[pdftex] MediaBox?

Peter Schröder ps at cs.caltech.edu
Thu Jun 14 10:20:58 CEST 2001

Heiko Oberdiek wrote:

> >Still: If there is an /ArtBox, it (and not the /MediaBox) should
> >be used.
> Sometimes, for image inclusion /ArtBox can be used, but
> for applications such as pdfpages /MediaBox is the right
> box.
> >> * pdfTeX does not know the /ArtBox.
> >
> >This can be fixed. :-)
> Perhaps \pdfximage should be extended, so that
> the /{Media,Crop,Art,...}Box can be specified
> that will be used.

The example I am looking at has /MediaBox, /ArtBox, /TrimBox.

I am not an expert at pdf or pdftex nor at any evolving standards and I
can't appreciate all the consequences of making some change especially
when /ArtBox is a new feature in an evolving pdf standard. Having said
that it strikes me that /MediaBox in pdf corresponds to %%DocumentSize
in ps and /ArtBox corresponds to %%BoundingBox in ps. Hence when
\includegraphics looks for %%BoundingBox for (e)ps inclusion it should
look for /ArtBox for pdf inclusion.

Yesterday I ran a little experiment and changed all occurrences of
/MediaBox in various support macros and pdf configuration files (those
that I could "grep" through) to /ArtBox and it made no difference. Hence
the reading of /MediaBox (never mind the definition of Gin at read) is
controlled someplace outside these macros.

Given all this I will switch back to postscript as the save format for

One last question: is there a simple rule I can set up to automatically
invoke eps to pdf conversion iff(!) my latex file is compiled with
pdflatex (and no conversion when it is compiled with regular latex)? I
don't want hand invoked perl scripts in there. That is too error prone.


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