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binaryfiles – How to convert PDF binary parts into ASCII/ANSI so I can look at it in a text editor? – Stack Overflow

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/06/30

The first hit of pdf binary to text – Google Search was [WayBack] binaryfiles – How to convert PDF binary parts into ASCII/ANSI so I can look at it in a text editor? – Stack Overflow has many options including:

Since I have qpdf installed on most systems:

Another useful tool to transform a PDF into an internal format that enables text editor access is qpdf. It is a “command-line program that does structural, content-preserving transformations on PDF files”.

Example usage:

 qpdf                                  \
   --qdf                               \
   --object-streams=disable            \
     input-with-compressed-objects.pdf \
  1. The output of the QDF-mode enforced by the --qdf switch organizes and re-orders the objects neatly. It adds comments to track the original object IDs and page content streams. All object dictionaries are written into a “normalized” standard format for easier parsing.
  2. The --object-streams=disable causes the extraction of (otherwise not recognizable) individual objects that are compressed into another object’s stream data.

The recompress is easy as per [WayBackQPDF Manual:

qpdf /tmp/uncompressed.pdf /tmp/compressed.pdf

The answer is by [WayBack] User Kurt Pfeifle – Stack Overflow who has many other interesting PDF related answers at:


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