[Feature suggestion] Self-contained saved sessions

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soremo
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[Feature suggestion] Self-contained saved sessions

Post by soremo » Tue Jan 05, 2021 10:38 pm

Hi there,

To me, the ability to save sessions of open PDF files so that it is possible to quickly reopen the same PDF files arranged in windows and tabs in the same way as before is one of the most valuable and distinguishing features of PDF-XChange Editor. Many thanks for this!

However, a saved session (i.e. a file with the .xcesession extension) requires that the PDF files which it references exist at certain paths (either absolute or relative to the session file). This complicates collaboration with remote colleagues on these files, since in each case not only the session file but also all PDF files must be transferred and then saved to the correct file paths. Of course, this is feasible, but also error-prone.

This is why I suggest defining a new self-contained session file format (or extending the current session file format to be self-contained). The session file is then a container which contains not only the information where to find the PDF files to be opened and in which way they should be arranged, but also the PDF files themselves. For example, such a self-contained session file format could be based on the ZIP file format or even on the PDF file format, which, as far as I know, is itself a container file format given that it can contain other files as attachments.

In my opinion, being able to save sessions to such self-contained session files would significantly simplify sharing sets of PDF files together with their session information and make collaboration on such sets much more convenient.

What do you think?

Best,
soremo

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TrackerSupp-Daniel
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Re: [Feature suggestion] Self-contained saved sessions

Post by TrackerSupp-Daniel » Wed Jan 06, 2021 12:30 am

Hi, soremo

We have seen a few requests of this ilk, and while it may be possible, it would be much more complex than it sounds on paper. We are considering it, but at the moment cannot guarantee that it is something we will be able to offer in the near future.

Kind regards,
Daniel McIntyre
Support Technician
Tracker Software Products (Canada) LTD

Support: <Support@tracker-software.com>
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soremo
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Re: [Feature suggestion] Self-contained saved sessions

Post by soremo » Mon Feb 22, 2021 2:11 pm

Hi Daniel,

Thanks for your reply. I totally understand that you have other priorities.

However, at least some basic functionality would already be very helpful and hopefully not overly complex to implement:

I suggest adding a checkbox to the "Save Current Session to a File" dialog; if this checkbox is checked, all open documents that are not already in the same folder where the session file will be saved (or in any of its subfolders) are saved into that folder prior to acutally saving the session file (with relative paths). That way, this folder can then be zipped manually and passed around to collaborators. This would exclude the risk of passing around a session file without the documents which it refers to.

It would be great if you would give my suggestion some consideration.

Best regards,

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Tracker Supp-Stefan
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Re: [Feature suggestion] Self-contained saved sessions

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Mon Feb 22, 2021 4:12 pm

Hello soremo,

While we are considering this - an alternative is the PDF Portfolio - you can include all the files you want as attachments to a main document - and then distribute that instead of a session. And you are guaranteed that your recipients will be able to open that portfolio irrespective of the PDF viewer they use (as your sessions suggestion would require that your recipient also has our Editor and a version of it that can recognize those sessions).

Kind regards,
Stefan

soremo
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Re: [Feature suggestion] Self-contained saved sessions

Post by soremo » Mon Feb 22, 2021 5:14 pm

Thank you Stefan for your reply, but I think your alternative approaches miss the point.

Of course, I can share a set of PDF files with colleagues, be it as individual files, as a zipped folder, as attachments to a main document or as parts of a PDF portfolio. But what I seek to achieve is to share the session, i.e. how the documents are arranged in tabs and windows (in my opinion, the incredible flexibility in arranging documents - even multiple views of the same documents - in tabs and windows is one of the most valuable and distinctive features of PDF-XChange Editor!), together with the files.

Adding real collaboration features is certainly not an easy task. But I would consider the feature that I suggested in my previous post to be a small, though rather helpul first step in that direction.

Please have a further look into this.

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Tracker Supp-Stefan
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Re: [Feature suggestion] Self-contained saved sessions

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Wed Feb 24, 2021 12:47 pm

Hello soremo,

Thanks for the follow up!
I do see your point - but I am afraid that for the time being it's not possible to achieve this exactly in the way you describe it.
Maybe if you are sharing with colleagues - and all of you have access to the same network share - you can store your files on that share, and then just share the session file that we can already generate - and if your colleagues have the same share mapped the same way - they will be able to open your session and load all the files from the network location.

Kind regards,
Stefan

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