[Techtalk] Unreadable(?) pdf files

Akkana Peck akkana at shallowsky.com
Fri Mar 11 19:28:55 UTC 2016

David Sumbler writes:
> xpdf followed by the filename gives up with a segmentation fault,
> producing the following output:

My understanding is that xpdf now is based on libpoppler (as are
evince, gimp's PDF plug-in and lots of other apps). But there was a
time when it used its own engine, so you could try looking for some
old code of xpdf (really old, like maybe 2005) from when they had
their own engine. I'm sure the source is available somewhere. If
nothing else, you can often find old source in archives of old
Debian or Redhat packages. You might not be able to convert to
another format but at least you could read what's there.

Sarah's suggestion of trying ghostscript (gs) is good too --
definitely worth a try.

Calibre can convert from PDF, but I don't know what engine it uses;
might be worth a try. It looks like pdftohtml uses libpoppler so
that probably won't help.


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