Why document managers switch to PCL and HPGL
People who manage documents and document workflow are learning about the advantages of PCL and HPGL over PDF for large, high resolution, mission-critical documents. Here are some of their stories:

HPGL vs. PDF Stories   

PCL vs. PDF Stories   

“We'd been using Win2PDF to convert our printfiles into PDF so our document recipients can use Acrobat, but it'd been messing up our fonts, putting whitespace inside people's names, etc."

“We’re viewing expense reports on the company's intranet. We tried to work with PDF but we didn't have much control over it.  SwiftView’s pulled us out of a bind.  Accounting is married to this spreadsheet and the only way we can view it on the intranet is in PCL with the SwiftView plugin."

“Your product did a nice job of viewing the PCL report with none of the idiosyncrasies I saw in the PDF generation results."

“We prefer PCL because all our customers have HP printers, not all of which support PostScript/PDF.   As our documents are information-sensitive, we're very concerned with true WYSIWYG and our customers need confidence that the files they get from us are the originals.  The nice thing about PCL is that we're using the exact original.   Also, if my printer dies at document #180 out of 200, SwiftView will show me the point at which it broke."

“We've been given access to the agency’s datastream before printing.  Using SwiftView, we can make these documents available through the web to clients interested in seeing them, as well as being able to print them as needed without the massive filesizes and the additional conversion step of PDF.  Viewing is the important piece, but printing is also needed.  The printing would occur on the huge variety of clients’ printers, basically whatever they can do through the Windows printer drivers they have. Readability is key throughout."

“This looks good. I was looking for a product to view PCL files that I have been trying to encode.  The use that you intend is much better than Acrobat files and I look forward to seeing this replace PDF as a common file platform."

PCL doesn't cost anything, it's easy to do, there's no training and it prints anywhere.  For architects to put specs in PDF, it's a nightmare inside a nightmare."

PDF files are profoundly less efficient the bigger they get.  Large PDF files are unbearably slow to deal with."

“I am quite pleased with the functionality of SwiftView, it allows me to view multiple file formats quickly and easily.  We had thought of going to PDF files but this requires additional software and is proprietary.  I like what I have seen thus far and am going to propose that all imaging applications utilize this viewer."

“We've got seven thousand users just in Texas, everybody posting documents from all kinds of software, and we can't afford to buy SEVEN THOUSAND copies of PDF Writer."

PCL is easier to handle and print our home lending apps remotely. PDF alters the format." [Alter format, alter content . . .]

PDF is absolutely out of the question.  PDF has absolutely horrid print quality."

“This big PS [PostScript] wrapper grinds out horribly verbose files in an arcane language that few people understand.   PCL and SwiftView are preferrable."

“SwiftView's light in its system impact. It's fast and easy to use on PCL, which is a whole lot easier to create than PDF which is sizable and sluggish.  With PCL, just print to file and it's done."

“Thanks a lot for pointing everything out. PCL and SwiftView are good alternatives to the bloated Adobe stuff.”

HPGL Stories

HPGL is far preferable to PDF.  At my old company we kept our engineering files in PDF.  They took forever to load and even when viewing them on-screen, which was really slow, you were only viewing a portion of the whole document.  SwiftView works great on our Pro-E files.”

“We've got serious concerns with putting our mechanical drawings and electrical schematics in PDF, you lose the ability to print a zoomed image, for one thing.  SwiftView also gives us the ability to do a lot with straight HPGL and it also views our legacy TIFF library.”

“SwiftView's the best viewer we've seen.  It's our primary viewer now.  Everybody's really pleased with the use of HPGL plotfiles instead of converting Pro-E drawings into PDFs.  We had a huge timelag with the PDF conversions.  Creating an HPGL plotfile straight from Pro-E takes one tenth the time of our automated PDF converter.  The line weights are consistent now whereas PDF had distortions, the drawings are easier to handle and not needing Acrobat anymore, and there's one less Plug-in to deal with.  We've got SwiftView for HPGLs and TIFFs and the AutoCAD Plug-in for their format, and that's all we need.”

“I've been really impressed with SwiftView.  Just on the control side, its capabilities and functionality, there's so much you can do with it.  Reading compressed HPGL is a big plus over PDF.   We run into resistance from clients who want to use PDF instead of HPGL - or they're using both formats.  They just don't know the differences.  Our end users copy drawings from the PDM systems in HPGL format because it takes too long to generate in the native CAD formats.  They don't need to build off them, these are people in Purchasing, on the shop floor, suppliers, who only need a quick view.  SwiftView's great.”

“Your viewer worked outstanding.  A coworker received a drawing file from a supplier in a .cal file format.   He did not have the software to open the file and I have never run across this file extension before (I'm an administrative not an engineering person.)  The supplier told us to use the SwiftView viewer.   It worked perfectly: the drawing file opened excellently, and I was able to quickly print the drawing my friend required.  It was also definitely much easier to use than any other piece of software I have tried, and the quality of the image looked and printed much better than any Adobe file.  Swiftview worked FLAWLESSLY.”

“As a PDM analyst, I'm in the process of evaluating middleware right now, and selecting viewers is one of the most time-consuming things there is.  First you look for something universal, a panacea, then you realize that's not practical.  We tried converting our drawings to PDF on the fly using Acrobat Distiller, but it took too long, Acrobat wouldn't print an E-sized CAD back to the original, and there were other irritations.  Precision scaling isn't much of an issue with vectors - a line is a line - but as 80% of our archive is dots, we really like SwiftView's ability to zoom in and print.  This is something Acrobat cannot do.  SwiftView flows nicely into our PDM system.  We wasted a good week on Acrobat.  PDF is fine for small stuff but not production CADs.  If you only knew ahead of time what would happen down the road.”

Learn more about why PCL and HPGL beat PDF

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