[nSLUG] Foolproof way to print PDF's?

Daniel Morrison draker at gmail.com
Thu May 2 19:06:56 ADT 2013


On 2013-05-02 17:59, Jack Warkentin wrote:
> Hi Everybody
>
> Every once in a while I come across a PDF file which I can view
> on-screen perfectly on my Debian Wheezy system with several different
> PDF viewers, including gv, epdfview, and xpdf. But *none* of these
> prints the file successfully. A case in point can be found at
>
> http://celebratingmagnolias.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/magnolia_tour.pdf

404 File not found.

Maybe you meant:


http://celebratingmagnolias.files.wordpress.com/2010/04/magnolia_tour_2013.pdf

> On the other hand, when I fire up my Windows XP virtual machine, I
> can print it perfectly with Adobe Acrobat.
>
> I find this very frustrating. Any ideas, anyone?

Once upon a time, a company called Adobe invented a new type of file they
called "Portable Document Format". The idea was it would be *portable* -- a
standardized way to display content across different platforms, so that the
authors could be assured that what you saw was really want they wanted you
to see.

Then it became popular, and like any good company they extended it, and
cooperated with Microsoft to make certain that most PDF files created in
Microsoft Windows would work properly only when used in Microsoft Windows.
And since Microsoft Windows was already used on an overwhelming majority of
systems (and for a great deal of other political reasons) the cries of
protest from free software enthusiasts went unheeded.

Or maybe the authors of this particular PDF file are just sloppy with their
bits:

daniel at CentOS6:~$ pdfinfo magnolia_tour_2013.pdf
Error: PDF file is damaged - attempting to reconstruct xref table...
Error: Couldn't find trailer dictionary
Error: Couldn't read xref table

I have an image file like that for you too:

http://www.ohgizmo.com/2008/03/20/broken-image-necklace-fails-to-load/

-D.

-- 
What is not surrounded by uncertainty cannot be truth.
               -- Richard Feynman
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