I created a new tag about a month ago for tagged PDFs, with a substantial tag wiki (see end of this post), alongside the same tags I created for SO and tex.sx. I did so because there are quite a lot of questions that arise on each of these sites that benefit from information on the other two sites. Given the amount of confusion about Tagged PDFs on each of the sites, I thought it was worth investing quite a bit of time in this.

All of the tags I applied were deleted, making these tag wikis orphans. This was done by fixer12434 with the reason 'deleted tagged-pdf tag; level of specificity not useful on SU'. I do not understand this remark, nor have I found any background for the reversals of these edits. Could fixer1234 explain this, or maybe someone else can explain.

The matching tag wikis on the other two sites are at https://tex.stackexchange.com/tags/tagged-pdf/info and https://stackoverflow.com/tags/tagged-pdf/info

Contents of orphaned tagged PDF tag wiki on SU

(Below are without the links from the wiki, which are not only to tags and qns on SU, but also to qns on SO and tex.sx, as well as links to the tag wikis I created there)

Tagged PDF is a form of embedded metadata for PDFs that allows support for bookmarks and copy-and-paste on text, and gives a namespace for Adobe's DOM that is leveraged by such technologies as layers, interactive PDFs, and RichMedia Annotations.

Viewers and Editors for PDFs that support Tagged PDFs

The most important PDF readers that support bookmarks, copy-and-paste, embedded RichMedia, or Dynamic PDFs are:

  • The reference viewers are Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat
  • Mac OSX: Preview.app
  • Linux/gtk: evince
  • Windows: foxit-reader

The most important PDF editing tools are:

  • The reference editor is Adobe Acrobat

  • Linux/gtk: pdftk

Other technologies for generating and manipulating Tagged PDFs programmatically are documented on Stack Exchange tagged-pdf tag wiki (for instance, the iText Java library) and the TeX & Friends tagged-pdf tag wiki.


  1. What is Tagged PDF?, on Stack Exchange
  2. Are Bookmarks and Hyperlinks equivalent?, on Stack Exchange
  3. Is there a 'reading mode' for Adobe Reader or Foxit Reader? - About reflowable PDFs

Generating Tagged PDFs from applications

  1. Generate PDF with bookmarks from Microsoft Word on Mac OS X

  2. How can tagged PDFs be created that support Universal Accessibility and reflowing?, on TeX & Friends

  3. Can MikTeX create Tagged PDFs, on Stack Exchange

  4. A PDF viewer for large margins in fullscreen - Support for reflowable PDFs in Windows

About applications that manipulate Tagged PDFs

  1. How to take notes in PDFs in Linux
  • Without looking too deep into this matter, I can say this: There are a total of 10 questions which have this tag spread over 2 sites. There is really no need for it to exist, it doesn't help anyone. Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 15:24
  • @OliverSalzburg The tag brings together FAQ answers that I have referred to. It helps organise the existing content of SO and tex.sx. The tag wiki was approved here on SU. Have you any interest in PDF metadata? Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 15:54
  • Either we have widely differing interpretations of the word "frequently" or am I'm missing something about the topic at hand here. Such a small amount of questions does not necessitate a separate tag, no matter how extensive the wiki for the tag would be. It would be just as well to have a canonical question about the topic or to stuff the information into the [pdf] tag wiki. Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 15:59
  • 3
    I don't know how many questions we had on SU with this, but it does seem a little odd to go ahead and remove the tags someone else applied without consulting the community for feedback (that is, going through our normal tag cleanup process). Clearly everyone's free to remove absolutely unnecessary tags, or meta tags, but in that case, it's a bit of a grey area on whether the tag is needed or not.
    – slhck
    Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 16:10
  • I agree with the above, there's no reason on this site for it to have its own tag, but with the effort you put into your write up, perhaps it would be useful to be put into the [pdf] tag. Commented Dec 17, 2014 at 18:09
  • 1
    @slhck - In this case, it wasn't removing tags someone applied to their own question, it was rejecting an edit where someone wanted to change someone else's tag and replace it with one that would have limited response to the question. If this was inappropriate, please advise.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Dec 18, 2014 at 5:30
  • @fixer1234 Thanks for the clarification. Your explanation makes sense and I can understand why you acted this way.
    – slhck
    Commented Dec 18, 2014 at 5:59

2 Answers 2


Charles, Thanks for raising this issue. I was unaware of the effort you had put into creating the tag wikis and it wasn't my intention to rain on your parade. It would help if you could post links to the specific questions. For now, I can only respond from memory.

