Author Topic: My suggestions  (Read 5606 times)

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elsni

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My suggestions
« on: September 07, 2008, 10:08:10 PM »
Hi, these are my suggestions after working a few days with the trial version. Very useful program!

I started writing a similar program by myself in C#, but development stopped because I did not finda a free lib for displaying pdf as thumbnails without having acrobat reader installed (I use foxit).

I need a software like PDFExplorer to organize scanned invoices, contracts, correspondence and technical white papers, store them on a usb flash drive to use that library on any pc I currently work on.

The followind ideas come from my own program, which is (better: would be) similar to PDFExplorer but focusses on organization of pdf and managemant of invoices (like sum up amounts in a folder of invoices) because I also want to use the software for the taxes.

Idea #1: metadata as xml
It would be useful to have document metadata stored in an xml file besides the documents in a folder. I mean one xml file for every folder managed by PDFExplorer. The advantage is that pdf files can be stored on removable media (usb flash) along with metadata in human readable form.

Idea #2: link layout type to folder
Memorize which folder uses which grid layout. I use different grid layouts for i.e. invoices and contracts since contracts do not need value columns, and it would be nice when the layout switches automatically when selecting the "invoices" or "contracts" folder.

Idea #3: calculated fields
I would like to have calculated field like (net)*(vat) where net and vat are fields with numerical value custom fields

Idea #4: Table sum
It would be cool to sum up numerical fields in the search table. maybe right-click on column headline->sum

Idea #5: Portable Version of PDFExplorer
It would be great to store the software itself an a usb flash memory and use it on any windows pc without installation. That implies having the database on the flash drive as well.

Idea #6: Opposite of Batch rename
Batch fill metadata from filename. I got hundrets of files with [date]_[id].pdf like  031_080715.pdf, and I added custom columns for ID and issue date. It would be nice to batch fill them

Idea #7: Make PDFExplorer more like Explorer
Windows-Explorer like tree-view to reorganize files with drag & drop.

Idea #8: Grid edit
Excel-like edit directly in the grids

What do yout think? Thanks for creating this software, I will buy it soon.
Stephan

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Re: My suggestions
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2008, 10:05:00 PM »
Quote from: elsni
Idea #1: metadata as xml
It would be useful to have document metadata stored in an xml file besides the documents in a folder. I mean one xml file for every folder managed by PDFExplorer. The advantage is that pdf files can be stored on removable media (usb flash) along with metadata in human readable form.
When PDF Explorer edits metadata, the update is done in the database and the PDF file itself (if file stored on writable media), so, if you port the PDF file, the metadata goes with it. Knowing this, why there is a need to have an extra file to store the same data?

Quote from: elsni
Idea #2: link layout type to folder
Memorize which folder uses which grid layout. I use different grid layouts for i.e. invoices and contracts since contracts do not need value columns, and it would be nice when the layout switches automatically when selecting the "invoices" or "contracts" folder.
This is a good one, and I have think about this myself. What's your idea about what to do when files from different folders are in the same grid? This can easily happen when browsing sub-folders or when DBDisk or DBSearch scan modes are used to fill the grid. Files from different disk drives can also coexist in the same grid.

Quote from: elsni
Idea #3: calculated fields
I would like to have calculated field like (net)*(vat) where net and vat are fields with numerical value custom fields.
Dynamic column filled by, Grid layout specific, custom defined expressions involving mathematical operations that can access other column numeric values?

Quote from: elsni
Idea #4: Table sum
It would be cool to sum up numerical fields in the search table. maybe right-click on column headline->sum
A always on top window, to where user can add expressions and get a Name=Value output for all of these entered expressions automatically updated every time grid  contents change, to calculate/show totals?

Quote from: elsni
Idea #5: Portable Version of PDFExplorer
It would be great to store the software itself an a usb flash memory and use it on any windows pc without installation. That implies having the database on the flash drive as well.
Currently there is a command line parameter that can redirect the folder where PDFE search for database and configuration files. It was developed to enable multiple instances/configuration run at same system but could be used for what you propose.
Just add a dbpath=YourCustomDatabaseFolder parameter to a shortcut to the PDFExplorer.exe and you get your portable application. You just need to copy all your PDF Explorer installation contents folder to the Flash disk, and create a shortcut to where you add the parameter. Now call that shortcut every time you want to start it from the flash disk. You can even auto start it every time the flash disk is inserted  ;)

Example: (Adapt paths to your system)
1- Copy your C:\Program Files\PDF Explorer folder to your Flash disk.
2 -Create a folder inside your flash disk PDF Explorer folder and name it "Data"
3- Now create a shortcut, in your flash disk root, to the PDF Explorer\PDFExplorer.exe and  add a "dbpath=PDF Explorer\Data" parameter to the shortcut target field.

Now you only have to call that shortcut and you get your portable version. Not completely portable because some of the cfg parameters are keep in the registry (I need to change this behavior too) so whenever you change computer PDFE will look for these parameters at the local registry and use default ones if none found, and create new ones when program exit, but at least the database is portable.

Quote from: elsni
Idea #6: Opposite of Batch rename
Batch fill metadata from filename. I got hundrets of files with [date]_[id].pdf like  031_080715.pdf, and I added custom columns for ID and issue date. It would be nice to batch fill them
Use the full filename to fill a metadata field is already possible with the EditInfoFields batch tool, where you can reference any field(s) (including filename) to construct one field content. Parsing/extracting partial content from one field content is not a current possibility but the idea is great and now I only need to figure out what is the best technique to extract that partial content (regular expressions, string length based function, etc..)

Quote from: elsni
Idea #7: Make PDFExplorer more like Explorer
Windows-Explorer like tree-view to reorganize files with drag & drop.

Idea #8: Grid edit
Excel-like edit directly in the grids
TODO for next major version evolution. Not current main goals.

Quote from: elsni
What do yout think?
Excellent, and I thank you for that  ;). From a developer we can only expect good ideas :D
For sure I'm going to add some of these to next release.