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Re: 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:
> http://pj.freefaculty.org/linux/file.pdf
> I'm posting a copy of a bad pdf file that was created by opening it in
> acrobat reader, and using save-a-copy:
> http://pj.freefaculty.org/linux/4145321-corrupt.pdf
> 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.


To my knowledge, Firefox doesn't save/export directly to PDF.  When you
"print to file", you're saving a postscript file, which usually has a .ps
extension...you can name it filename.pdf all you like, but naming it with
a pdf extension does not make it a PDF.

The reason evince reads the file is because evince understands the
postscript file format.

You will need to run that output file through ps2pdf(14?), first, to
actually convert it from postscript to pdf.

Mike Burger

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