• MDI printer no longer available? (Office 2003, XL-Pro-sp2)

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    Microsoft Document Imaging is an Office 2003 ‘additional’ program that is installed with Office 2003. When installed, a ‘virtual’ printer appears in the Printers Control Panel that allows you to “print” pages to an .MDI file (akin to a TIF file).

    OK, I had to install “MDI Viewer” (to test it). This is a freeware program that allows users that don’t have Office 2003 view, print, use .MDI files. It works fine and seems to be a good solution for users that don’t want to buy Office 2003. Of note, as best I can tell, popular free image viewers (IrfanView and XnView) seem to NOT be able to handle .MDI files — even with plugins. So I was looking for an alternative solution.
    The software can be found here: http://www.hot.ee/mdiviewer/
    Most reviewers find the software adequate and quite functional, albeit with a spartan interface — and interesting English (the author is from Estonia).

    Initially, it seemed that MDI Viewer and the original Microsoft Document Imaging software co-existed peacefully — although MDI Viewer did take over the file type associations. However, this morning I awoke to find that the Microsoft Document Imaging “Printer” is missing from the Printer Control Panel — and therefore missing when I try to Print to this “Printer”.

    OK, I tried the obviously first solution — Uninstall MDI Viewer. Well, this did not return my “Printer”. And I had to manually reestablish the File Associations (no biggy). So I tried to “System Restore” — well, I don’t have time to figure out why (I think it is related to Norton’s interference), but my system is not able to restore. That is an issue I will have to tackle later. So I did the next logical thing — I used the Add/Remove Programs interface to “Reinstall” MS Office 2003. Well, at least that what it appeared to do — I found Microsoft Document Imaging and selected “Run on My Computer”. Surprisingly, there is no check boxes in this interface, so I don’t know if I did this right.

    Needless to say, this did not return the Printer to my Printer Control Panel. Oh, the Program is installed and runs perfectly well — I just no longer have the “Printer” available. “Add a New Printer” does not seem to be the answer — it looks for “physical” printers, not virtual ones..

    Anyone out there have any other ideas?? Microsoft.com was not helpful — at least not something I could find easily… Thanks.

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    • #1085139

      Try uninstalling, then reinstalling MDI (not the entire Office installation):
      – Activate the Add/Remove Programs control panel.
      – Select Microsoft Office 2003.
      – Click Change.
      – Select Add or Remove Features, then click Next.
      – Click Choose advanced customization of applications, then click Next.
      – Expand Microsoft Office, Office Tools until you see Microsoft Office Document Imaging or whatever it’s called there.
      – Select Not Available.
      – Click Update to uninstall MDI.
      Now repeat the steps, but select Run from My Computer to reinstall MDI.
      Does the MDI printer reappear?

      • #1085161

        Ouch… well, it goes like this. I uninstalled the MDI components — that went fine. But… upon reinstalling, it wants my original Office disc — which is about 3000 miles away, safe and sound in my house. I won’t be back there until next Monday!

        I don’t know if there is any way around that – and I doubt it. It claims it needs files on the CD, and it wants the “basic11n.msi” file — which is nowhere to be found on my computer. Looks like I am stuck.

        Any other thoughts?

        • #1085172

          Unless someone else has a bright idea, I fear you’ll have to wait until you can find an Office installation disk – either your own copy or someone else’s.

        • #1085210

          Can you use PDF in the interim? (I’m not sure of the technical advantages or disadvantages of MDI files…)

          • #1085301

            No big deal. I won’t need to use the MDI printer until I get back. I really *could* have used it Wednesday, but it wasn’t working before or after I uninstalled the components, so nothing gained and nothing lost. And now I am ‘on holiday’, so it doesn’t matter!

            Interesting you would say that. PDF’s would not usually be an option — because most computers don’t have any way to print to a PDF file. However, my laptop actually does have that capability — because QuickBooks installs a PDF virtual ‘printer’, much in the same way the MDI virtual ‘printer’ is installed. BUT… Although I can print to a PDF file, I have no software that allows me to “annotate” a PDF file!

            What I really need is a virtual printer that allows me to ‘create’ an image file that can then be annotated. MDI files can easily be annotated with the Microsoft Digital Imaging software. PDF files cannot — as best I can tell — without having the full Acrobat program. If anyone knows of a PDF annotating program (free or very inexpensive), let me know!

