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Topic: Re: File damaged after editing
Conf: (P-PDF) Developers, Msg: 57095
From: LeonardR
Date: 5/29/2002 05:23 PM

At 9:23 AM -0400 10/12/00, p-pdf-developer Listmanager wrote:
>I have a non-optimized PDF with a few pieces of text that I want to
>change. I basically open the PDF in ASCII mode using PERL, replace
>the text, then save the file again. All works well if I replace the
>text with the same number of characters. If I add or subtract 1 or
>more characters I get "file is damaged but is being repaired" error
>message. Since this is done programmatically I won't have the
>ability to open and save every PDF to fix them.
>What is the cause of this and how do I correct it? Are there better
>ways to do this sort of procedure?
This happens because PDF files have a "cross reference table"
that tells PDF viewers where all the objects in the file are. If you
change the length/size of an object (or a sub-part of an object, like
text), then the x-ref is wrong and Acrobat reports the file being

The way to correct this is to NOT do simple search & replace
on text (since PDF is NOT a simple text file!), but to actually treat
the PDF file as a structure entity that it is and work with it that
way. You'll find some useful Perl scripts on CPAN
(), such as the Text::PDF module.

Leonard Rosenthol
Sr. Software Engineer (215) 922-3509 (voice)
Digital Applications (215) 440-0504 (fax)

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