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Topic: How to find & replace
Conf: (P-PDF) What's Wrong with my PDF?, Msg: 162234
From: Lost1
Date: 9/13/2007 01:30 AM

At work I've printed out some pdfs with Acrobat Reader 8 which came with a tiny horizontal line of about 1 pixel height and 3 characters length somewhere in between the text. This line was at a different position on each page and I couldn't find out where it came from.

At home I printed the same pdf from Foxit Reader and the lines were gone! Took me some time and Foxit Editor to figure out what it was: the author had added a 10 digit number as fill text of 0pt size and white font color (as is the document background) so it wouldn't be readable. Foxit Reader ignores it as it should since the text is 0 pt, Adobe Reader however seems to think it's got to be printed somehow since something is there.

What strikes me as odd is the the fact that the author seems to be able to add this text atop of the regular text so if one does select text in PDF Editor it's very difficult to select the hidden text as well:

Please check out my image to see the thin rectangular selection below the regular text. I wasn't aware that one could add "layered" text to a pdf. Or maybe this was done with the typewriter functionality, I don't know.

Since we're not permitted to install any software on our machines at work and we're stuck with Acrobat Reader I would like to manually remove those info (the document isn't protected) so ppl can print them out properly. Is there any way to select all of these snippets in the document at once or search and replace them rather to hunt them down manually? Since they have size, font and colour that differ from the regular text it should be comparatively easy to do.

And on a similar note, when we do documents at our company, how can we make sure none of the metadata (like in those bloated word documents) is left in them? Is there a definite way to strip all but the readable text from a pdf? Like when I convert it to RTF and back, can I be sure everything else is actually gone? Thanks!

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