The following M(N)WE is compiled with latexmk using pdfTeX 3.14159265-2.6-1.40.17 (TeX Live 2016) (Debian).

\usepackage[absolute, overlay]{textpos}
  \begin{textblock*}{8cm}[0,0](0.5\paperwidth, 0.5\paperheight)

The resulting document can be opened in evince and shows the desired result. However, Adobe Acrobat Reader XI on Windows cannot open the PDF and yields the error message

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

Corruption due to the copy process can be ruled out, since opening the PDF in e.g. Chrome works perfectly fine. I tried different combinations in order to track down the one that actually causes the error.

  • Frame with graphics (\includegraphics{multiuser.pdf}) works!
  • Frame with overlay and graphics (\only<2->{\includegraphics{multiuser.pdf}}) works
  • Frame with textblock and overlay and graphics (multiuser.pdf) works!
  • But if I add user.pdf, then the error appears.
  • If I remove the \only<2->{}, it works again.
  • Also, if I add \includegraphics{multiuser.pdf} before the textblock, the MWE works.
  • If I take the MWE, but use user.pdf for both includegraphics commands, it works.
  • And finally, if I compile the MWE with MiKTeX on Windows, it works.

Both images are drawn with Inkscape and then exported to PDF 1.5. They can be downloaded here.

It seems I am hitting a very special condition here that produces the error. The goal here is simply to have user.pdf on page 1 to end and multiuser on page 2 to end at a certain absolute position and I am pretty sure that I find an alternative way. However, I wonder whether I am violating a general good practice rule here that causes unstable behavior (I would like to avoid further trouble with other certain combinations, should there be any).

Related questions: The question How to overcome Acrobat Reader error 131 with a pdfLaTeX doc? and Beamer pdf generated with pdflatex on Linux won't open with Windows/Adobe Reader (marked as duplicate of the former) recommend \pdfminorversion=4, then a PDF 1.4 document is produced and can be opened with Adobe Reader.

  • @AlexG I can't confirm it on windows with the example images. Neither the reader nor the pro version complains. Commented May 17, 2018 at 13:12
  • @Ulrike You are right. Tried to open the wrong file! Going to delete my comment.
    – AlexG
    Commented May 17, 2018 at 13:24
  • @AlexG ah. Well I can't access the real images so I can't test with them. Commented May 17, 2018 at 13:37
  • @Ulrike Sorry for that, took me a while to find a reasonable file hosting service. The updated link should work now. Commented May 17, 2018 at 13:51
  • Sorry I have no problems. But I have newer reader. Commented May 17, 2018 at 14:01


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