Friday, October 7, 2011

Generating Portable PDF

Yes, that's right, the subject, expanded, says "generating portable portable document format."  I got a shock this week when a PDF I had generated on a Linux system using LibreOffice 3.3.4 would not display on either of two XP systems I tried to show it on. The first time was in class, when I thought I was going to display an example. The issue is that LibreOffice used a font that the Windows systems didn't have. I googled it and installed a font with almost the same name, but it made no difference. It turns out one can force PDF to live up to its name in LibreOffice by specifying PDF/A-1a in the PDF options. Thanks to someone at a blog I can't find right now [ Jean at ] for pointing out to me that the settings are persistent, so when chosen once it is unnecessary to deal with it later.

The persistence seems like an inconsistency in LibreOffice: how are we to know there isn't a configuration option buried in the myriad of randomly-organized menus? How are to know the setting is persistent? It seems most are not.

To date I have encountered no portability problems with PDFs generated from LaTeX, dvips, and ps2pdf.

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