[pdftex] Linux AR5.0.10 bug?: "Expected a name object" - Radio Buttons

Marco Loskamp loskamp at math.wisc.edu
Wed Jan 5 19:44:19 CET 2005

On Wed, Jan 05, 2005 at 10:44:12AM +0100, Hans Hagen wrote:
> >My pdfTeX source and the resulting .pdf/.log file can be found at
> >
> >  http://www.math.wisc.edu/~loskamp/FormBug.tex
> >  http://www.math.wisc.edu/~loskamp/FormBug.pdf
> >  http://www.math.wisc.edu/~loskamp/FormBug.log
> >
> no problems with the file here

when trying with "acroread -toPostScript FormBug.pdf" or from inside the
acroread GUI, or with pdftops or other alternatives? Under Linux?

I get the same problem under SunOS:

# > acroread -toPostScript FormBug.pdf
FormBug.pdf: Expected a name object.
# > uname -a
SunOS <name> 5.8 Generic_117350-06 sun4u sparc SUNW,Ultra-5_10
# > 

> (you can also try pdftops from the xpdf suite);

You're right, that works. I should have mentioned that I do need to print
from acrobat reader, because the forms I'm generating are supposed to be
submitted through a CGI script that processes them further. So, they need
to be opened inside a web browser. We don't expect/assume users to have
Acrobat professional; what we do assume is that the Linux reader 5.0.10
(or better) is available, and that whatever reader they use can do form
editing, form submission (most probably here's where it's crucial that
the form is opened in a web browser), FDF /ImportData (or PDF JavaScript
equivalent) and fully supports the PDF-1.3 annotation types].

> >When I construct a file with nothing but two radio buttons from
> >Acrobat professional (6.0), everything works fine under Linux. So
> >my guess is that this may be a pdfTeX issue...(?)  Maybe pdfTeX
> >[would have to/should] generate the /AcroForm entry in the /Catalog?
> adding the AcroForm entry is not a pdftex issue, your macro package 
> can/should do that;

Alright, I've tried that, too, carefully reading the PDFReference15.pdf
(and checking for compatibility with PDF-1.3) to keep the example as
minimal as possible, could get the macros to make the entries I assumed
were necessary (and sufficient), but that didn't help either.

> it is true that some versions of acrobat will generate 
> that on the fly; btw, the viewer also generates appearance streams for 
>  forms on the fly when the document is opened;

Would I need to insert additional entries like /NeedAppearances true or
others in the /AcroForm dictionary to make sure that the appearances are

> another reason for problems may be the missing font encoding vector

Even if the document doesn't contain any fonts?  It may very well be that
I technically produced "correct" PDF code, but that common applications
assume some "minimal amount of things in a PDF file," like fonts.

Any additional input for the "Expected a name object" problem with Linux AR
5.0.10 will again be appreciated!


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