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Fedora makes bad pdf files?

Dear Linux Using Friends:

I've run into a trouble that Firefox users who "print to file" and
create pdf output generate files that acroread cannot open.

My teaching assistant first discovered this while browsing the web.  A
variety of pdf created by print to file were viewable in evince, but
not acrobat.  SInce most students are using acrobat on Windows or
Macintosh, this created a problem.

In my Ubunutu Linux (Hardy Herron) system, the error message I see
when I try to open the file is "There was an error processing a page.
Error while parsing a Form, Type 3 font, or Pattern."  I have not seen
the Microsoft Acroboat error with my own eyes, but the students
complain it says "not a valid pdf file."

In one example, the error says "Adobe Reader could not open 'file.pdf'
because it is either not a supported file type or becausethefile has
been damaged (for example, it was sent as an email attachment and
wasn't correctly decoded)".  However, the EXACT same file can be
viewed with Evince:


I'm posting a copy of a bad pdf file that was created by opening it in
acrobat reader, and using save-a-copy:


Sometimes I've had luck converting files pdf to ps and pack to pdf
with pdftops and ps2pdf14, but it does not always work.  The end
result has some of the heading fonts that are legible, but there are
just fuzzy blocks where the actual text is supposed to be.

I have seen the same problem happen when users open a pdf file in
Firefox, which then opens the Acrobat for Linux plugin, and when the
"save as" option is used, it creates an illegible pdf.  I'm quite
baffled why that happens, because so far as I can tell, the pdf that
was saved should not be changed by acrobat reader.

If you have any ideas, please let me know.

Paul E. Johnson
Professor, Political Science
1541 Lilac Lane, Room 504
University of Kansas

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