Re: Create PDF with spaces intact?

Subject: Re: Create PDF with spaces intact?
From: Paul Goble <pgcommunication -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 6 Jul 2010 16:28:21 -0500

I think the problem in question--one which is also an annoyance for
me--is that the code snippet appears correctly in the PDF, but when
the code is copied from the PDF, leading spaces are not copied to the

This happens because PDF encodes the visual appearance of a document.
A PDF text object is defined as a line of characters beginning at
particular X-Y coordinates. To keep the PDF file small, these are
normally the coordinates of the first *visible* character. There's a
great summary on how PDF works at

Another way to state the question is: "Is there a way to tell Acrobat
to encode leading spaces in a text object?" Or perhaps, "Is there
another sort of object I can embed into a PDF file which would allow
the user to copy literal text to the clipboard?"

The best solution may be to provide a companion text file or Web site
for the examples.

Paul Goble

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Create PDF with spaces intact?: From: Barbara
Re: Create PDF with spaces intact?: From: Tim Murray

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