Skip site navigation (1)Skip section navigation (2)
Date:      Wed, 27 Sep 2006 05:45:49 -0700
From:      George Allan <>
Subject:   Re: pdf editor
Message-ID:  <20060927124549.GA568@home>
In-Reply-To: <Pine.LNX.4.64.0609271247000.4339@Psilocybe.Update.UU.SE>
References:  <> <> <Pine.LNX.4.64.0609271247000.4339@Psilocybe.Update.UU.SE>

Next in thread | Previous in thread | Raw E-Mail | Index | Archive | Help
On Wed, Sep 27, 2006 at 12:47:56PM +0200, Andreas Davour wrote:
> On Tue, 26 Sep 2006, Anthony Agelastos wrote:
>> On Sep 26, 2006, at 11:46 AM, sean wrote:
>>> Can anyone recommend a pdf editor, hopefully one in ports?
>> What you can do is use the command pdf2ps (should install with 
>> Ghostscript if memory serves) to convert the PDF into PostScript.  
>> PostScript is plain text, so you can edit it with any text editor 
>> (vim, emacs, ee, nedit, pico/nano, etc.) or just use sed to change 
>> your line (sed's/oldline/newline/g' 
>>> Then, when the new PostScript file has been created, 
>>> just re-create the pdf with ps2pdf. I know this is not very elegant, 
>>> but it works for small changes.
> It sure is a itch that I can't scratch that there's no tool that does 
> this with a fancy GUI. It is something I've wanted many times.

Maybe it's time to reconsider the nature of that itch?  PDF was never 
meant to be edited (except peripherally), and most definitely not in the 
sense that you're thinking.  Consider it a FINAL "print" format, like an 
image that's long since left the photographer, his studio and his camera 
and now exists only as a JPG on a hard drive.
If you're looking for fancy GUI applications, then you're talking about 
the usual desktop publishing tools from Adobe (Framemaker, Pagemaker, 
etc.) that can (and typically do) generate a PDF as a final step after 
the work has been done using their native formats.  If you're using 
*nix, then typically you'll be using LaTeX, etc. as the "authoring" 
tool, and similarly be generating the final postscript or PDF when 
you're done.

The basic equation is 


Most people who are in the habit of using or relying on "word 
processing" programs (where the editing part is mixed up with the final 
product) make the same mistake of pursuing mythical PDF "editing" or 
"conversion" tools that don't exist.  It's an understandable mistake, 
but it's also worth pointing out that in the publishing world, no one 
takes word processors seriously or uses their output, except in some 
cases as an accomodation for people who didn't know any better, and 
similarly weren't aware of how bad the output quality really was.

Want to link to this message? Use this URL: <>