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

on Thu, Mar 18, 2004 at 09:07:23AM -0800, Jonathan Stickel (jjstickel@sbcglobal.net) wrote:
> 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.

> > > > 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 format.
> > > >
> > > > 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.

> >jon,
> >
> >karsten was right 

Wow.  I'm not used to seeing that in print...

<long day, stupid flame threads....elsewhere>

> > 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.

It might not be necessary to drag the horse out back and shoot it yet.

I've found that hyperlinks in my resume, when translated via html2ps and
pstopdf, end up as links in the final PDF doc.  Examples at


(Some of y'all might have overheard my comments about my resume "build
system" including Makefiles, 'resume.d', and 'resume-<version>.d' files
at the past week's LUGoD dinner -- this is the result).

Again:  if the intent is to overlay a hyperlink, it's possible that with
some clever formatting, this would be possible.  Painful, but possible.
Overlay a white-background text block with the URL encoded on it over
the non-hyperlinked text in the original document.

I *still* maintain that the "better" solution is to work with the source
document.  Which doesn't mean that the kluge solution isn't possible.

> 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.

Might work.  Ugly though.  Definitely ugly.

Norm?  Still with us?  ;-)


Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
   Support the EFF, they support you:  http://www.eff.org/

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