[OS X TeX] PDF background (Snow Leopard/Preview)

Ross Moore ross at ics.mq.edu.au
Mon Sep 21 03:59:02 EDT 2009

Hello John,

On 21/09/2009, at 5:11 PM, John Maindonald wrote:

> When after installing Snow Leopard, I opened several
> existing 1-page PDFs in Preview,I found the text obscured
> by a black and white checkerboard shading.

A checkerboard shading is the default way to indicate
a transparent region in an image.
My guess is that you are getting this because there is
no background image, so it is totally transparent.

> An immediate
> solution was to use some different pdf viewer (PDFClerk Pro
> or Adobe, version 5 actually which is what is on my machine!)
> to view the file.  A certain amount of searching revealed that
> I needed to turn off
> View | "Show Document Background"
> For most of my pdf files (all created using pdflatex), I am
> not offered the option of seeing the background.  The
> following is an instance of LaTeX source that will create
> (on my system) a pdf where I am offered this possibility,
> thus getting the checkerboard.
>   %&LaTeX
>   \documentclass[a4paper]{article}
>   \begin{document}
>   \thispagestyle{empty}
>   \textbf{\LARGE An Introduction}
>   \end{document}
> Why do such documents have a background?

It's not that they do; it is that they do not.
At least, that's my guess.

> And why do
> most of my much longer documents, with a much richer
> preamble, not have a background?

Now the question here is why they do not *also* show
the checkerboard ?

> I've no idea whether the checkerboard background was on
> offer under Leopard.  If it was, it never impinged on my
> consciousness.
> John Maindonald             email: john.maindonald at anu.edu.au
> phone : +61 2 (6125)3473    fax  : +61 2(6125)5549
> Centre for Mathematics & Its Applications, Room 1194,
> John Dedman Mathematical Sciences Building (Building 27)
> Australian National University, Canberra ACT 0200.

Hope this helps,


Ross Moore                                       ross at maths.mq.edu.au
Mathematics Department                           office: E7A-419
Macquarie University                             tel: +61 (0)2 9850 8955
Sydney, Australia  2109                          fax: +61 (0)2 9850 8114

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