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command line convert pdf 1.4 to 1.3

Posted on 2008-10-31
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Last Modified: 2013-12-02
Anyone know of a free solution (command line) that can convert PDF version 1.4 to 1.3?

I am using pdftk to burst a 3000 page document, but it automatically converts the pdf from 1.3 to 1.4 - because it based on iText I think ~ looked for older versions no luck....

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Question by:dyoung520
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Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 22852525
Why do you think you need PDF 1.3? That version of PDF was generated by Acrobat 4, back in 1999. Pretty much any modern software (and almost ten years old is by no means modern in the software world) should be able to process PDF 1.4.

Also, chances are that your PDF still is PDF 1.3 compatible, it's just labeled with 1.4. What counts is actually what is in the file, and not what label an application put on the file.

So again my question: Do you really need PDF 1.3?
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Author Comment

by:dyoung520
ID: 22852568
Apparently we are using Quark like 4 or something and it only will allow 1.3 for what we are trying to do... Which is pull in a particular pdf for a particular record in design merge...
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Karl Heinz Kremer earned 500 total points
ID: 22852652
Would you be able to modify the pdftk source code? If so, you can change the version information to PDF1.3. You could also write the burst function in iText and set the PDF version information with the PDFWriter.setPdfVersion() method.

I am not aware of any software that can do this for free and via a command line interface. The problem with converting from one version of an older one is that you may have to "fake" certain features because they are just not available in the older version. Because you are starting out with PDF 1.3 files, that should not be a problem.

You could also try to just change the first line in the PDF file (that's where that information is stored), but keep in mind that PDF is a binary format. Quark may be able to recognize such modified files.
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Author Closing Comment

by:dyoung520
ID: 31512104
Thank You ~ We ended up converting to eps and using that...  I need to start programming in java iText seems great... I know a few of the free toolkits and programs I've used have been based on it.
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