[pdftex] background color changes from MiKTeX version 2.7 to 2.9

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Fri Nov 23 00:39:54 CET 2012

On 2012-11-22 at 20:08:40 +0100, Peter Zimmermann wrote:

 > Dear pdftex experts,
 > when pdftexing the file
 > \documentclass{article}
 > \usepackage{color,graphicx}
 > %% \pdfminorversion=3
 > \begin{document}
 > \pagecolor{blue}
 > \null
 > \pagebreak
 > \includegraphics{pict.png}
 > \end{document} 
 > with a multicolor picture pict.png the background color changes
 > when running the same file on a (Windows XP) machine with MiKTeX
 > 2.7 and MiKTeX 2.9. This is visible with Adobe Acrobat/Reader
 > (version >= 7.0), not with SumatraPDF.  In the 2.9 version the blue
 > background looked shaded on page 2 (not so with 2.7).  I have
 > verified that all loaded files have the same version except:
 > pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-1.40.8-beta-20080627 (MiKTeX 2.7) versus
 > pdfTeX, Version 3.1415926-2.4-1.40.13 (MiKTeX 2.9)
 > and 
 > LaTeX2e <2005/12/01> (2.7) versus LaTeX2e <2011/06/27> (2.9) 
 > The picture is a screenshot clip from a vignetting chart of a
 > zoom-objective (reproduceable with other clips; clip from page
 > http://www.photozone.de/nikon--nikkor-aps-c-lens-tests//242-nikkor-af-s-18-200mm-f35-56-g-if-ed-vr-ii-dx-review--test-report?start=1 ).

(I removed the line break from the link.  Hopefully the my mail client
doesn't insert one again.)

 > If I use \pdfminorversion=3 with 2.9 the problem is gone (from
 > \pdfminorversion=4 on the problem occurs). What has changed in
 > pdftex and why?

It's curious that only Adobe Reader has these problems.  However, I
can't reproduce it with TeX Live and AR-9.5.1 on Linux.  I tested it

  pdfTeX 3.141592-1.40.3-2.2 (Web2C 7.5.6)    %% TeX Live 2007
  pdfTeX 3.1415926-1.40.9-2.2 (Web2C 7.5.7)   %% TeX Live 2008
  pdfTeX 3.1415926-2.4-1.40.13 (TeX Live 2012)

and with \pdfminorversion=3 and the default.

I had a similar problem with colors.  Whenever a page contained a
graphic with transparency (produced by pgf/pgfplots), the colors in
our company logo changed.  The solution was to add the line

 \pdfpageattr {/Group << /S /Transparency /I true /CS /DeviceRGB>>}

to the top of the LaTeX source file.  You don't use transparency
explicitly, but it's supported by the PNG standard at least.

You could also try to insert a JPEG file instead, AFAIK JPEG doesn't
support transparency.

If this doesn't help, please make your PDF files accessible.  If you
don't have access to a web server, send me the files privately and
I'll put them on mine and provide a link.

BTW, your test file is already quite minimal, but you can still reduce
the size (and the number of objects) of the PDF file if you add the


to the preamble.  This prevents pdftex from putting any fonts,
encoding vectors, and related things into the output file.


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.

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