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PDF simplification

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Nov. 20th, 2012 | 02:09 am

Quick question...

Suppose you've got a PDF document with an embedded form that you can fill out, if your PDF reader supports it. Suppose further that your PDF reader doesn't; but instead of a graceful failure (the document without the form), you get but a message saying, in essence, "you need to upgrade your PDF reader".

I imagine that this is the document's fault more so than the reader's, but either way: is there a way to remove the form and have the document render normally, or otherwise simplify it? I don't actually care about filling it out electronically; I merely want to print it.

(The file in question is here, BTW; the reader application is based on MuPDF.)

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Comments {8}

Kevlar

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from: kevlarhusky
date: Nov. 20th, 2012 07:50 am (UTC)
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You could open it with adobe reader, which does support forms. In this case I would probably say that it is the readers fault.

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Nov. 20th, 2012 10:16 am (UTC)
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That's not an option. :P

And one might say that, but I'm more interested in whether there's a way of taking a PDF and stripping such things as Javascript, forms etc. and just leaving an actual document.

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Kevlar

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from: kevlarhusky
date: Nov. 20th, 2012 12:00 pm (UTC)
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Why isn't it an option? Surely it's the best option available? :3

I'm not sure if there's a way to edit a document without opening it...

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Nov. 20th, 2012 12:04 pm (UTC)
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I didn't mean "edit" as in "open the file in a visual editor and manually remove unwanted elements", I meant "edit" as in "run the file through a tool that will automagically strip all the cruft".

And it isn't because I'm not installing that piece of spying bloatware. :P

Edited at 2012-11-20 12:04 pm (UTC)

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Kevlar

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from: kevlarhusky
date: Nov. 20th, 2012 12:07 pm (UTC)
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Ah I see ^^ This is beyond me totally :P

And here is your alternative :3
http://www.foxitsoftware.com/Secure_PDF_Reader/

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Nov. 20th, 2012 12:13 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I know, Foxit might work. Of course, it's also approaching Adobe Reader in terms of bloat and all that.

Really, I'm just looking for something that I can run a PDF file through. :P Like jhead for JPEGs and so on.

Still, thank you. :)

Edited at 2012-11-20 12:31 pm (UTC)

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ungulata

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from: ungulata
date: Nov. 20th, 2012 03:46 pm (UTC)
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I use Foxit and I only got a text message suggesting I check www.adobe for an updated version. I find it strange that Foxit would suggest I go to Adobe, this leads me to suspect the message.

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Nov. 20th, 2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
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I got a similar message in my PDF viewer, and I suspect that it's actually the document; my best guess would be that there's some code in there that outputs the actual document (since PDFs can actually contain embedded Javascript these days), and the "you need to upgrade your Adobe Reader, yadda yadda" message is displayed using the equivalent of <noscript> tags. So as far as the PDF viewer is concerned, the document has actually been rendered correctly, if not to the user's satisfaction.

It's just shot in the dark, of course, but it seems like the most likely explanation.

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