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Re: [Groff] `fi' makes trouble in pdf

From: Deri James
Subject: Re: [Groff] `fi' makes trouble in pdf
Date: Mon, 02 Jun 2014 13:33:29 +0100
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On Mon 02 Jun 2014 11:55:32 Ralph Corderoy wrote:
> Hi Tadziu,
> > However, it does not embed the font (it contains an encoding vector
> > and only a reference to "Times-Roman") so it is up to the viewer to
> > provide the requested font.
> How do you recommend `disassembling' a PDF to inspect its contents?  I'm
> happy grokking PostScript but want to see the PDF's structure so
> pdf2ps's output, for example, isn't suitable.
> Cheers, Ralph.

Hi Ralph,

The most useful tool for working with pdfs is pdftk. One of its uses is to 
the pdf, so you can at least "read" it in an editor. However, this does not 
help with the 
actual structure of the pdf, so I wrote a utility ( and it's module  to display the structure as a mindmap. Run with the 
filename of the pdf file and save stdout to a file, then use a program called 
to view this file. In the mindmap click on nodes to view dependent nodes.

Bernd-mm.pdf is an example of what the mindmap looks like (with all nodes 
and you can see the first kid of the pages entry has a "Contents" entry which 
points to 
object 4. Looking at object 4 in the uncompressed pdf shows:-

q 1 0 0 1 0 0 cm
1 J
1 j
0 G
0 g
q BT
1 0 0 1 72 780 Tm
/F5 10 Tf
0 Tc
0 Tw (<8c>le<8c>le) Tj
1 0 0 1 97.56 0 Tm
0 Tc


>From this you can see a character <8C> is used, which corresponds to the glyph 
>"fi" in 
the "/Differences" table in the encoding object (6 0 R). You need to use an 
editor to 
look at the uncompressed pdf as well as the mindmap since it does not display 
contents of streams and truncates big arrays, it is just meant as a sort of map 
of the 

I wrote it while writing the gropdf driver to see how others had created pdfs!



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