ouch: the beginning of the end

Dr. Hawkins dochawk at gmail.com
Fri Mar 3 17:20:58 EST 2017

On Fri, Mar 3, 2017 at 1:29 PM, Paul Dupuis via use-livecode <
use-livecode at lists.runrev.com> wrote:

> So the XPDF viewer lets you grab the text from PDFs, the formattedRect
> of any selected Text, and the page (or ant portion of the rendered page)
> as an Image in addition to just viewing a PDF

I have *absolutely* no use for the text, unless I'm completely replacing
the pdf with fields.

I don't need a reproduction of the PDF in livecode; I already have tools
for that.  I need the pdf itself.

AFAIK, it is impossible to take text from a pdf of unknown creation source
(or possibly pieced together by different editors) and maintain the exact
spacing.  Just for openers, I find font sizes that were apparently, say,
6.2, or line heights of 12.2, or that it three lines were generated with
the Mxyzptlk font that some employee happened to have on his computer and
he thought would be nice for that part.

A clerk or secretary printing the government version and my version on
acetate sheets to see if they line up to the pixel is an actual concern I
have to face (yes, there are folks with that much time on their hands).  In
the early 90s, I dropped this project (then in SuperCard 1.5) when the
clerk at the time told me that we would have to be exact *to the pixel* of
the new scanners they had coming in (which, to this date, have not

> I assume the issue that you view EPS as high resolution for the purposes
> of printing the PDF form back out with your layered fields filled in.
> You can grad what ever resolution of a PDF page you want with XPDF. You
> set the scaling to say 400% and then get the page image and scale the
> image to 25% and you have a image at normal size but at 4x screen
> resolution. Want more resolution, set the PDF scale to 800% and fetch
> the page image. Have a super high resolution printer - keep scaling!

Except that I have a fairly tight size limits on uploaded files, and
arbitrarily large files will trample that fast on a 100 page pdf.

> It seems to me XPDF is capable of doing everything you need to do.
> If the forms have labels for the fields, such as:
> Name: [space on the pdf to type or write a name]
> Nope; don't need that at all.

My software generates rules on how the contents of each field depends on
others.  I need to be laying my own fields in software, with the names I
give them (you don't think the government would remain all that consistent
between documents, do you? :)  besides, they don't define most of the names
I need anyway).

What I need is to be able to use an eps or a pdf as a display object, and
to export a pdf with that object.

Dr. Richard E. Hawkins, Esq.
(702) 508-8462

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