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FOSS replacement for PDF [Re: editing a PDF]

From: address@hidden
Subject: FOSS replacement for PDF [Re: editing a PDF]
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2023 04:26:08 -0400
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:102.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/102.9.0

On 3/21/23 6:55 PM, Ulrich Deiters wrote:
Am 21.03.23 um 22:57 schrieb
Better than that, what FOSS app(s) would be happy replacement for the Acrobat-Industrial Complex?

This depends on what you want. Printing a document takes
(at least) three stages:

(1) One composes the text using a language that contains formatting
commands. The best open-source choice is LaTeX. LaTeX code is human-
readable and can be edited with emacs; in fact, emacs has a LaTeX
mode. There are also free programs that assist writing LaTeX code,
or which let one compose XML code, which is then translated into LaTeX.

(2) One processes the LaTeX code; the results are DVI, PostScript,
or PDF files. Such files basically consist of instructions of the
type "choose font F, go to location (X, Y), and print character C". Therefore these files are long and, if converted to a human-readable
format, very boring. You do not want to edit these.

(3) The intermediate code is processed to produce a bitmap, which is
then transferred to the paper.

So you see, the stage at which editing makes sense is Stage (1).

Exceptions are graphics designers and artists, who work with PostScript
or similar languages directly in order to achieve special effects.

Thanks for the very thorough reply. This question really wasn't for me, but rather for people I know and meet who write pdf docs, who take pdf as a "standard". I'm afraid that latex would be far too technological for them... and for most people. Even something like Libreoffice's Write would have a more familiar UI-- for that reason alone they'd be more like likely to try it.

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