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I am using Adobe's EchoSign API to retrieve a string representation of a PDF file. The problem I am running into is that writing the file to disk is working properly. The file length is a much different length than the string and won't open as a PDF.

As a test, I used an existing PDF file - one that I know is a true PDF, and tried to pull the contents of the file as a string like their API provides and then write it back to another file. The result is the same. I can open the "real" PDF using Adobe, but the new file will not open. This should be simple, but I am obviously missing something.

Here is what I have done to test this out: Scenario 1: Using string received from the API

File.WriteAllText(fileName, PDFstring, new UTF8Encoding(false));

Scenario 2: Using string received from the API. Yeah, it seemed dumb, but nothing has been working.

            using (var sw = File.CreateText(fileName))
        {
            for (int p = 0; p < PDFstring.Length; p++)
            {
                var c = PDFstring.Substring(p, 1);
                sw.Write(c);
            }
        }

Scenario 3: Use a known good PDF file and try to copy it by creating a string and writing it to a new file.

        var filename = @"C:\Adobe\GoodDocument.pdf";
        var newFile = @"C:\Adobe\Rewrite.pdf";
        var fs = new FileStream(filename, FileMode.Open, FileAccess.Read);
        var file = new StreamReader(fs);
        var allAdobe = file.ReadToEnd();
        fs.Close();
        File.WriteAllText(newFile, allAdobe, new UTF8Encoding(false));

All three scenarios gave the same results. I cannot use the new file. The file lengths are all longer than they should be. Attempting to open the new file asks for a password where the original does not.

Obeservation: I just ran scenario 3 again. Accept this time using the copied (incorrect) file as the original. The result was an exact duplicate! What gives? Is Adobe playing tricks with me?

cffile action = "write", file. Required. Pathname of the file to write. If not an absolute path (starting with a no: does not change embedded line-ending characters in string variables. opens a text file for reading and writing: w+: opens a text file for both reading and writing. (it first cuts the length of the file to zero if it exists, or create a file if it does not exist) a+: opens a text file in both reading and writing mode. (It creates a file if it does not exist. Reading will start from the beginning but writing can only be done at the end)

PDF is a binary format. So you need to read and write them as bytes like this:

var document = File.ReadAllBytes("document.pdf");
File.WriteAllBytes("new document.pdf", document);

Reading and Writing Files in Python, Learn how to open, read and write data into flat files, such as JSON Since binary files store data after converting it into binary language (0s and 1s), there is no write(string) (for text) or write(byte_string) (for binary); writelines(list) encoding:",file.encoding) file.close() ##change encoding to utf-8 with  File provides static methods to write text to a file, such as WriteAllLines and WriteAllText, or to append text to a file, such as AppendAllLines, AppendAllText, and AppendText. Path is for strings that have file or directory path information. It contains the Combine method and, in .NET Core 2.1 and later,

While Legion technically answered the posed question, I feel it's necessary for anyone following in my footsteps to get the full answer.

What lead to this question was me trying to write the content of a response to an Adobe Sign API call to a file.

I am using C# and the RestSharp library. This is important. The RestSharp IRestResponse object that provides the content apparently creates this property from the data received from the call. Because the content is so complex, creating the string representation immediately made writing it to a PDF file impossible. Digging deeper into the response object, I noticed a property call RawBytes. This is a byte array of the response. If I write the byte array directly to disk, everything.just.works.

Sorry to bother everyone with this. I was one layer above the actual problem

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7. Input and Output, (A third way is using the write() method of file objects; the standard Luckily, Python has ways to convert any value to a string: pass it to the the interpreter (​or will force a SyntaxError if there is no equivalent syntax). format( food='​spam', adjective='absolutely horrible')) This spam is absolutely horrible. The file length is a much different length than the string and won't open as a PDF. As a test, I used an existing PDF file - one that I know is a true PDF, and tried to pull the contents of the file as a string like their API provides and then write it back to another file. The result is the same.

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Comments
  • Is the string you're getting from the API maybe a Base64 representation of the actual byte-content?
  • If so, does File.WriteAllBytes(newFile, Convert.FromBase64String(stringFromAPI)); work?
  • I looked a bit at the EchoSign API. Can you elaborate on how you get the document from Adobe? Are you calling the REST service at /agreements/{agreementId}/combinedDocument?
  • A "valid" PDF should start with %PDF. does the string from the API start like that? If not, could you post the first ten or so characters from the string?
  • Strings are not byte arrays, so do not treat them as byte arrays. Never try to read a binary file format into a string; read it into a byte array!
  • Have you tried it? It doesn't work. It strips the high bit off of the binary data. The files have the same length but they're not the same.
  • Tested right now.... and I agree with you, ASCII 7 isn't enought, but i think is only an encoding error, let me check two things ;)
  • Yes, I've tried it. The file is reported to be smaller using Windows Explorer, I haven't actually checked exact file length. But, you are right, the files are not the same. The encoding seems to make a big difference, but that isn't my wheelhouse. Thanks for the help!
  • Edit my answer, the encoding needed is ANSI, so you should use System.Text.Encoding.Default
  • That works for an existing file, but it didn't work for the string returned from the API. ...sigh... I suppose now I will have to walk the string and look for binary data and encode each section. sheez! If it works I'll post the code here because Adobe tech support is dumb as a box of rocks.
  • I think the common practice is to call files that contain a mix of text and binary data 'binary'. At least I would be confused if you gave me a PDF file and said that it was a text file.
  • Ok, I've tried this approach and the results are different, but the same. The file size is now smaller than the original and still won't open as a PDF. Looks like progress though.
  • Yeah, well Adobe isn't about to change their format.
  • @AdrianoRepetti "PDF is a text format (ASCII 7 bit) which MAY contain some binary content" - There are many questions here on SO by developers whose code because of this opinion damages PDFs beyond repair.
  • @MarkBonafe "Adobe isn't about to change their format." - PDF isn't their format anymore. It became an ISO standard 10 years ago.