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Old 10-17-2018, 12:37 AM   #1
MarjaE
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Remove background images from pdfs? perhaps all images?

Hi,

I have a few pdfs I can't read because background images obscure the text. I don't expect any solution for scanned pdfs, but I've tried to find one for pdf-born-pdfs, and been beset with bugs.

In Ghostscript, I've tried:

gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dFILTERIMAGE -dFILTERVECTOR -dCompatibilityLevel=1.4 -dNOPAUSE -dQUIET -dBATCH -sOutputFile=[output.pdf] [input.pdf]

I don't just lose raster images and vector images, I lose about half the text too. And quick checks confirm it wasn't raster images of text.

I've also tried a 2-step process with:

gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dCompatibilityLevel=1.4 -dNOPAUSE -dQUIET -dBATCH -sOutputFile=[output.pdf] [input.pdf]

*and then*

gs -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dFILTERIMAGE -dFILTERVECTOR -dCompatibilityLevel=1.4 -dNOPAUSE -dQUIET -dBATCH -sOutputFile=[output.pdf] [input.pdf]

Now I lose about one-twentieth of the text instead of half, but that's still too much. I usually end up with the lower left corner of the page blown up to fill the whole page.

I've tried using mutool clean -d -l -g, or cpdf with specified page sizes (and -blacktext to avoid white text on white backgrounds), or ghostscript with specified page sizes, but none of these solve the problem.

Any suggestions?
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Old 10-17-2018, 08:22 AM   #2
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PDFs can be put together a billion different ways.

Currently, there's no way that anyone can reproduce your issue.

Can you share this PDF or a sample of it, so people can test methods?

Can you at least show some sample images of what the PDF looks like?
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Old 10-17-2018, 03:30 PM   #3
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The background images here don't give me any trouble, but the other bugs do occur:

https://www.chaosium.com/content/Fre...Quickstart.pdf

The background images on some Bundle of Holding pdfs have been making things unreadable, but I shouldn't share them.

Splitting individual pages actually helps with this-- at one point I was running cpdf to split, ghostscript to convert to 1.4, ghostscript again to remove images and vectors, cpdf to merge, and cpdf to blacktext. But using ghostscript again would cause some of the same errors to reappear.
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