Reading PDF - a cry for help

Bernard Devlin bdrunrev at
Fri Sep 30 14:08:31 EDT 2011

I have a couple of suggestions (although I am not sure either will
work as smoothly as Graham wants, but my still be worth  a try).

1. display the pdf in a browser control, snapshot the window, present
the snapshot to the user to crop to just the image.
2. assuming that there is a linux solution (I've used pdf2txt or some
such on Linux to extract the text out of 1000 page pdf files), create
your own webservice that will accept a PDF file and a page number, and
it returns an image of the page to be cropped by the user.  I have
created such a web service before which took files in various "office"
formats and returned the data from the files (using OpenOffice running
headless on the linux server to extract the text).  Whilst such a
service might seem like a lot of work to setup, it is going to be
easier than writing an external or (I would imagine) parsing
PostScript (although I do have the PostScript manuals and
specification lying around here somewhere in PDF format).  You can get
your own VPS at Linode for approx $20 a month.


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