Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Built-In PDF Files and More! PDF File Support in DBDOC 10.7

You all have PDF files, integral to the support of many systems. DBDOC now supports them in an unprecedented way.

DBDOC has supported viewing PDF files with a PDF viewer for many years. This has been very useful. However, this support lacked the full suite of features that are integral to DBDOC. The new support adds these critical features:
  • You can search for text in all the PDF documents you build in at once. Conventional searching is limited to the document you have open.
  • You can have links from the PDF file to tags in your DCS configuration. This means you can simply double-click on the tag name link and go to its source on a CLD or CAD sheet.
  • You can also have links from the PDF file to other documents. Since DBDOC supports AutoCAD, Microstation, PDF files as well as your DCS configuration and graphics files, this can give you powerful inter-connections in your documention.
Let's look at the three ways that PDF files are now supported in DBDOC.
  1. The new support to compile them into the M14
  2. The existing support to link external files to be viewed by a PDF viewer
  3. The existing support to the Function Code PDF file documentation from ABB

1. Compiling PDF files into the M14

You can now view and browse pdf files directly in Hyperview.  For most people, this support will simply replace the linking they used to do. DBDOC will be even more useful than it was. Searching, tag  and document links will be automatic. You will find it natural and satisfying.

2. Linking external PDF files to be viewed by a PDF viewer

So why would you link PDF files? One client has a very solid application involving maintenance orders. By linking fixed file names to the most recent version of the document, people get to the current version. When it is updated, the new version is linked, because the name has not changed.

This feature remains supported, so you can have very good access to the information in PDF files by compiling them, while supporting access to system-wide documents by name.

3. Supporting the Function Code PDF file documentation from ABB

DBDOC implements support for calling up the ABB Function Code PDF file information by a "right-click" on the function block image. The feature works for individual files, plus for one-volume and two-volume document sets.

Where do we go from here?

We are at the starting point in our development of this support. Your feedback about things we ought to think about will be very useful. The support is important to DCS systems supported by DBDOC.


  1. This is a great start. We have some teething problems but happy to continue to troubleshoot and commend this much needed support being added to DBDOC.

    I have just built a 3700+ page PDF document into DBDOC with full tag recognition. However it is A3 landscape and has some issues with matching the hotspots to the tag reference in the document.

  2. Thanks, Andrew. We look forward to experimenting with your data to see if we can do even better. My 1962 Shorter Oxford English Dictionary only has 2515 pages, so we have not done much testing at that page count.