrolling speed on mobile devices.
  • New feature for intercepting document processing events.

 GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET Library

  • Add tooltips for annotation comments for quick and easy reading.
  • Allow annotations to be resized.
  • Per character selection for text based annotations.

 GroupDocs.Signature for .NET Library and Cloud App

  • New feature to allow GroupDocs.Signature for .NET to function correctly even if it's not set up in the root folder of the integrating application website.
  • Add support for working with documents as streams when using GroupDocs.Signature for .NET.
  • New feature to set a predefined image value for the Stamp field type.
  • New option to support auto resize for the Stamp field type.

 GroupDocs.Comparison for .NET Library and Cloud App

  • Native comparison of Adobe Acrobat PDF files.
  • Further improvements to the Microsoft Word comparison algorithms.

 GroupDocs.Conversion for .NET Library and Cloud App

  • New feature that re-flows/converts a documents for a specific device resolution.

 GroupDocs.Assembly for .NET Library and Cloud App

  • New design for the Template Editor, where the UI is easier to use and more flexible.
  • Support for new field types in the Template Editor for PDF templates: ListBox, ComboBox, RadioButtonList.
  • Enhanced support in the Template Editor for editing Word templates (UI feature).
From The Library
Managing User Rights with the GroupDocs.Annotation for Java Library
GroupDocs.Annotation for Java allows you to set user access rights to control who can view, annotate, download, export and delete documents. Read more.
Loading Documents from Streams with GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET
Documents are increasingly stored in databases, not as static files on disc. To access them, you have to work with byte streams. We've written an article that explains how to use GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET with streams. Read the article.
How Can We Help You?
Do you have ideas for what you'd like to see us do in the coming months? Take a minute to tell us.
Integrations and New Cloud API Samples
Product Releases And Updates
GroupDocs.Total for .NET – The latest versions of our .NET libraries. GroupDocs.Comparison for .NET 2.1.0 – Several performance enhancements and fixes.
GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET 2.3.0 – Russian localization, page rotation and more. GroupDocs.Viewer for Java 2.4.0 – Several performance enhancements and fixes.
GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET 1.6.0 – Navigate annotations as tabs, and other new features. GroupDocs.Annotation for Java 1.6.0 – Various new annotation tools added.

Managing User Access Rights and Specifying Fonts in the GroupDocs.Annotation for Java Library

GroupDocs.Annotation for Java is a lightweight document annotation Java library that allows the placing of markup and comments in Microsoft Office documents, PDFs, images and over 50 other file types. It provides end users with a rich set of markup tools and can be used on any web-enabled device without the need to install third-party software. Thanks to its cross-platform compatibility and convenient UI, GroupDocs.Annotation is an ideal solution if you need to add document annotation functionality to your Java application.

Recently I’ve added two short guides covering minor, but quite common, requests from GroupDocs.Annotation customers and would like to share them with you:

Manage User Rights in GroupDocs.Annotation for Java
GroupDocs.Annotation has a user authentication/authorization system that allows you to grant and restrict different access rights to certain users. Using it, the library can be easily integrated into the user management system used in your own application. You can find the guide on this page.

Setting the TrueType Fonts for Document Exporting
GroupDocs.Annotation for Java uses the TruType fonts to render annotations and to export documents with annotations. These fonts may be absent in Linux OSs. This guide shows how to install the fonts to be able to export documents properly.

Support for Native Word & PDF Annotations in GroupDocs.Annotation for Java Version 1.5+

GroupDocs.Annotation for Java is a flexible library built to extend document collaboration to the web. It allows end users to review, annotate and comment on over 50 types of documents. The library supports Microsoft Office and OpenDocument formats, PDFs, images, AutoCAD drawings and others. A rich set of tools allows users to draw lines, place watermarks and pointers, redact and comment text, strike through and underline it. And thanks to its cross-browser compatibility, the library lets users to annotate documents literally from any web-enabled device using just a browser and without having to install any third party software or plugins.

The library has seen a number of improvements in the recent releases. In this article I'd like to introduce the most notable improvements.

Support for Native PDF & Microsoft Word Annotations

Starting from version 1.5, GroupDocs.Annotation for Java supports native PDF and Word annotations. This means that annotations in a PDF document can be imported to GroupDocs.Annotation for further online review and editing. Also, annotations made with GroupDocs.Annotation can be exported to a PDF or Word file with the annotations in them for further offline editing.

Support for Microsoft Word’s “Change Tracking” Feature

Another useful feature supported in the newest version of the library is the “track changes” mechanism from Microsoft Word. Word documents annotated with the GroupDocs.Annotation for Java can now be exported to a Word (DOC/DOCX) file with the edits (comments, markups, etc.) highlighted with the Word’s “track changes” feature.

For more details on GroupDocs.Annotation for Java, please visit its homepage. Also, download a free evaluation copy along with code examples to try the library yourself.

