Document Express Desktop Edition

An investigative report by PlanetDjVu, March 20, 2003

While our request to review the product called "Document Express Desktop Edition" has been turned down by LizardTech, and no user has come forward to tell us that they have any experience with this application, we nevertheless have some information (and questions) now, thanks to a Help file page for Document Express Desktop Edition that was included by mistake in the recently-released DjVu Web Browser Plugin 4.0 upgrade.

If you have installed Plugin 4.0, you will not find this Help page in the menu, but you WILL find it if you search the Help file for the word "annotation".

Here is the text of this stray Help page:
Document Express Desktop Edition
Document Express Desktop Edition combines a powerful set of applications that enable end-users to view, encode, scan, and edit DjVu documents. The newest set of functionality is a robust annotation capability. With these tools, you can now comment on, highlight, mark, and measure any DjVu document. Additionally, with the enhanced new LizardTech Virtual Printer (LVP), you can convert virtually any Windows-based document directly into DjVu. With ease, the LVP encodes any kind of Microsoft Office document, including Word, Excel, Project, and PowerPoint. In addition, users find the functionality extremely convenient in converting large engineering drawings, CAD diagrams, web pages, and even PDF files.

In addition to these exciting new features, Desktop also includes scanning and editing functionality within DjVu Editor. Using the Editor application, a user can combine DjVu documents, insert shapes and hyperlinks as well as headers and footers, and add a range of effects such as thumbnails, background coloring, and slide shows, to existing documents. In addition, DjVu Editor enables direct scanning of single pages into DjVu format, or conversion from any standard document format, such as JPEG, GIF, TIFF, iw44, pnm, and Mac Pict.

Finally, Desktop includes the latest DjVu Browser Plug-in, eliminating the need to download the latest viewer from This will also provide a convenient way for all users to ensure the full range of capabilities on every desktop - create, convert, capture, and view.

OK, now we understand for the first time that LizardTech uses the name "Document Express Desktop Edition" to refer to more than one tool, instead of just the upgrade to the former DjVu Solo executable.

We now understand that the term "DjVu Editor" refers to an excutable file that includes scanning. Previously, "DjVu Editor 3.5" was a version of DjVu Solo Commercial Edition that did NOT include scanning or encoding, just file editing.

We see that the "DjVu Virtual Print Driver" is now renamed to "LizardTech Virtual Printer".

We also read that you can "mark" and "measure" a DjVu file. This is our first introduction to these terms, and we don't exactly know what this means.

Well, that is what what we have learned. It is strange to be reporting from a stray help file page that was included by mistake in the plugin Help file, instead of reporting from an actual specification sheet, press release or indeed, from actually seeing the software. It is challenging to keep up with the many rebranding efforts of LizardTech for the DjVu software.

We are doing our best to separate fact from marketing hype and to present you with the facts in these troubling times for DjVu, when facts take a back seat to product posturing and re-posturing by LizardTech, and when we can no longer rely on DjVuZone to give us the facts as we could in the past, DjVuZone has been frozen for 15 months now. We do not fault the volunteers who maintain DjVuZone, however. They are not affiliated with LizardTech, and are likely as much in the dark as we are here at PlanetDjVu.

We still don't know if Document Express Desktop Edition and other LizardTech products for DjVu support OCR (Optical Character Recognition) anymore, or whether this important feature has been dropped. There is no mention of OCR on the LizardTech website in DjVu products. Very strange.

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