Blog Post

2023: Year in Review

PSPDFKit
Illustration: 2023: Year in Review

Letter from the CEO

We truly believe that now is the time for documents to evolve. With the introduction of generative AI, we’re witnessing a technological advance unprecedented since the birth of the internet or the adoption of smartphones. Expectations for documents have surged as file systems recede into the background, breaking the link between a specific type of document or image and a particular app used to author, view, or edit it. We’ve seen things such as real-time collaboration become table stakes, and we can easily imagine where these near-term future expectations are going. There’s a complex technical maze of challenges that lurk in the details of accomplishing what can look easy to the user, and we’ve seen businesses across all industries over the past year quickly find themselves stuck in this maze. It’s our team’s calling to be the guide to navigate that maze and help businesses realize the art of possibility in today’s world of digital documents. As many times as we hear the pains of a developer seeking to accomplish what appears to be a trivial task, we’ve also shared the joy a product manager experiences once they’ve found a reliable technical partner that helps contribute to and expand upon what they can accomplish on their roadmap.

With another exciting year upon us, we recommit ourselves to engaging with those engineers and product managers, partnering with them to solve their pains and accomplish their goals, and continuing to build the future of document experiences today. This allows you to remain proactive, rather than reactive, to your users’ needs and expectations. We cannot thank you all enough for the opportunity you provide us in trusting our company to advance the mighty document, and for the joy you give us in being a small contributor to your work and your impact in our world. We look forward to another year of partnership, feedback, and growth as we continue to serve you. Thank you!

We’re just getting started.

Jonathan D. Rhyne

A Year of Momentum and Mastery

If 2021 was a year of evolving, and 2022 was one of growth, 2023 was the year of momentum in which we “came into our own.” We know what we do, we know how to do it, and we do it well. And this past year, more than ever, we worked together as a cohesive team that exemplified and delivered on all of our core values. For an overview of some of the highlights, keep reading.

New Products, Components, and Features

New products

PSPDFKit first began as a bootstrapped company offering an iOS SDK. As the years have gone on, we’ve expanded our offerings, and 2023 was no exception. We’re proud of our tradition of being innovative and experimental and working hard to continuously improve our products to meet the needs of our customers.

In 2023, we’re pleased to have released five new products:

Additionally, we added new ways for users to maximize their workflows. With textual document comparison on Web, we expanded our preexisting Document Comparison component, which previously focused on graphical representations catering to the construction industry. Now, with the ability to programmatically compare two documents page by page, users can track changes in documents like contracts, writing projects, or technical documentation.

Also new on Web are the PDF Generation and PDF/A Conversion components. With the former, users can dynamically populate Microsoft Office DOCX templates with data in Standalone mode. Meanwhile, with the latter, they’re able to convert a range of document formats to PDF/A format for archiving and long-term preservation.

Improvements and Enhancements

We came out with a handful of groundbreaking new components in 2022, and we spent a lot of time this past year responding to customer requests and fine tuning them to work more efficiently and provide more functionality.

Our Content Editor component was one such offering that got a big boost. When we first released it, its functionality was limited to individual line editing. In 2023, we added the ability to detect paragraphs, which users can then edit, resize, and move around, unlocking new ways of working with PDFs.

Another important component is Measurement Tools. Over the past 12 months, we made a lot of little changes that resulted in huge improvements for our customers in the construction industry. These include the improved visibility of measurement values, the ability to choose between decimals and fractions, enhanced calibration and scale tools, and updated annotation and measurement tools.

While Digital Signatures have been around for awhile, we added end-to-end digital signing, including visible digital signatures. Additionally, users now have the ability to extract and validate timestamps using a default or custom Time Stamping Authority (TSA). Plus, we offer seamless long-term validation (LTV) signing. These additions are particularly exciting because they enhance the security, transparency, and trust in our digital documents. We also spent a lot of time reworking our digital signature guides to make it much more straightforward for our users to understand how the components work and how to integrate our SDK into their products.

Finally, we made some big changes to our comments functionality, making it available on PSPDFKit for Web Standalone as a revamped Comments and Replies component. This means users can open exported documents with comments, view existing threads, and create new threads with comment marker annotations and text highlight annotations. This makes having important conversations on documents easy and seamless.

GdPicture.NET

In early 2022, France-based ORPALIS joined the PSPDFKit family, and in the time since, we’ve focused on incorporating its flagship GdPicture.NET technology into PSPDFKit products.

One of the first things we did was kick off a project to completely overhaul the GdPicture.NET documentation, resulting in 500 new guides.

We also created four new web demos using GdPicture.NET technology (excluding the Standalone Office-to-PDF and PDF/A capabilities). These demos are:

Additionally, our engineers continued to improve on GdPicture.NET product functionality, resulting in the following capabilities:

  • Converting 100+ file types into Word, PowerPoint, and Excel

  • PDF-to-Excel conversion

  • Table recognition and extraction

  • Intelligently identifying and extracting addresses in documents

  • Generating PDFs from Word templates

  • Support for macOS

  • Various conversion fidelity, OCR, and data extraction optimizations

We also have some exciting plans for 2024, and we’re looking forward to seeing all the ways we can use GdPicture.NET technology.

ITBS

Our IT Business Solutions team was hard at work adding exciting new functionality to our products. We’re particularly proud of our key-value pair (KVP) extraction, which was added to Autobahn DX and the forthcoming release of Muhimbi PDF Converter. You can read more about the new additions to Autobahn DX on the blog.