            MDI files do exactly what I need on my computer. HOWEVER, I need to email the resultant file back to my office so the staff can print out the final, annotated image. Since my office computers do not happen to have Office 2003 installed (and therefore they cannot process .mdi files), I was looking at the “MDI Viewer” program as a nice solution. It WILL be a good solution — on their computers. But, on my laptop, it seems to have eliminated the MDI virtual printer! That is probably more information than you need to know, but that is the entire scenario.

            Thanks for the advice. Enjoy Thanksgiving.

            • #1085334


              PDF’s would not usually be an option — because most computers don’t have any way to print to a PDF file.

              [/indent]This is an area with pretty good freeware, including CutePDF Writer, PrimoPDF, FreePDF XP, and others.


              If anyone knows of a PDF annotating program (free or very inexpensive), let me know!

              [/indent]These showed up in Google, I haven’t tried them or verified that the types of annotations you want to make are supported:

              PDF-XChange Viewer by Tracker Software Products; FREE

              pdf995 Suite; FREE or $20 to eliminate nag screens

              Pro Pack for Foxit Reader; $40

            • #1085360

              I tried a free PDF printing program years back, and I was less than happy. I can’t remember the issues, but that is not really something I need, per se, anyways.

              PDF Xchange seems to be able to do exactly what I need — I just hate trying new software without a personal recommendation! That being said, here is what I can find on the Internet:

              Snapfiles says:

              Our Rating: 5 stars (Excellent)

              PDF-XChange Viewer is an alternative viewer for PDF files that enables you to view and annotate PDF files. You can add text, sticky notes, and other annotations and save them to the file, which will be compatible with the standard Adobe PDF reader. The program also includes a handy loupe tool to zoom in on selected areas of a document, as well as options to extract text and images, export a documents to image formats, and more. PDF-XChange Viewer offers a modern, tabbed interface and an attractive set of features not commonly found in free PDF viewers.

              Softpedia says:

              Rating: Very Good (4.5/5) | Rated by: 22 user(s)

              An easy to use, small, fast and feature rich pdf viewer. Those wishing to view PDF files on their Windows PC’s now have a choice when it comes to Viewing PDF files – the PDF-XChange Viewer is smaller, faster and more feature rich than the Adobe Reader which has until now been the Reader of choice for PDF files – we think that’s about to change!

              The FREE PDF-XChange Viewer offers all the feature’s you would expect such as support of all PDF file formats.

              Here are some key features of “PDF XChange Viewer”:

              · Tabbed Multiple Document Windows
              · Add Comments and Annotations to any PDF file (subject to security settings) – unlilke the Adobe Viewer which requires the PDF creation tool to be ‘certified’ by Adobe !
              · Markup pages with text and objects
              · Type directly on any PDF page, not just Adobe enabled forms documents – in Typewriter mode.
              · Export PDF pages or entire files to any one of the supported Image formats including BMP, JPEG, TIFF, PNG and many more …
              · Extract text from a PDF page/File
              · Make your navigation of large or complex PDF files both simple and enjoyable swith the extended functionality of our ‘Loupe’ and the ‘Pan’ Window tools

              [And then has this banter:]

              Its complete wastage of time and price. No use to buy it.

              not worth buying? i didnt know free cost money. i love this, i needed a reader/viewer where i could actually copy and paste text. i tried many free and this was the only one where i didnt have to buy an extension for that and that didnt contain some form of watermark.

              this is by far the best viewer if you need to copy and paste text from a pdf document and you dont want to have to pay for it and dont want to have watermarks.

              So, to me it sounds fine to me. I’ll give it a try — just to see if it works well — and I’ll report back. Maybe I will switch to PDF’s! Thanks.

            • #1085494

              Well, the program seems to work OK — except, it does not read my bank statement PDF files! I have no explanation, but if I open my bank statements with Acrobat Reader, the document is fully displayed. However, if I open the exact same file in PDF-XChange, the document only has the header and footer displayed! The entire text of the document does not show up. So, that is weird. But otherwise the “Typewriter mode” seems to adequately annotate the files that I need to annotate. So, it does at least that. Thanks.

      • #1087463

        For what it is worth, I finally got around to doing this — reinstalling with the disc — and, no surprise, it worked. THANK YOU.


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