I do remember seeing one or two of these. My recollection is that these were edits to modify the existing tags on other people's questions. I remember having several thoughts on the proposed edits.

One was that the term "tagged pdf" did not appear in the questions, themselves. I'm familiar with what the term represents based on your description, above, but I was not familiar with the term, itself. So one reaction was to question whether the tag was appropriate or the change was necessary. I was guided partly by the fact that it was not needed before, including when the edited questions were created.

My other reaction was to question whether the tag was useful and helped the question. On SU, most of the PDF questions are much more basic. In the SU scheme of things, there aren't a lot of questions specifically about that facet, so it didn't seem like creating a special tag for those one or two questions would be useful and it would add to tag bloat.

In terms of whether it would be helpful, the purpose of a tag is to attract the right people to answer the question. Lots of people are familiar with the concept of a tagged PDF, but unless I'm an exception, some of those people may not be familiar with the term. A [tagged-pdf] tag would attract only people familiar with the term. The [pdf] tag attracts those people plus others. I thought that using [tagged-pdf] could hurt those questions by unnecessarily limiting who might respond.

So rejecting the edits was done with a focus on those questions. At least on SU, I think [tagged-pdf] could be detrimental to getting a wide response. However, if you want to create the tag for your own questions, I have no objection.

  • Thanks for the very detailed reply. The point about explicit mention of "Tagged" with respect to the PDF qns is to the point. Commented Dec 18, 2014 at 7:45
  • I've put a proposal in another answer to my qn Commented Dec 18, 2014 at 8:26

fixer1234's reasons for reversing the editing in of the tags on questions where the asker does not explicitly name "tagging" is fair: some questions are clearly about Tagged PDF, but Adobe's proper name occurs in no existing questions; in userland, the term is pretty much visible only to expert users. Even "Accessible PDF", term Microsoft uses in Word for Tagged PDF in its application to document accessibility features, has low user recgonition. Furthermore, none of the questions to which I applied the tags serve as exemplar questions for this tag.

I propose to:

  1. Ask at least one exemplar question, starting with What support for Tagged PDF does Microsoft Word provide? (Although I know quite a bit about this, I'm actually interested in seeing the answers to this for my own sake, because I am sure there are holes in my picture.)
  2. Then either
    • Edit the tagged-pdf tag wiki to make clear that this is a significant class of question even though it is most often not referred to by name, and reference this discussion, or
    • Put the text of the current tag wiki in an answer to that question

The main advantage of having the tag, even if very few questions would use it, is that it is parallel to the tags on SO and tex.sx and can be linked from other tag wikis, e.g. pdf, accessibility.

  • 1
    Just a thought--If you think it is important to have a specific tag, keep in mind the purposes and uses of tags. 1)Attract readers to answer the question. If you use a term that is unfamiliar, people won't bother to look. 2)When people create new questions, they won't think to use an unfamiliar tag, so it won't serve to aggregate these questions. 3)When people search, they won't think to search for an unfamiliar term. So using the specialty tag alone may exclude these questions from the mainstream.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Dec 18, 2014 at 9:16
  • 1
    You may need to add the generic [pdf] tag to these questions for inclusion in all of these usages (which could bump another relevant tag). You want to tie together questions on SU, SO and tex.sx, but there isn't a direct mechanism to do that and users of one site won't think to look for the same tags on another (different site focus and the audiences are different so the tags are different). Maybe use some Meta SU discussion to explore the potential benefits and the best way to accomplish what you want.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Dec 18, 2014 at 9:16

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