# [pdftex] Blank lines are ignored when copying-and-pasting from PDF

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sat Jan 2 19:53:38 CET 2010

On 2 January 2010 martijn.list wrote:

> I'm including a PGP public key block in my document using with verbatim:
>
> \begin{verbatim}
> -----BEGIN PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
> Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)
>
> [snip]
> TrzgYl9YhiNdY7s=
> =4Rpa
> -----END PGP PUBLIC KEY BLOCK-----
> \end{verbatim}
>
> Now when I convert the Latex document to PDF (using pdflatex) the PDF
> document shows the blank line between ...GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux) and
> mQGiBElP...
>
> But, when I copy and paste the PGP key to a text editor it won't include
> the blank line. Because the blank line is mandatory the result will be
> an invalid PGP key. Is it possible to add a newline to the final PDF
> output to make sure that copy-and-paste will include the blank line?

This might be difficult because PDF has no concept of lines.  It only
contains information where text or graphics shall appear on the page.
I tested your example with ps2ascii (Ghostscript) and pdftotext (xpdf)
and both didn't even recognize ordinary line breaks.  I assume that
copy-and-paste will never be reliable if the exact formatting matters.

But I tried something different which might be an option, though
probably not supported by all PDF browsers:

Put the key into an external file "PGP.txt" and run the file below
through pdflatex:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{embedfile}
\embedfile[desc={PGP Public Key}]{PGP.txt}
\begin{document}
some text
\end{document}

In Adobe Reader, click on the paperclip icon in the bottom left corner
in order to extract the file.

Maybe it's possible to open the attachment panel by clicking on a
hyperlink in the text, but I never investigated this.  If necessary,
you have to read the documentation of the packages attachfile,
attachfile2, and embedfile more thoroughly than I did.

Regards,
Reinhard

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