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Frank (Or Chris pretending to be Frank) wrote:

> is that technically very different from providing, say, color support at dvi
> level? i mean if i say \textcolor{red}{this text is in red} and my text gets
> broken across the line by TeX all that TeX does is providing some \special at
> the begin and end of this text (ie they fall onto two different
> lines). Nevertheless dvips can color my text red.
>
> so why can't i let TeX split the link and nevertheless communicate via
> \specials to, say dvips what the unbroken link would be?
>
> do i miss something?

colour changes in pdf work the same was as they do in dvi, namely an
instruction to change the state at some point and revert it at the end.

But for links it's a lot more interesting.

The dvi (and HTML) links work the same way: a special corresponding to
<a href="..."> at one place and another special corresonding to </a>
somewhere else, maybe three or four lines down, or on the next page, or
somewhere.

PDF links work by specifying an active rectangular region.
So your dvi->pdf converter has to figure out what this
rectangular region (or regions) is (or are) just based on the
information in the dvi file on where text has been positioned, and two
distinguished points for the start and end of the link.
It's probably possible to do a reasonable job of this (I haven't checked
recently what dvipdfm does) but it's a lot harder than getting colours
right. (And getting colours right over page boundaries isn't always easy
either)

David

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