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Viewer for Delphi

Posted on 2002-05-15
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Last Modified: 2013-11-23
I need a third party component for viewing many different files :
Word
Excel
Acrobat PDF
All Images
.... (As many File Formats as possible)

It should be possible to draw over the viewer. For example to load a word docoment and to draw same lines or a signature over the word file (the original word file shouldn't be edited - it's a overlay where i can paint)
Where can i find such components ?

One component i allready found : Spicer but this is very expansive (over 500 ? per License - you need for every application saled a license)

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Question by:Dev6
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by:robert_marquardt
ID: 7010614
Forget about it.
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by:aikimark
ID: 7011262
Do your clients have the application software (Word, Excel, Acrobat) on their PC?  If so, you might create an ActiveX object on your form and "display" the contents.

You would then need to overlay the ActiveX control with a "transparent" canvas.  If a truly transparent canvas can't be found, then display a snapshot image of the underlying object on the non-transparent canvas.  The trick is to record the user actions and images and then synchronize the saved data with the documents.

Note: if your users aren't licensed to use the software, you have some legal problems to overcome.  That is likely the reason the software you found was so expensive.

=============================================
If you translate the original documents into a TIFF image, you can add annotations and overlays quite easily to that.

=============================================
Look at Imagelib and its competitors.
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by:Gwena
ID: 7011283
Microsoft makes a living from creating file formats that are hard to figure out... they also love to embrace and extend everyone elses formats.. the other guys do the same thing in a smaller way.  So I think that the chances of finding a muti-purpose component to handle all these file types is pretty unlikely :-(

If you manage to create such a component then check with MS... they would give you big money to deep-six it and agree never to tell anyone about it ;-)  the linux guys would have a lot of fun with such a component if it worked on Kylix....

p.s. Hmmmm... I don't even think Word can read all of the Word file formats???
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by:swift99
ID: 7012984
Perhaps you need to re-architect your solution to the original business problem.

Rather than a single component, you need a class that is smart enough to use the correct existing system resources (M$ Word, Adobe Acrobat Reader, Web browser) for each document type.  In fact ... the information is all in the registry already.  Do as Window$ does and look up the extention in the registry, then get the class id of the apprpriate viewer, then instantiate the ActiveX control in your window.  

Be sure to correctly release the ActiveX control when you are done - set its value to Unassigned.  Since many M$ components operate asynchronously, failure to manage the Variant containers correctly can have interesting results.
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Author Comment

by:Dev6
ID: 7018062
The problem is, that not all Clients have installed the correct applications.
For example, the havn't installed office, but would like to view the word document.

As said, the component Spicer can do all that, but i need a component which is roality free.


regards
Andreas
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by:aikimark
ID: 7018154
1. Microsoft has "viewers" for some of its file formats that are free.

2. How did these documents get on a user's hard drive if they don't have the installed software to create the documents?

3. If these documents are yours, distribute them in a standard format (Adobe).  You do the converting.
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by:Dev6
ID: 7018179
It's some kind of EMail Client, which loads the EMail and you can preview the EMail and the attachments.
And for intern documentation, you can write some text to the word file (this would be done, as an overlay over the word file and is saved in an extra file)
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by:aikimark
ID: 7019728
Then limit yourself to the software supported by the user's licenses.  Keep it legal and simple.  Ask yourself "What would a user do if they received an email attachment in a format their (licensed) software couldn't translate?"
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by:swift99
ID: 7021439
Make it a policy that everyone uses the same software to do internal documentation, or at least to keep internal documentation in a common format.  RTF and HTML are open standards that are easy to display and are recognized by most serious office packages.
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by:Dev6
ID: 7023478
But i CAN'T tell every people who sends our customer e-mails not to use Word or Excel or some other application. The other way, to tell every customer you have to buy Excel, Word, .... but he needs the application only because he gets every week two or three Word docoments, which he has to view, isn't the solution.
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by:swift99
ID: 7023945
You don't need a custom app.  You need StarOffice!

It's inexpensive from Sun Microsystems, reads and writes M$ Office files, among other things.  I believe that the purchase price with media is about $80.00.  It used to be available for free download, but I think they charge a bit for it now.

I haven't used version 6, but I have heard that is is much better than version 5.2 that I use.

www.sun.com
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by:Dev6
ID: 7023962
I don't like to install any software, i would like to have a viewer, which can view all these files.
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by:aikimark
ID: 7023969
Microsoft has viewers for free
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by:swift99
ID: 7024338
Then aikimark's got the answer.
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Author Comment

by:Dev6
ID: 7024398
But isn't there somewhere (expect Spicer) a Tool, which can view all these (and more) file formats without haveing installing dozen of viewers ?
Is there really only spicer which include all formats into one tool ?
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by:swift99
ID: 7024413
I bet that Spicer is simply a thin wrapper around the various viewers, since most of them are encapsulated as ActiveX controls.  That makes the technical task trivial.

I suspect that they purchased redistribution rights to a number of viewers, which would explain the expense.  

You appear to have a choice - repeat their work of collecting and installing the viewer software (by which time you will understand why the product costs what it does), pay them (and their vendors) for the effort they went through in obtaining distribution licenses, or install an office suite that will read all of the formats you want.
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by:Dev6
ID: 7024479
No, Spicer isn't a wrapper, you can view all these formats without having the original installed !
Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Acrobat, DXF, IGES all Bitmaps, ....
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by:swift99
ID: 7024515
Not a wrapper for the full  Word, Excel, etcetera application ... but for a set of ActiveX viewers?  Or wrapper around the format owner's licensed C/C++ code to view the formats?
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by:EvgenyCh
ID: 7696354
we have such component. Viewer of TGraphic. By now it allosw dxf, wmf, jpg, bmp. Soon we make svg support.
http://www.soft-gold.ru/Download/DXF.zip
info@soft-gold.ru
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