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The New Office and PDF Documents Viewer in LogicalDOC 7.6; Impressive!

Alessandro Gasparini LogicalDOC News, Productivity, Technologies


Last month, LogicalDOC 7.6 was released, and some extraordinary features introduced. This is the Extendable framework for document storage, Document Conversion, Direct Storage on remote servers (SMBs), Office and PDF Preview, and much more (check Release Notes for more details).

Today’s blog will focus on the new preview feature we’ve built to view Office and PDF documents in LogicalDOC 7.6. It’s a killer feature that end users will love. For once, instead of talking for hours on a blog, I captured a short video that will speak for itself. In this video, I have a simple Word document and an OpenOffice/LibreOffice ODT document (OpenDocument Text) of 456 pages (yes, you got me right, 456)!

As you will see in this video, there are many things I can do by using this Office and PDF document viewer:

  • Scroll one page after another
  • Scroll to the last page, using the scrollbar: you can see that the pages appear when stopping scrolling
  • Zoom: All possible zoom options are available so that end users can set the zoom exactly as they want
  • Use Switch to Page Number
  • Search for anything (I’ve searched for “process”), and also the interesting option “Highlight all”
  • Thumbnail view to go to specific pages

If your document has an index (an original PDF with an index table, typically), you can also navigate using this index. And last but not least, this preview works essentially for any file that can be converted to pdf: Word, PowerPoint, Excel etc.

There are also some special aspects of this process that take place behind the scene. For example, when you preview a large pdf, the user can start displaying it immediately while the rest of the pages are updated in the background. So, you do not have to wait for a whole 1,000 pages of pdf to be fully loaded to start reading it!
Great right?

The good news is that there is no additional configuration to do to get this feature: it’s already on the platform and it’s free – free, with no installation and no configuration!

Now, let’s talk about some technical details:

  • This new feature uses PDF.js. It’s a Mozilla project – it already exists and does a good job! We try to avoid reinventing the wheel as much as possible, especially when we know that there is something widely known, widely tested and largely reliable.
  • When the original document is not a pdf, it must be converted to a server-side PDF (by default, using the LibreOffice converter). So, if the file is large, the first conversion may take a few seconds. Conversion is cached, so the next time a user accesses the same file is immediately available.
  • In the past, LogicalDOC used OpenOffice to perform document conversion, but today we recommend installing LibreOffice (5.3) and modifying the configuration of your instance so that it can be used. We have made this change to provide our customers with the best conversion quality and system stability. (LogicalDOC is compatible with LibreOffice since version 6.8.4)

Want to know more about LogicalDOC?

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Alessandro Gasparini

CTO for LogicalDOC from 2015, software and testing enthusiast. I'm responsible for some technological choices made in the design and of some of the artifacts that make up the galaxy of this document management system.