Native PDF import for Inkscape, using Poppler

Bug #170722 reported by Luke-hutchison on 2005-05-08
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone

Bug Description

I was recently reading through the source code for the
Cairo backend for Poppler (fd.o PDF reader), and it
struck me that it would be pretty easy to create an SVG
backend that could be used by Inkscape to read PDF
files directly. Native PDF import could be one of the
most useful features of Inkscape, if it were implemented.

I know there are some issues when reading PDF with
preserving groupings of objects, unflowing text
objects, etc., but getting anything editable out of a
PDF would be great. The Poppler backend API seems like
it could be a pretty straightforward system for
creating a DOM tree without too much effort.

Horkana-users (horkana-users) wrote :

The GIMP developers are exploring something simliar
http://<email address hidden>/msg09705.html

Given the Adobe Illustrator format is PDF based it might be
worth explorering for those interested in bieng able to
import AI files. (You might want to add a comment in those
bug reports, directing people to this request)

I hope a developer will take an interest in this but there
is so much to do and so little time to do it who know what
will happen.

Prokoudine (prokoudine) wrote :

Alan, the last spec for AI file format I read was mentioning
rather EPS than PDF in its header ;)

Nicubunu (nicubunu) wrote :

from the header of an .ai file produced by AI 11:

%Creator: Adobe Illustrator(R) 11.0%

Luke-hutchison (luke-hutchison) wrote :

Yes, recent versions of AI save in PDF format by default,
but with a ".ai" extension. You can actually open the files
in Acrobat Reader.

I suspect that they use a specific subset of PDF, and it's
possible that there is certain extended info that AI hides
in the PDF, that only AI knows how to interpret, somewhat
like what Inkscape does with SVG. However AI doesn't do a
bad job of importing just about any PDF file.

It turns out that most professional printers around where I
am now deal exclusively with PDF for everything they do.
They still have tools for importing TIFF, PS, etc., but they
prefer PDF because there are very powerful tools to resize,
crop PDF now, and powerful color management facilities in
PDF. So it appears AI realized this upcoming wave and just
switched to PDF at an internal level, because they realized
it would be very important to be able to read PDF in the future.

Janbarnholt (janbarnholt) wrote :

How about setting up a project at sourceforge that provides
the PDF import facility?

At least a framework apps like Inkscape, Gimp, K*, ... can
hook in to support import of PDFs?

Horkana-users (horkana-users) wrote :

> At least a framework apps like Inkscape, Gimp, K*, ... can
hook in to support import of PDFs?

That is the idea of using poppler

Bug Importer (bug-importer) wrote :

Another option is "Fitz, MuPDF and Apparition"

look at

Prokoudine (prokoudine) wrote :

Originator: NO

I would rather go for PoDoFo (at sourceforge). Scribus developers are
after it.

Prokoudine (prokoudine) wrote :

Originator: NO

I am really happy to close this request, because Inkscape now imports both
PDF and pdf-based AI files using poppler. Details are here:

Andres Gomez (Tanty) (tanty) wrote :

This has been released long ago.

Changed in inkscape:
status: Invalid → Fix Released
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