VST in yellow over a blue oval Vision Support Trading Logo

Vision Support Trading (VST): Barrier-free PDF Documents through Document Conversion

Carsten Luedtge // May 20, 2022

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For many sight impaired people, being able to access information easily is a key element to social inclusion and vital to ensuring they can manage independently and with confidence. Vision Support Trading was established in 2001 to provide a fast, cost-effective and accurate transcription service that would enable companies to support its blind and sight impaired customers with alternative format materials of the highest quality affairs.

Key to VST services is their state of the art production and the ability to receive data in an extensive variety of formats. One of these formats is AFP (Advanced Function Presentation).

Technical Manager Kim Dearlove said…

“We had an issue with understanding and converting some of the AFP (Advance Function Presentation) printstreams that our customers give to us. We contacted one of our clients who was familiar with this file type, and they recommended Compart software. We then contacted Compart to test their conversion solution so that we could understand the AFP in more detail.

However, also at this time we were using a simple AFP to PDF converter that did not give us any control over the conversion process and limited us to non-server production. We had encountered a couple of issues in relation to resources and fonts and it became apparent that there was a need for more advanced software that enabled us to convert and modify AFP files.

Previously, we had spent some time researching the market for a new converter. However, we were unable to find one that met our needs. Compart suggested that not only should we trial the viewer but also the DocBridge® Mill Plus Output Manager, that can convert many types of printstream.

Trialed and tested

Although we had no training we managed to install, setup and operate the Compart software easily. We trialed both and it was soon clear that this software provided everything to meet our needs and more.

We found that the conversion process was much quicker, with thousands of files being converted in seconds (compared to several minutes through our previous converter). We were able to automate the process and run the software silently on a server, instead of manually on the client machines. DocBridge® Mill Plus gave us greater control over the process and presentation of files, and made it easier to identify and resolve issues through its intuitive user interface. In addition to that, all of the issues we were experiencing with the previous software were automatically resolved.

Results, return on investment and future plans

Upon implementation, we benefitted from huge time savings through reductions in processing time, maintenance and troubleshooting. This has resulted in us being able to spend more time focusing on other projects, generating more money for the charity to help improve the quality of life for people with visual impairments."


Compart is an internationally active manufacturer of software for omnichannel customer communication. The company, with headquarters in Böblingen, has been present in the market for more than two decades and has branches in Europe and North America. The scalable, platform-independent and easy-to-integrate solutions cover the entire cycle of document and …

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ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Carsten Luedtge

Carsten Lüdtge, a qualified journalist (University Degree: Diploma) and specialist editor, is responsible for press and public relations at Compart, an international manufacturer of software for customer communication, and is in charge of the Compart Group’s entire content management. He has PR expertise of more than 20 years with a focus on IT.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Carsten Luedtge

Carsten Lüdtge, a qualified journalist (University Degree: Diploma) and specialist editor, is responsible for press and public relations at Compart, …