[OS X TeX] Where does the assumption that large counts are phone numbers arise?

Ross Moore ross.moore at mq.edu.au
Tue Feb 13 02:45:05 CET 2024

Hi Doug.

It has nothing to do with TeXshop, IMHO.

You can see it happening in my Mail .app.

[Screenshot 2024-02-13 at 12.40.22 pm.png]

That popup, which appeared after clicking the number, is asking to add the tel.# into Contacts.

Be assured I did not do so. :-)

Surely it is a system bug/feature — dunno how to stop it.

Very amusing post; thanks!


On 13 Feb 2024, at 11:03 am, Doug McKenna <doug at mathemaesthetics.com> wrote:

I'm running TeXShop 4.7 on MacOS 12.1, using pdfTeX, Version 3.141592653-2.6-1.40.22 (TeX Live 2021).

I'm writing a math paper that references a sequence of combinatorial counts. The sequence gets large pretty fast.

Here is a MWE:

For $n=1\dots 7$ the counts are $0, 4, 40, 2244, 185920, 106912792, 90124167440$.

In PDF output, click on either of the two final (non-phone) numbers.

When viewing the PDF after typesetting, I just discovered that clicking on either of the last two counts brings up the FaceTime app on my Mac. After my initial WTF confusion, I then discovered that hovering the mouse for a while over either large count in the PDF raises a little hint box showing the count prefixed with "tel: ".

These are not telephone numbers, and it's annoying for someone to have assumed they are, allegedly for my convenience.

Where in all the pdfTeX machinery is this assumption being made, if at all? Is it in the PDF file itself, or is it in the MacOS PDF display library that TeXShop is using? Does this only occur on MacOS?

Can I affirmatively do something in my TeX code that creates the PDF to prevent this false positive?

Doug McKenna
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