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View multi-page online TIFFs in Safari via a plug-in Web Browsers
In my day job, I am often searching through U.S. and European patents, and naturally I like to save and print the interesting patents. The USPTO presents a plain-text version that is searchable but not terribly readable, and a TIFF image of the original patent.

Why they use TIFF instead of PDF or GIF is beyond me. The QuickTime plug-in gives Mac OS X users the ability to view these TIFFs, but not to save or print the whole multi-page image (you can save one page at a time). In fact, the image is usually much larger than the frame in which it is displayed, necessitating scrolling in every which direction. The USPTO provides a link to a Windows plug-in, but only suggests QuickTime for Mac users.

Luckily, there's a Safari plug-in that makes working with TIFFs in webpages not only easier, but a pleasure. It's called Accel ViewTIFF ($49), from Acordex. It has some very nice features, including the ability to zoom in or out and to save or print every image associated with a patent in one operation, without having to manually page through the patent and save or print each page. It works with most TIFF formats, so it's good for much more than just USPTO patent images. Oddly enough, it seems to be poorly known; there are, for instance, no references to it here on macosxhints.

Of course, there are also stand-alone programs like Patent Grabber ($15) and Pronto Patent ($29) that will automatically download and save the images as TIFF or PDF.

[robg adds: I tried the plug-in, and it worked very well, making short work of saving a 15-page patent. It almost, but not quite, works in Camino, too (the plug-in loads, but the buttons on its interface aren't clickable). If I worked constantly with online multi-page TIFFs all day, this would be money well spent, given its feature set. I did not test the other two programs.]
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View multi-page online TIFFs in Safari via a plug-in | 2 comments | Create New Account
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Authored by: jscotta on Feb 23, '06 08:50:27AM

Acordex is also an interesting company if you are in a business that deals with a lot of paper and you want to convert that paper workflow to an electronic one. They have a full suite of document imaging applications.

No. I don't work for them nor to I get any consideration for saying this. I have consulted with organizations that have used their products. So I am just passing along the good word.

Windows because I have to. OS X because I want to.

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Don't forget Preview
Authored by: TimBonnici on Feb 23, '06 03:00:06PM

For anyone who only has to open a multi-page TIFF once in a blue moon, don't forget that Preview can view all the pages if you can save the file. Obviously this isn't directly applicable to this case as the hint is about inline TIFF viewing but I thought it was worth mentioning.

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