Re: [htdig] acroread problems (was: 3.1.5: Completed large index)

Subject: Re: [htdig] acroread problems (was: 3.1.5: Completed large index)
From: Gilles Detillieux (
Date: Mon Oct 16 2000 - 09:28:19 PDT

According to Geoff Hutchison:
> On Tue, 17 Oct 2000, Peter L. Peres wrote:
> > PS: Has anyone seen Adobe PDF files (from Adobe, f.ex. BDF font
> > specification documents) which cause strange acroreader (and htdig)
> > problems ? I have a few and I am not glad about this.
> Oh tons, esp. if you're using acroread v. 4. If you'll see the FAQ you can
> see that we do not recommend using acroread unless your documents cannot
> be parsed at all by xpdf.
> <>

You weren't very specific about what sorts of strange problems you ran
into with acroread and htdig, Peter. Acroread 4 is quite unreliable
for PS file generation. Acroread 3 is much more stable. Beyond that,
there are still a lot of word spacing problems in the way htdig parses
acroread's PS output, which are avoided when you use pdftotext (from
the xpdf package) in an external converter like This is
the main reason we recommend pdftotext.

There are also font-specific problems with both acroread and pdftotext.
htdig's usage of acroread assumes the PDF files use the same font encoding
as the character set in your current locale, which often breaks down
when PDFs use other encodings. pdftotext tries to be smarter about it,
and remaps other encodings to ISO Latin 1 (8859-1), which tends to work
better, but still breaks down for characters not in the Latin 1 encoding,
fonts that use non-standard glyph names, or if you use an encoding other
than ISO-8859-1 in your locale.

pdftotext also has some problems with documents that switch from portrait
to landscape orientation. This is the one area where acroread is still
superior to it.

Gilles R. Detillieux              E-mail: <>
Spinal Cord Research Centre       WWW:
Dept. Physiology, U. of Manitoba  Phone:  (204)789-3766
Winnipeg, MB  R3E 3J7  (Canada)   Fax:    (204)789-3930

------------------------------------ To unsubscribe from the htdig mailing list, send a message to You will receive a message to confirm this. List archives: <> FAQ: <>

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b28 : Mon Oct 16 2000 - 09:33:38 PDT