Loading Documents from Streams with the GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET Library


As you may noticed, in most GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET sample projects, target documents are presented in the form of files. They are usually placed in the "testfiles" folder, which is specified in the Global.asax. So you might think that GroupDocs.Viewer can work with files only.

But this is not true - GroupDocs.Viewer can also load documents from byte streams (System.IO.Stream). Moreover, there are no limitations on the type of stream: whether it's a FileStream, a MemoryStream or a NetworkStream - GroupDocs.Viewer can work with it!

So, in this article I'd like to shed light on all aspects of using streams with the GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET library: which types of streams are supported, how to grab files from a DB as streams, how to use streams in ASP.NET WebForms and also in MVC projects.

UPD: the latest versions of the GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET library has seen a number of significant enhancements to how the viewer handles streams. Recently I've updated the article to reflect these changes. In particular, I rewrote the guides on how to use streams in ASP.NET WebForms and MVC projects, and added new chapters describing how to handle cache, load files from multiple streams, etc, as well as most common mistakes developers face with when adjusting streams in GroupDocs.Viewer. I also added a changelog, showing the updates implemented in each version of the viewer, so that you can quickly tweak the necessary settings. Hope, this will help you set up and run streams with GroupDocs.Viewer in your project hassle-free.

Go to the article >>>

GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET Extension Is Now Available for Magento Developers

GroupDocs Viewer for .NET
We are pleased to announce the release of the extension that allows Magento developers to seamlessly integrate GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET into their websites. The extension has been approved by the Magento admins and is now available for download from the official Magento marketplace.

With this extension installed, developers can embed and display 50+ types of documents and images on any page within their Magento websites. Supported document formats include PDF, Microsoft Word. Excel, PowerPoint, Visio, CAD and raster images.

This extension is the third in a series and compliments other GroupDocs extensions that allow developers to integrate the cloud-based and Java versions of the GroupDocs.Viewer. The .NET and Java versions are based on downloadable libraries and allow you to host documents locally. The cloud-based extension provides simpler implementation, but requires documents to be hosted on GroupDocs' servers. Whatever deployment you choose, we provide free trials, so that you can test the viewer on your website. Also, existing users of the GroupDocs.Viewer can use these extensions for free.

For more details on the extension and installation instructions, please visit its page on the Magento marketplace.


Spotlight on GroupDocs.Conversion for .NET and News, September 2014

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Monthly Newsletter
September, 2014
Need a Reliable File Conversion API?
Converting files between formats shouldn't have to be difficult. All you want to do is to convert one format to another while retaining layout and formatting. With GroupDocs.Conversion for .NET, you get just that. 

Convert between over 50 formats with high-fidelity results every time. Supported formats include Microsoft Windows Office files, AutoCAD, PDF and image files. By hosting the API on your own infrastructure, you have complete control over file security and compliance.

Product News
GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET Library 

  • Tabbed view for multi-sheet Microsoft Excel documents.
  • Faster display of Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint documents.
  • Enhanced HTML-based viewing of Microsoft Excel documents.
  • View HTML files without converting to images, stripping out JavaScript.
  • Various improvements and fixes.

GroupDocs.Viewer for Java Library

  • GroupDocs.Viewer for Java 2.4.0.
  • Support for Microsoft Visio files on JDK 1.6.
  • New upload path parameter.
  • Improved speed for file conversion.
  • Various improvements and fixes.

GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET Library

  • Auto-upgrade of GroupDocs.Annotation's storage schema.
  • Advanced undo/redo feature.
  • Improvements to annotation PDF export.
  • Various improvements and fixes.

GroupDocs.Annotation for Java Library

  • GroupDocs.Annotation for Java 1.5.0.
  • Import and export annotations to and from PDF: underline, ruler.
  • Export annotations from Microsoft Word: area and point annotation, typewriter, watermark, underline, strikeout, text and resource redaction.
  • Export tracked changes.
  • Added the ability to include a user avatar.
  • Various fixes and user interface updates.

GroupDocs.Annotation for Cloud Library

  • Advanced undo/redo feature.

GroupDocs.Annotation for Cloud App

  • Support for text replacement.
  • Support for pointer tool.
  • Support for text and resource redaction.
  • Support for underline and ruler tools.

GroupDocs.Signature for .NET Library

  • Support for forms linked to more than one document.
  • General bug fixes.

GroupDocs.Signature for Cloud App

  • General bug fixes.

GroupDocs.Comparison for .NET Library and Cloud App

  • Improved DOC/DOCX comparison.
  • Performance improvements.
  • General bug fixes.

GroupDocs.Conversion for .NET Library and Cloud App

  • Batch conversion.
  • Various bug fixes.
Coming Soon
GroupDocs.Viewer for .NET Library 

  • Enhanced HTML based viewing of Microsoft Project documents.
  • Rotate pages.
  • Log exceptions and operations.

GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET Library

  • Print view options.
  • Navigate annotations using tabs.
  • Tooltips with annotation comments.
  • Enhanced UI usability.

GroupDocs.Signature for Cloud App

  • New field type in envelopes and forms: stamp.
  • Owner can allow users to move fields during the signature process.

GroupDocs.Comparison for .NET Library and Cloud App

  • Detect moved text.
  • Compare Microsoft Visio project files.
  • Improved comparison of native Microsoft PowerPoint files.

GroupDocs.Conversion for .NET Library and Cloud App

  • Performance improvements.
  • Enhanced comparison for documents with advanced Microsoft Word features.
From The Library
Setting up and Customizing Email Notification Templates in the GroupDocs.Signature for Cloud App
GroupDocs.Signature lets you manage the signature workflow online, whether the document is a complex contract or a simple NDA. One of the features that makes the app so convenient is the in-built reminder management. To give you total control, you can customize the various email notifications that the app sends during the signature process. Find out more.
GroupDocs.Viewer for Java Trigger Customization
GroupDocs.Viewer for Java, our HTML5 universal document reader, supports a number of in-built JavaScript triggers that control how files are viewed. We've written an article that lists them and shows how to use them. Read the article.
How Can We Help You?
Do you have ideas for what you'd like to see us do in the coming months? Take a minute to tell us.
Integrations and New Cloud API Samples
Product Releases And Updates
GroupDocs.Total for .NET – The latest release of our .NET libraries. GroupDocs.Viewer for Java 2.4.0 – Diagram file support for JDK 1.6 and various fixes.
GroupDocs.Annotation for .NET 1.5.0 – Updated database schema and other enhancements and fixes. GroupDocs.Conversion for Java 1.5.0 – Support for a number of new annotation tools and fixes.
GroupDocs.Conversion for .NET 1.3.6 – Improved conversion and various fixes.

Build Custom Electronic Signature Workflows in Your ASP.NET, C#, VB.NET Apps

GroupDocs Signature for .NET LibraryGreetings!

Here at GroupDocs, we provide document collaboration apps available for different platforms: .NET, Java and Cloud. One such app is a legally-binding electronic signature service called GroupDocs.Signature. The core functionality of the app is the same for all platforms. The difference is only in platform-specific functionality. For example, the GroupDocs.Signature for Cloud App is tailored to end-users (businesses and individuals) and have lots of user-oriented support features and options. You may wonder how such customization can be achieved with the downloadable GroupDocs.Signature for .NET library, designed specifically for developers to be easy to implement/integrate it into their existing apps/projects. In this article I'll show you an example. In particular, I'd like to show the flexibility of the GroupDocs.Signature for .NET library, which allows developers to build custom electronic signature apps with whatever signature workflow they need.

But first, a few more words about the GroupDocs.Signature for .NET library itself. It's an electronic signature .NET library that has a flexible API which allows developers to either build new e-signature services, or enhance their existing apps with electronic signature capability. The library provides rich out-of-the-box functionality and controls that are quite enough to build electronic signature services of any complexity, including:

  • Electronic signature capture control for capturing signatures drawn with a mouse, touch or stylus.
  • Signature audit trails and anti-tempering functionality designed to prevent unauthorized document manipulation and guarantee the genuineness of documents and signatures.
  • Support for all common business document formats, including PDF, Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OpenDocument formats, etc.
  • Intuitive UI and wizards that help end users prepare, send and get documents signed easily.
  • Powerful contact and signature management tools, email reminders and notifications, etc.

The GroupDocs.Signature for .NET library is lightweight and can be integrated into any .NET project, be it an ASP.NET or console/desktop application.

In the following article, we'd like to show how the GroupDocs.Signature API can be used to build a simple yet flexible electronic signature service that allows several recipients to complete and sign documents anytime, everywhere. In addition to that, we've prepared code examples and documentation that should help you explore the library quickly.

Go to the article >>>

Working with Forms and Envelopes in the GroupDocs.Signature for Cloud App

GroupDocs.Signature for Cloud App - IconHi, everyone!

The Cloud platform from GroupDocs offers a number of applications designed to help businesses and individuals collaborate on documents. One such app is GroupDocs.Signature. It is a secure and legally binding e-signature service that allows you to sign documents online right from a web-browser. With GroupDocs.Signature you can streamline the document pre-processing, signing and post-processing workflows to get documents signed faster and make them easier to manage.

One of GroupDocs.Signature remarkable features is the ability to add merge fields to documents when you need signers to enter some details before actually signing a document (for example first name, last name, date, order quote, etc.). Documents that have such fields can be completed and signed online. GroupDocs.Signature supports different types of fields, including text, drop-downs, radio buttons, checkboxes, and attachments.

Depending on the type of document you want to get signed (and filled with signers details), you can prepare it as a simple form or as an envelope. To help you decide which option you should choose and how to manage forms, we've prepared a couple of quick guides for you:

The difference between an envelope and a form >>>
Working with forms >>>

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