I am using LaTeX to typeset my CV. Many companies now do not personally read applicants' submissions but instead scan them for keywords and phrases using a piece of software. I have the impression that my LaTeX-created files tend to be less readable by these kinds of software than PDF-output created from a commonly used WYSIWYG word processor. Does anyone know if there are indeed differences and how I can increase 'machine readability' of my LaTeX-PDF?

I have recently had a problem with this in an application, where my CV -- as read by the software -- was displayed online and it was unreadable. Unfortunately I can no longer access this application, so I cannot given a real example. What I recall is that many accentuated characters were completely unreadable and many words were joined together, in which case the software would fail to recognise them as individual words.

closed as too broad by Martin Schröder, user31729, Malipivo, Claudio Fiandrino, Sean Allred Mar 9 '15 at 13:23

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 3
    I could imagine that this question might be considered to be too broad. But in addition, you could use hyperref package and it's keywords option to add arbitrary keywords, but possibly not what you have in mind – user31729 Mar 9 '15 at 10:58
  • What you are suggesting is an extra. First of all I would like the words contained in my document to be properly read. How is this a very broad question? Are there no packages which do this? – Constantin Mar 9 '15 at 11:24
  • @Constantin: We have 103 questions with the tag copy-paste. – Martin Schröder Mar 9 '15 at 11:34
  • Does this software read the document in the same way that 'copy-paste' does? If I solve the copy-paste problem, will I be certain to have solved them problem described above? – Constantin Mar 9 '15 at 11:37

To answer the first part of your question (Does anyone know if there are indeed differences), yes, there are differences, and here is an example.

I am an eager office worker!

Compiling this to a PDF will yield a very plain document. If you now search for "office" with Acrobat Reader, you will see that this program does not find the work. Copying and pasting the whole text from the PDF into LibreOffice yields:

 I am an eager oce worker!

For typographic reasons, pdflatex merges the "ffi" into a single element of the used font, which causes the problem.

Now let's try something different: perhaps if we use a standard Windows/Linux, no special symbol will be used for "ffi". So let's use one of these instead.

I am an eager office worker!

Now this must be compiled using lualatex and "Arial" is probably not the best choice for a CV. But hey, this is just an example. Copying and pasting into LibreOffice from the resulting PDF now yields:

 I am an eager office worker!

Now the "office" is displayed correctly.

There may also also be some packages that achieve the same effect without switching to a native font.

  • 2
    I seem to remember there was a package that would fix this, but I don't recall the name... – Constantin Mar 9 '15 at 11:27
  • 2
    "1" = Page number? – cjorssen Mar 9 '15 at 11:34
  • Btw, pdftotext command from poppler lib is smart enough to decode the ffi ligature into its atoms. – AlexG Mar 9 '15 at 12:03
  • 1
    @Constantin, cmap? – daleif Mar 9 '15 at 12:07
  • 2
    Also \usepackage[T1]{fontenc} (accompanied or not by \usepackage{lmodern} fixes the problem. – egreg Mar 9 '15 at 13:18

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.