[OS X TeX] Auto bounding box for LaTeX document ?

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Tue Jun 21 22:47:56 CEST 2005

On 21 Jun 2005, at 22:15, Pierre Chatelier wrote:

>> For some background info: http://www.xs4all.nl/~msneep/articles/ 
>> baseline.html
> Great that it is online !
> (just before I forget : there is a typo at the very end : <Eqaution  
> instead of Equation>

OK: fixed.

>> You can do it in a single step: the preview package does that for  
>> you, and it works with all displayed and in-line material.
> Yes, but it seems that it does not work for non mathematical text;  
> example :


Indeed, I was talking about mathematical material only. Non- 
mathematical material can be done inside a parbox, a minipage, or  
even just on the page (without headers) and cropping afterwards. For  
single line items a normal box, and then just using the makebox trick  
will even yield the baseline offset.

> Finally, I would prefer not to rely on pdfcrop not pdftk, and limit  
> myself to pdflatex and gs.
> By the way, computing the tight bounding box with gs is interesting
>> boundingbox=`gs -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=bbox -dBATCH -q $pdfin 2>&1 |  
>> awk -F: '/%%HiResBoundingBox/{printf "[%s]",substr($2, 2, length 
>> ($2)-1)}'`

Interesting is one way of putting it, a hack is another. It took me  
some time to arrive at this one, and it isn't really fast.

> But is it possible to insert this bounding box in the PDF doc  
> without using pdftk ? I do not know PDF format, so I do not know  
> either what should be done...

The pdf format requires a table of contents at the end of the file  
which in turn contains all the offsets to the otehr objects (pages,  
etc.). This table of contents is in effect a pointer table, and makes  
random access fast, while still allowing the separate objects to be  

That is also why there are three stages: decompression, alteration,  
and repairing the offsets and recompressing the lot.

I think you can use the Mac OS X (tiger) pdf-API to alter the  
bounding box of an pdf-image, but I have to do some more reading to  
be sure.

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