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Re: [vox-tech] PDF editor?
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Re: [vox-tech] PDF editor?

Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
On Thu 18 Mar 04,  8:08 AM, Jonathan Stickel <jjstickel@sbcglobal.net> said:

Karsten M. Self wrote:

on Wed, Mar 17, 2004 at 01:12:03PM -0800, Norm Matloff (matloff@laura.cs.ucdavis.edu) wrote:

Does anyone know of an open-source editor for PDF files?  All I want to
do at present is insert Web links into a PDF file.

Norm, enjoyed your H1B pages for years...

PDF is _not_ an inherently editable format (though this is a good way to
get into a flamefest on some lists). It's a publishing / presentation

Your best bet is to find (or make) a source document and make your edits
there, then publish to PDF.

There are a number of tools which will let you work with files in PDF
format (an operation I consider distinct from "editing"), and you may be
able to overlay text from within these.

If it's just a single page, you can convert the pdf to ps (use pdftops, _not_ pdf2ps), import it into xfig, write on top of it, and export back to pdf.

karsten was right when he said that pdf is an output format
(paraphrased). postscript is even more of an output format. i think
norm's original email mentioned he wanted to edit some links. maybe it
was to insert hyperlinks. that's not supported by ps AFAIK, so
converting to ps, editing and converting back to pdf won't help. he's
looking for pdf functionality which isn't available with ps AFAIK.

You are right, Pete. My suggestion is just a hack to overwrite text (or even diagrams) on top of an existing pdf. I use this all the time to edit figures for inclusion in my own latex documents. If the intent is too add the text of urls to a page (http://some.url), it can be done this way. But if hyperlinks are desired, my suggestion will not work.

I'm not sure of the best way to work with multipage pdfs. You could split it into single pages, work with each page individually, and merge them together again when finished (via ghostscript). Of course, this would be rather tedious for large documents :).

Pdftex is probably another option, but I haven't used it enough to suggest how. I did discover a perl script which crops entire pdf documents. It uses pdftex internally to do much of the work.
that's kind of wierd. using pdflatex to perform actions on a pdf file
is like using an assembler to write C code. seems to me that it going
in the wrong direction. pdflatex turns tex into pdf. turning pdf to
latex is like trying to generate C code from assembly. not an easy
task, and the solution isn't unique.

Using pdftex for this purpose would also be a hack. I was just thinking it might be possible to script the overlay of new text on top of existing pdf pages.

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