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Topic: Batch Search and Replace
Conf: (P-PDF) Developers, Msg: 51987
From: ajames
Date: 5/29/2002 04:49 PM

Hi, I need to do a search and replace on PDF files. I would like to create a CGI program that will search a PDF file for a given string (stra), replace with another string (strb), and save the resulting file to a PDF file. The resulting PDF file should be identical to the source file with the exception of stra -> strb.

I thought of doing this as a PERL CGI with the following logic:

open(FILEA, "a.pdf");
open(FILEB, ">b.pdf");
while (read $newline from FILEA) {
if $newline contains stra,
replace it with strb
print FILEB $newline


I chose to do it this way so I could provide a tool to the people that need to do the search & replace (there are lots of files) as opposed to doing them myself. They would visit a web page, upload a PDF, then receive the resulting/converted PDF.

I think I could do this if all the text was readily-readable in the PDF, but it is not. In Acrobat reader, it is selectable, and when I paste it into notepad it looks file. My guess is that it is compressed?

So then I think my question is, is there a tool that will uncompress the parts of it and essentially save the entire file uncompressed, then I will search & replace it, then another utility that will convert the uncompressed file as compressed?

I found a Perl module that works with PDF but didn't go down that road yet.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

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