When I compile the following document:

\documentclass[10pt, oneside, a4paper]{report}

where the number of x's is greater than 32765, Adobe Reader is not able to read the document anymore, and just produces a blank page. Has anybody come across this before?

  • 3
    The actual limit seems to be 32767 = 2^{15}-1; other PDF viewers don't choke even with 1073741 characters (Skim on Mac OS X).
    – egreg
    Sep 29, 2011 at 13:07
  • 3
    Have you tried different versions of Adobe Reader/Acrobat?
    – einpoklum
    Sep 29, 2011 at 14:50
  • 16
    How the heck did you come across this behavior?
    – doncherry
    Sep 29, 2011 at 15:04
  • 2
    In the anglophone world, it is standard that the . in 32.765 would be interpreted as a decimal point. That is, 32.765 is less than 33. The typical thousands separator is the comma ,. The numbers here are not so big, so I edited the post to just remove the separator. I believe this is the least ambiguous approach.
    – Seamus
    Sep 29, 2011 at 15:12
  • @doncherry Where I work, we use LaTeX for document generation. One of the unit tests produce a very funky report, including such a string. The reason for the string, is actually to test what happens when generating an excel-sheet, where the maximum number of characters in a cell is larger than 32.767.
    – utdiscant
    Sep 30, 2011 at 17:49

2 Answers 2


The implementation limit for the length of strings in content streams for readers on 32-bit architectures is 32767 according to ISO 32000-2008, Table C.1, so 32766 and 32767 should probably also work.

  • 2
    I tried indeed with \romannumeral 32767000 to print a string consisting of 32677 m's and Reader opened it; with 32768 it didn't. Probably Reader is enforcing the limit, while other programs don't (see my comment above).
    – egreg
    Sep 29, 2011 at 17:45
  • 1
    @egreg: It doesn't have to enforce it: the limit is simply the length that any reader has to support - it's free to support longer strings, but producers are warned against creating them. Sep 29, 2011 at 20:02
  • 1
    Said in other words: Adobe people decided to not support longer strings and they have very good reasons.
    – egreg
    Sep 29, 2011 at 20:29
  • @egreg: Well, the implementation limits of 32 bit Adobe software are simply quite old; e.g. floats are limited to singe precision. Sep 29, 2011 at 20:37
  • @egreg: Why would Adobe people enforce such limits? What good reasons do you have in mind?
    – Count Zero
    Sep 30, 2011 at 12:05

I tried Adobe Reader X, it is OK. I think you may need to update your software.

  • I used Adobe Reader X myself, and I get the problem.
    – utdiscant
    Sep 30, 2011 at 17:45
  • Seeing the problem with Acrobat X on Win XP
    – einpoklum
    Oct 2, 2011 at 16:57

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