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I recently rewrote my CV in LaTeX using Overleaf.com. Once I finished writing my CV in LaTeX, I downloaded it as a PDF. I'm now trying to upload my CV on brassring (careers website) and every time I select the PDF file I get the following error: 'The system does not allow files with active contents.' However if I try and upload my original CV that was written in Word it successfully uploads.

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4 Answers 4

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There are many embedded objects that can be flagged in a pdf with active content that may be seen by others as a threat in a pdf.

The simplest way to restructure to a dumbed down pdf is to use "windows print to pdf" to "reprint" as a simplified pdf much the same as you did for outputting word to pdf.

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    This should work with most PDF readers on most platforms, not just Windows
    – user134593
    May 21, 2020 at 14:57
  • While not specific to LaTeX, using Print to File (PDF) (and save as PDF also) did not work for me on Fedora32 using LibreOffice
    – Kelly Bang
    Jun 11, 2020 at 18:21
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    This solution allows for any malicious code to run when you open the PDF in a viewer. This might remove the warning but in the process you might infect your computer. Use a sandbox PC for this or better, use the Ghostscript solution.
    – TFuto
    Jan 8, 2021 at 20:36
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    Hm, after printing to PDF, the PDF looks really bad and I can't select any text anymore. The "save to PDF" version using Chrome (below) worked better.
    – CGFoX
    Sep 23, 2021 at 10:56
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In pretty much the same situation you described, I was able to "clean up" the PDF using GhostScript (edited according to comments):

gs -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOUTPUTFILE=clean.pdf -dBATCH dirty.pdf

The company website accepted clean.pdf without complaints.

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    Your script generated a corrupt PDF. This script worked for me "gs -dNOPAUSE -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOUTPUTFILE=NEW_FILE.pdf -dBATCH OLD_FILE.pdf"
    – Imam Bux
    Jun 15, 2019 at 16:03
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    @ImamBux your solution worked for me as well, I also got a corrupt file from LMB's script. Thanks!
    – teerav42
    Feb 25, 2020 at 4:28
  • I didn't get a corrupt file. How does -dBATCH make a difference?
    – user134593
    May 21, 2020 at 14:59
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A quick and easy solution can be

  1. Simply open your pdf file in any modern web browser, say Google Chrome.
  2. Select 'Print' option to bring up the print menu.
  3. Change the Destination as 'Save as pdf' (in Google Chrome)
  4. Save the pdf in a new location on your system.

This uses Chrome's pdf wrapper which kind of repacks the pdf without any hyperlinks or Macros or perhaps any other active content.

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  • This solution allows for any malicious code to run when you open the PDF in a viewer. This might remove the warning but in the process you might infect your computer. Use a sandbox PC for this or better, use the Ghostscript solution.
    – TFuto
    Jan 8, 2021 at 20:36
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    True, Glad you pointed this out mate. I would only recommend this method if you've created the pdf yourself. If for example, you are trying to upload your resume to company's portal, chances are even hyperlinks not allowed. So there you can use this method. Jan 12, 2021 at 15:23
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My solution: Open the PDF in macOS Preview.app and save it with the option "Create PDF/A". I suppose many other PDF readers can do the same.

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