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I am generating a PDF file with pdflatex on Ubuntu.

The file can successfully be read with Apple Preview and Adobe Acrobat Reader 2017 DC 2018 on Mac.

Surprisingly, I am not able to open the same PDF file with Adobe Acrobat Reader 11.0.20 XI on Windows 8. Acrobat tells me that the PDF file is corrupted :

There was an error opening the document. The file is damaged and could not be repaired.

It is not a problem of file corruption that would have occurred during the file transfer: when transferring the file that cannot be read from this "faulty" computer back to the Mac, the file can be successfully read.

pdflatex version on the Ubuntu machine that generates the PDF file:

$ pdflatex --version
pdfTeX 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.16 (TeX Live 2015/Debian)
kpathsea version 6.2.1
Copyright 2015 Peter Breitenlohner (eTeX)/Han The Thanh (pdfTeX).
There is NO warranty.  Redistribution of this software is
covered by the terms of both the pdfTeX copyright and
the Lesser GNU General Public License.
For more information about these matters, see the file
named COPYING and the pdfTeX source.
Primary author of pdfTeX: Peter Breitenlohner (eTeX)/Han The Thanh (pdfTeX).
Compiled with libpng 1.6.17; using libpng 1.6.17
Compiled with zlib 1.2.8; using zlib 1.2.8
Compiled with poppler version 0.41.0

When using a PDF compatibility/conformance checker (verapdf), I get the following report. Do you think there any entries below that could be at cause ?

Validation Profile: PDF/A-1B validation profile
PDF/A compliance:   Failed
Statistics
Version:    1.10.6
Build Date: 2017-12-28T11:58:00+01:00
Processing time:    00:00:01.381
Total rules in Profile: 103
Passed Checks:  64469
Failed Checks:  2412
Validation information
Rule    Status
Specification: ISO 19005-1:2005, Clause: 6.2.3, Test number: 2  
DeviceRGB may be used only if the file has a PDF/A-1 OutputIntent that uses an RGB colour space Failed
724 occurrences Show


Specification: ISO 19005-1:2005, Clause: 6.3.6, Test number: 1  
For every font embedded in a conforming file and used for rendering, the glyph width information in the font dictionary and in the embedded font program shall be consistent.   Failed
8 occurrences   Show


Specification: ISO 19005-1:2005, Clause: 6.4, Test number: 3    
A Group object with an S key with a value of Transparency shall not be included in a form XObject. A Group object with an S key with a value of Transparency shall not be included in a page dictionary Failed
44 occurrences  Show


Specification: ISO 19005-1:2005, Clause: 6.4, Test number: 5    
The following keys, if present in an ExtGState object, shall have the values shown: CA - 1.0    Failed
1 occurrences   Show


Specification: ISO 19005-1:2005, Clause: 6.2.3, Test number: 4  
If an uncalibrated colour space is used in a file then that file shall contain a PDF/A-1 OutputIntent, as defined in 6.2.2  Failed
1612 occurrences    Show


Specification: ISO 19005-1:2005, Clause: 6.3.5, Test number: 1  
Embedded font programs shall define all font glyphs referenced for rendering with conforming file.  Failed
8 occurrences   Show


Specification: ISO 19005-1:2005, Clause: 6.4, Test number: 6    
The following keys, if present in an ExtGState object, shall have the values shown: ca - 1.0    Failed
9 occurrences   Show


Specification: ISO 19005-1:2005, Clause: 6.7.3, Test number: 1  
If a document information dictionary does appear at a document, then all of its entries that have analogous properties in predefined XMP schemas, shall also be embedded in the file in XMP form with equivalent values.    Failed
1 occurrences   Show


Specification: ISO 19005-1:2005, Clause: 6.7.2, Test number: 1  
The document catalog dictionary of a conforming file shall contain the Metadata key.    Failed
1 occurrences   Show


Specification: ISO 19005-1:2005, Clause: 6.3.4, Test number: 1  
The font programs for all fonts used within a conforming file shall be embedded within that file, as defined in PDF Reference 5.8, except when the fonts are used exclusively with text rendering mode 3    Failed
2 occurrences   Show


Specification: ISO 19005-1:2005, Clause: 6.4, Test number: 2    
An XObject dictionary shall not contain the SMask key   Failed
2 occurrences   Show


Features information
Feature
Information dictionary

Edit

We have identified the problem: we use a png image file in the header of the pages. The pdf file can be opened with Acrobat XI 2012 when removing the image from the header of the left pages !

Note that

  • the png file is a screenshot done with macOS X
  • the pdf file can be opened with Acrobat XI 2012 when including this png file in the header of the right pages or displaying it in the flow of the text of the body of the document
  • the pdf file can be opened with Acrobat XI 2012 when converting the png file as a jpeg file

We will try to prepare a MWE. To continue the investigation, we would really like to be able to include png files.

  • 4
    Was your document originally compiled to be PDF/A-1b? If not, then the Verapdf report means nothing, because a non-PDF/A-1b file will necessarily fail, even though it is valid PDF. I do know that Adobe Reader will occasionally detect (and reject) a PDF file due to a technical error, even though some other PDF readers will open the file by ignoring the problem. I believe that the qpdf program (not part of TeX) can find and repair some PDF problems. – user139954 Feb 23 '18 at 18:32
  • @RobtAll, thanks ! The document is not meant to be PDF/A-1b compliant specifically, I would like to be openable by a broad spectrum of PDF readers. I've just edited the question because we have identified the problem but not found yet a full solution. – Derek Mar 5 '18 at 8:00
  • 2
    Does the PNG have an alpha channel (transparency)? AA (at least older ones) has a history of having issues with that. – daleif Mar 5 '18 at 8:05
  • You should probably also make the PNG available somewhere so others can test it. – daleif Mar 5 '18 at 13:18
  • What about if you open the png in GIMP (or photoshop, mspaint, but not whatever program you used to save it in the first place) and copy-paste into a new png? Do not do a save-as. – Chris H Mar 5 '18 at 13:38

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