11.2.1 PDF2DTP – How PDFs Render Text - PDF2DTP User Guide - 1

It’s important to understand how a PDF renders text. The PDF contains various commands to move to a location and draw a character. The PDF also contains the width of the character so that it can know where to draw the next character. However, a space character is often absent from the text stream. In this case, after a word has been drawn, the next command will be to move a short distance further to the right to draw the character that begins the next word. A problem arises in determining what to do with this “gap” in the text drawings. PDF2DTP performs several calculations in order to come up with the best estimate on how to handle the “gap”, such as to insert a Space character, or to apply tracking (a form of letter-spacing) or to insert a Tab if the spatial distance is fairly great.


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