Embedding DjVu in MS Office Documents

A presentation by PlanetDjVu, March 13, 2003

DjVu ActiveX Control for Microsoft Office is a Win32 utility that allows the computer user to insert DjVu image files into three Microsoft Windows applications: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft PowerPoint.

ActiveX enables software components to interact with one another in a networked environment, regardless of the language in which the components were created. ActiveX is an updated version of Object Linking and Embedding (OLE): a method of combining information that is processed by different application programs, such as inserting a drawing or a portion of a spreadsheet into a word processing document.

With a DjVu image file embedded in a Microsoft Office file, you can then send that file electronically to someone else. When the recipient of the file opens it, they will be able to view an image, but will need to have DjVu ActiveX Control installed in order to manipulate a DjVu image. Any computer with Microsoft Office software will display the DjVu image, but full functionality will be available only if the computer also contains DjVu ActiveX Control for Microsoft Office.

Viewing a DjVu image on a computer with DjVu ActiveX Control installed:

The DjVu image will appear, with full functionality. The user will be able to zoom in and out of and pan the image. If the image contains multiple pages, the user will be able to navigate the document using the right-click option menu, and to print all the document pages.

Viewing a DjVu image on a computer without DjVu ActiveX Control installed:

DjVu ActiveX Control generates a bitmap image of the cover page of the DjVu document, and this image will appear on the user's screen. If the DjVu image contains multiple pages, the pages will not appear, and only the bitmap image will be printable. None of the DjVu navigation features will be available.

Viewing MS Office Documents with Embedded DjVu on the Web
What has not been documented before is that you can save a Word file with Embedded DjVu as an HTML file, and then that file can be viewed on the web with all of the features of the DjVu ActiveX Control that are found on the desktop. In order for this to work, you either have to have a copy of MS Office on your computer, or the free MS Word Viewer, and of course you need to install the DjVu ActiveX Control.

We have taken the same 5-page DjVu Article that we used in another article, "Multiple Index Files for a Single INDIRECT DjVu, and we have embedded this using the DjVu ActiveX Control into a Word document, which we than saved in Word (.DOC) format, in HTML, and in .RTF format. The DjVu article is actually embedded inside these files. The .RTF file is very large, but the Word and HTML files are just slightly larger than the DjVu file by itself.

Please note that that the keys for page navigation do not work on the web, so you must navigate the pages of the article using the right-click navigation menu. This navigation key problem also occurs with the full DjVu plugin when the DjVu file is embedded in an HTML file, as was recently discussed in the PlanetDjVu forum.

If you open the .DOC file and it is displayed by the full Microsoft Word application, then by default, the Design Mode icon of the Control Toolbox appears. Click the Design Mode icon to deselect it. If the Control Toolbox does not appear on your application, select it from Tools>Customize>Control Toolbox. You must exit Design Mode in order to have access to the right-click menu items of the DjVu file.

Online Help File for the DjVu ActiveX Control
The help file for the DjVu ActiveX Control is well-written and complete. We refer you to this for futher information on using the DjVu ActiveX Control.

Download and Installation Instructions
Simply download the setup file to a temporary folder, and then run it to install the DjVu ActiveX Control.


The Help File for the DjVu ActiveX Control 3.0 states the following:

The LizardTech Knowledge Base contains articles about known technical issues and is frequently updated.

To access Knowledge Base, visit www.lizardtech.com/support.

To download the most up-to-date version of a LizardTech viewer at no cost, visit www.lizardtech.com/products.

Please note that LizardTech no longer provides an up-to-date knowledge base, and no longer provides a download link for this application. The links referenced in the help file no longer work. If fact, this application was abandoned by LizardTech last year without explanation, along with two other applications, DjVu Solo 3.1 and the DjVu Release Script for Ascent Capture.

We have found no other link or reference to the DjVu ActiveX Control for MS Office on the web, so we are, in effect, resurrecting it here for your benefit!

Why would LizardTech abandon such as well-engineered application?  Well, there was a change of management, and the current management decided that there would be "no more free applications for anybody". A visit to the LizardTech website should make it clear that LizardTech no longer cares to encourage or support a DjVu user community.  This is more than a shame, it is also stupid. Algo-Luratech this month just released an ActiveX Control for MS Office for the LuraDocument format, and this has been well-received by the public, and is offered for the reasonable cost of $120.  It has more features than the DjVu ActiveX Control, justifying the modest license fee.

We can only hope for a more enlightened LizardTech management in the future, or perhaps a different owner for the DjVu format after LizardTech goes out of business. Then we can expect to see upgrades to this DjVu ActiveX Control and a resumption of active support for it. Meanwhile, this 3.0 version of the DjVu ActiveX Control works great, and we encourage you to try it out!

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