I found a nice piece of software (pdf2swf) that converts pdf files to browse-able flash files, but prevents them from being downloaded.

I have a "book" document that I wrote in LaTeX and I want to host it on a website as an swf file (so that it can be read but not downloaded).

The problem I'm having is that the 8.5in x 11in paper size scales very narrow to fit on the screen; I tried manipulating the paper size, but it smashed my text around and some of the text disappeared.

Is there a simple way to compile a LaTeX book document so that it will change the paper size but nothing else?

  • Welcome to TeX.sx! If my answer isn't at all what you're looking for, you could perhaps specify what you mean with "the 8.5x11 paper size scales very narrow to fit on the screen" and "change the aspect ratio".
    – doncherry
    Aug 22, 2011 at 11:17
  • Oh and it'd be good if we could find a more accurate title. You're working on a problem on the way to Flash pdf with LaTeX, but this is not the problem itself. If my guess was correct, the title could be something like Converting letter paper to A4 paper without changing anything else.
    – doncherry
    Aug 22, 2011 at 11:26
  • @doncherry I think you're right; I was just holding out hope that someone would say "Oh, if you want to stream a pdf without it being downloadable, there is this piece of software / html one-liner / etc. ..."
    – user
    Aug 22, 2011 at 15:37
  • pdf2swf definitely sounds like a neat tool, but one question should be on one topic. We can provide links to related questions in comments and the questions themselves. If you wanna share pdf2swf expressedly with the tex.sx community, you could check if there's any question asking for non-downloadable online solutions; if there is one, post it as an answer, if not, ask a question and answer it yourself after a day or two. I did the same thing with tex.stackexchange.com/q/25919. You might want to check out meta.tex.stackexchange.com/q/4 first.
    – doncherry
    Aug 22, 2011 at 16:16
  • 1
    You can't prevent people from copying your text: all they need is a thing called a secretary. Aug 23, 2011 at 11:56

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure if this is exactly what you're looking for, but with the following you can convert a document on letter paper (8.5in x 11in) to A4 paper (210mm x 297mm) and it looks like nothing else changes.




Because 8.5in − 210mm = 6mm, there's a little bit chopped off at the sides; and because 11in − 297mm = −17.6mm, there's additional space at the bottom and the top, but you can't get around this if you don't want to change anything else. (I'm assuming you don't want to "stretch-to-fit" your document, that would just look terrible.) So if you have elements really close to the edge of the paper, they'll get cut off.

  • Thanks! Do you know if I can do this with {book} instead of article? I use \part{...} in my document.
    – user
    Aug 22, 2011 at 15:37
  • @Oliver: You could certainly just try it. It's not necessary though. Finish your document (with the book documentclass) all the way and compile it by itself, in letter format. Then compile the document I posted with the name of your book file instead of myfabulousbookinletterformat.pdf. This document only changes the page format, so the relatively simple article class suffices, book is unnecessarily complex and might or might not trigger problems. All of your \part{...}s stay in your myfabulousbookinletterformat.tex.
    – doncherry
    Aug 22, 2011 at 15:48
  • +1 Great, thanks! I don't know why I thought \part wouldn't work for article.
    – user
    Aug 22, 2011 at 17:17

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