Not only that, but our Muhimbi PDF Editor for SharePoint Online saw the addition of the ability to create, fill, and submit forms. It’s now also possible to redact sensitive information, use measurement tools on drawings, include annotation metadata, and much more.

Meanwhile, the Muhimbi PDF Converter got a lot of updates, including various security improvements; the addition of the Muhimbi PDF Xtension for Nintex Automation Cloud; new PDF compression capabilities, including a new hyper-compression action; and 10 new Power Automate templates, which you can search for and try out.

Live — Online and In Person

Webinars and conferences

As always, we find it both necessary and invigorating when we have the opportunity to connect with our customers, both online and in person. To that end, we hosted webinars and made some in-person appearances in 2023.

Webinars

2022 was the first year we hosted a webinar, rounding out the year with 19. In 2023, we held 21 webinars. The majority of them were showcasing our popular live demo, which walks participants through how our SDK works and covers features and use cases, in addition to showing how to set up and test our SDK. Additionally, we hosted a handful of other special webinars:

If you missed out, you can watch the recordings and sign up for forthcoming webinars this year.

Conferences

We returned to the European SharePoint Conference as well. ESPC is always a highlight for us, and this time in Amsterdam was no exception. It was held over four days in November, and 11 of our colleagues were there in person at our booth.

ESPC is more than just an event; it’s an opportunity to connect with like-minded SharePoint enthusiasts, dive into the latest advancements in the SharePoint space, and unravel the exciting possibilities that SharePoint has to offer.

Our engineers spent time attending the various sessions at the conference, which was a great opportunity for them to bolster their professional development, as it enabled them to see what problems and solutions other people are encountering. When they weren’t attending sessions or networking, they also helped out at our booth by answering the more technical questions that came up.

But that’s not all — we spent a lot of time engaging with our existing and potential customers. Understanding their needs and expectations for our product was not only insightful, but also an essential part of our journey toward providing the best possible solutions.

Culture

We love the work we do here at PSPDFKit, and it’s not just because PDFs are super exciting; a big part of what keeps us happy and motivated is prioritizing a culture of openness, diversity, and fun. That’s most apparent when we’re all physically together in the same room, like at our most recent retreat in Budapest. However, we also do our best to socialize and stay connected even when we’re working from our various homes across the globe.

For example, we have plenty of Slack channels for work-related topics, but we always make sure to mix in some fun ones too. A welcome new addition in 2023 was that of #sharealittle, in which colleagues are encouraged to post about any and every thing going on in their lives. It can be about something they made, a trip they took, an accomplishment they’re proud of, or just about anything else.

Additionally, although we love and accept all animals as pets, we have a special fondness for cats here at PSPDFKit. After all, there’s a reason we call ourselves the PSPDFKitties. So of course, our Notion database wasn’t complete without a Cats directory, showcasing the many felines behind (and sometimes in front of) our computer screens. If nothing else, it’s shown us that we have an inordinate amount of tabby cats at the company.

On the Blog

The PSPDFKit blog continues to be a valuable company resource where we showcase new releases, talk about how we found and fixed various problems in our work, provide valuable information on how to make business decisions, and share tutorials on how to use our SDKs along with popular tools, frameworks, and dependencies on the web.

Below are some of our best blogs from 2023.

In 2023, we also placed a significant emphasis on featuring customer stories on the blog, recognizing the vital role these narratives play in understanding and showcasing the real-world impact of our technology. Throughout the year, we proudly shared a diverse range of customer experiences, highlighting how businesses across various industries have leveraged PSPDFKit to solve unique challenges, enhance their workflows, and drive innovation within their organizations. These stories not only served as testaments to the versatility and robustness of our solutions, but they also allowed us to celebrate the successes of our customers.

Collaborating with such a wide array of remarkable companies has been a source of immense pride for us. These partnerships have not only enriched our understanding of user needs, but they’ve also continually inspired us to push the boundaries of what our technology can achieve, ensuring we remain at the cutting edge of document processing technology.

Information

You can read our customer stories here.

New Customers

While many things change over the years, one thing that stays the same is how excited and grateful we are to work with so many unique companies, helping them solve their problems and come up with creative solutions. Below are a handful of the new customers we welcomed to the PSPDFKit family in 2023.

New customers

Innovating Beyond Paper

Innovating

In a recent post on LinkedIn, our CEO shared the following quote from the book Hidden Potential by Adam Grant:

“We worry about making our parents proud when we should be focused on making our children proud. The responsibility of each generation is not to please our predecessors — it’s to improve conditions for our successors.”

While PSPDFKit has always been dedicated to improving ways of working for our customers, we’ve expanded our focus to also ensure we’re making a difference in the world. In 2021, that meant planting trees on behalf of our customers. In 2022, we donated money for the gift of warmth for families in Ukraine.

In line with this, in 2023, we’re turning our attention to the ocean. More specifically, we decided to donate to Plastic Bank on behalf of our customers and employees. Plastic Bank is a for-profit social enterprise that works to stop ocean-bound plastic by collecting it at the source and delivering it to be reprocessed into feedstock and reintegrated into new products and packaging. Each donation will keep 500 bottles out of the ocean — combined, that’s 1 million bottles we’ll be diverting from the ocean.

This is not only in line with our mission to innovate beyond paper, but also as part of our responsibility to work toward leaving behind a better world for future generations.

Looking to 2024

Once again, thank you for partnering with and trusting us over the past decade, and we look forward to what 2024 has in store for us all!

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