[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}
 > Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)
 > mQGiBElPrxcRBADTrz89p8FEAC/DEpNmbanNruED96RAuE0FRgbERqvgeSB7SVeW
 > [snip]
 > TrzgYl9YhiNdY7s=
 > =4Rpa
 > \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:

\embedfile[desc={PGP Public Key}]{PGP.txt}
some text

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.


Reinhard Kotucha			              Phone: +49-511-3373112
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover	                      mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

More information about the pdftex mailing list