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

James Quirk jjq at galcit.caltech.edu
Wed Jan 6 15:53:35 CET 2010

Hi Martin,

On Wed, 6 Jan 2010, martijn.list wrote:

> > Personally I would only use the /ActualText facility for small code
> > fragments. Anything above half a dozen lines I would save as a file
> > attachment, and to overcome Martijn's objection I would add a custom
> > decoder to the PDF so as to allow the embedded files to be extracted,
> > even when the end reader's PDF viewer cannot cope with attachments.
> Hi James,
> Interesting approach :) didn't know this was all possible with PDF.
Lot of things are possible, although on balance many of the available 
tricks are not desirable. In this instance, I should correct myself and 
point out that the PDF spec does require %PDF to start at byte 0. It just 
so happens that implementation note #13 in the PDF Reference v1.7, p. 
1102, says that Acrobat/Adobe Reader are happy for it to appear anywhere 
in the first kilobyte of a file, and it appears that xpdf, evince 
(poppler), foxit have followed suit.

> My software should be installed on a Linux (or Unix derivative) but I do
> not know what PDF reader is used to read the PDF with. The PDF reader that
> I use on Ubuntu seems not to understand /ActualTex. Adding the GPG key as
I've only had luck using the /ActualText facility with Acrobat/Adobe 
Reader, for xpdf et al don't seem to support it. Even with Adobe Reader,
however, I very rarely rely on cut-n-paste from a PDF as there is
a bug where some users complain that they can only copy and paste
the once, see: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/427723?tstart=0 .

> an attachment is possible but for my purpose it's probably more
> problematic than it's worth. My experience is that most readers of my
> installation guide only superfluously read the documentation so I want to
> make sure that it always works.
I think that is a universal problem, and I often have to chide my
colleagues to take the documentation I write more seriously.
Not that they take a blind bit of notice of me. :-(


> I therefore decided to drop the idea of adding the PGP key :(
> Thanks for all the help!
> Kind regards,
> Martijn Brinkers

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