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 Command Line Mode
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The Console Version of ELAN Converter

There are two  versions of  ELAN Converter  - the GUI  version and  the Console version. The GUI version has a graphical user interface, where you can visually set up the  job and the  processing  options.  On the  other hand,  the Console version does not have a user interface  at all. You control this version of the program  with the  command  line options.  For  example,  if you would  like to convert img001.tif  into PDF,  open a DOS window  and type in  ECONV img001.tif img001.pdf.  Note  that  it does  not mean  that the  Console  version  of ELAN Converter is a DOS  program. It is a  true 32-bit Windows  application having a Console interface.

The console version is installed to the same location as the rest of the programs (Usually c:\Program Files\ELAN\ELAN Converter X\), however, there are no shortcuts or menu items installed.

The command line syntax for ECONV is the following:

ECONV inputfile1 [inputfile2 ...] outputfile.pdf [settingsfile.ecs]

First you list the input files in the order you would like them to be converted into the output PDF file. Then you specify the output PDF file name. Optionally you can specify a configuration  file, which should  have an extension of .ecs, which is  short for  ELAN  Converter  Settings.  If there  is no  settings file specified, the default settings will be used.

The input file can be any raster image,  such as TIFF, JPEG, FAX, JEDMICS, PNG, and many more. The output file is always  PDF. Note that you have to specify at least two file names  to ECONV, the input  file name and the  output file name. Every file name must be  valid, and you are not allowed  to use wildcards, such as * or ?. Here is an example that converts 3 TIFF files into PDF:

ECONV 001.tif 002.tif 003.tif out.pdf

ECONV is also able to read  the list of input files  from a text file having an extension of .lst.  In this case, you  would specify the  list file first, then the output file, and finally the optional settings file:

ECONV mylist.lst out.pdf settings.ecs

Note that any of the input files can be  a list file, so you can freely combine .lst, .tif, .jpg and other files, like this:

ECONV 001.tif mylist.lst 002.jpg out.pdf

If there is no settings  file, or it is  empty, the following  default settings will be used:

1.Do not optimize PDF file for Web
2.Do not OCR (no hidden text in the PDF)
3.Use maximum  quality JPEG  compression in  the PDF  for color  and grayscale images

You can modify any of these settings by  creating a text file with an extension of .ecs,  and  specifying any  of the  following  variables,  in the  format of name=value (like in an INI file):






Optimize for Web?

yes or no



Create hidden text?

yes or no



Timeout after seconds

number of seconds



How to compress color or grayscale images?

Deflate or JPEG


The Optimize  parameter  tells  ECONV  whether  the output  PDF file  should be optimized for Web browsing or not. If you plan to publish your file on the Web, you should optimize. An optimized file  is not any smaller than a non-optimized one. Optimization  just makes a  PDF file ready  for on-demand  download, which means only the currently  visible pages  will be downloaded.  This way the user does not have to wait for the entire PDF file to be downloaded before he or she can see the first page. The user still has to download the entire file if he or she wants to save it to the hard disk,  though. Note that it takes a little bit more time  to  create an  optimized  PDF  file than  a  non-optimized  one, and optimization requires  a temporary file  to be created on  the hard disk, which has roughly the same size as the output  PDF file, but it will automatically be deleted when the PDF file is ready. This temporary file is always stored in the system's temporary directory (usually C:\TEMP or C:\Documents and Settings\User name\Local Settings\Temp).

The OCR parameter  describes if you wish  to OCR the raster  images or not. Say yes if you want  to OCR the  pages, and ECONV  will put the words  into the PDF file as a hidden text. This text can later be copied to the clipboard. The user can also make a search within the PDF file if hidden text is present.

The OCRTimeout parameter  is an integer number, usually  between 4 and 60, that determines how many seconds you are willing  to wait for the result of the OCR. If the OCR engine  does not  return the words  within that amount  of time, the current  page  will  be  skipped  and no  hidden  text  will be  inserted.  The recommended value is  between 10 and 30.  Set up 4 if speed  is very important, and 60 if quality is absolutely essential and you have a slow computer.

ColorCompression specifies  the compression for grayscale  and color images. It has the following format:


Note that Type and Option  are separated by a comma.  CompressionType is either Deflate or JPEG.  Specify Deflate  if you want  to use the deflate  compression algorithm,  which  is very  fast  and  provides an  absolutely  lossless  image quality,  with a very  large output  file  size. Specify  JPEG to  use the JPEG compression,  which produces  very compact  output  files, but the  compression takes a  little  bit  more time  and  the image  will  lost  some quality.  The CompressionOption is optional. If it is specified, it must be an integer number between 0 and 100.

With the Deflate  compression, the option  means the  compactness. A value of 0 will produce a bigger  file but the  conversion will be  faster. A value of 100 will produces a  smaller file  but the conversion  will be slower.  The default value is 50, which is a good trade-off.

With the JPEG  compression, the  option means  the image quality.  A value of 0 will produce a very small file but a most  likely unacceptable quality. A value of 83 will produce  somewhat bigger file  with a very good  quality. A value of 100 will produce an even  bigger file but with an  excellent image quality. The default value is 83, which is a great compromise.

Note that the  black and white  (monochrome)  images will always  be compressed with CCITT  Group 4  fax  compression,  which is  exceptionally  fast  and very compact.

Here are a few sample .ecs files:

Sample 1: Good quality JPEG, optimized, no OCR




Sample 2: Perfect JPEG quality, optimized, OCR, timeout = 30 seconds





Sample 3: Deflate, medium compression, no optimize, no OCR




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