Unable to attach PDF

Discussions about the Newsletter Tool at LDS.org.
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geowizrd
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Postby geowizrd » Fri Aug 31, 2012 5:03 pm

this needs to be fixed.

i did the following experiment: i downloaded a pdf file from the newsletter that i had previously uploaded during the beta (so the file itself is obviously "legal" or "ok"). i then opened a new article and tried to attach the identical file, but received the message "syntax error: invalid character" and the file would not load, no matter what sequence i tried.

so what was working ok in the beta is not working now. (and this while i was showing the bishop how this could be used, i don't think i sold him on its functionality).

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:51 am

geowizrd wrote:i did the following experiment: i downloaded a pdf file from the newsletter that i had previously uploaded during the beta (so the file itself is obviously "legal" or "ok"). i then opened a new article and tried to attach the identical file, but received the message "syntax error: invalid character" and the file would not load, no matter what sequence i tried.

so what was working ok in the beta is not working now. (and this while i was showing the bishop how this could be used, i don't think i sold him on its functionality).


You're probably right, but it's not necessarily reliable to conclude that something that was allowed during beta should work now. It could be that the error checking has been tightened up, and there actually is a problem with that file.

I just uploaded a PDF file to a newsletter article with no problem. So it's not a problem that occurs in every case. To narrow it down, it would be good for you to try other files. Try small, simple ones (such as The Living Christ), and then some larger files, perhaps from different sources. See what success you have in various cases and what error messages you get.

I'm particularly curious about the "syntax error: invalid character" error you reported; no one else has reported that particular error, so that sounds like it could be quite different from what has been reported previously in this thread.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

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geowizrd
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Postby geowizrd » Sat Sep 01, 2012 4:57 pm

yes, i didn't want to bore everyone with ALL my experiments -- just wanted to post the meat of the matter. very small files (less than 200k) load fine all the time, ~1mb files are iffy, and anything approaching 5mb generates a variety of error messages, so i just gave one new example to add to the list -- i have also experienced others (today for example, the same file produced a "service unavailable" error message instead).

as a midrange file size (2898kb) test, i just tried to attach a church produced pdf file - preach my gospel - and received the "service unavailable" error message, though smaller files worked fine.

anyway, the main point is that something has changed big time since the beta, and attaching files is not particularly useable right now, which is too bad, since attachment file size was one of the major limitations of the classic "news and information" that kept usage down. if there are "error checking" standards for pdf files that the newsletter application is using, perhaps they should be published in the wiki so that they can be avoided. all of the pdf files generating errors in the newsletter app can be posted to a normal website without any problem (yet another experiment...).

mevans
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Postby mevans » Sun Sep 30, 2012 10:51 pm

My wife experienced the ERROR service unavailable message tonight. I remembered this thread and came back to see what people had done.

I took a look at the PDF she was trying to upload and it was 4.2 MB (and I'm the one who created it ;)). I ran it through Acrobat to slim it down to 819 KB and then she was able to post it just fine. So here's another vote for the error really meaning the file is too big. I hope they'd get a better error message.

Leesat
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Postby Leesat » Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:51 pm

This still continues to be a frustrating problem. I have tried to upload an attachment PDF, 1.1mb size, keeps saying 'error:service unavailable'. I have followed the instructions, and re read the newsletter help section. A member who is the ward newsletter editor for one of the units in our Stake has recently started to use this in her ward and has not been able to load pictures, even after following the instructions. Its been difficult enough getting members use this, and when they do, it doesnt seem to want to work. I'm at a loss as to what to tell her....or what to do myself.

chris.m.cook
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Postby chris.m.cook » Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:51 pm

Not sure if this would apply to anyone else.... All of my problem PDFs that have exhibited the "error:service unavailable" were fixed by changing the file name to contain no spaces. It could just be me getting lucky, but making this small change might also fix it for other people.

cradams
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Postby cradams » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:19 am

Has this problem been fixed? I can't attach a file with 149KB? I have tried everything mentioned and get "error:service unavailable". Somebody needs to look into this asap.

DavePeterson
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Re: Unable to attach PDF

Postby DavePeterson » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:53 pm

I am seeing the same thing. I turned our annual stake letter into a PDF and tried uploading to the Newsletter section of the site tonight - only to get the "SyntaxError: Invalid character" error message. I have optimized the PDF and tried various file sizes. They all come back with the same error message. Some guidance on what the error message really means would be greatly appreciated.

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aebrown
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Re: Unable to attach PDF

Postby aebrown » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:12 pm

DavePeterson wrote:I am seeing the same thing. I turned our annual stake letter into a PDF and tried uploading to the Newsletter section of the site tonight - only to get the "SyntaxError: Invalid character" error message. I have optimized the PDF and tried various file sizes. They all come back with the same error message. Some guidance on what the error message really means would be greatly appreciated.

I would suggest that the message is referring to the filename. You might want to try giving the file a very simple name such as "letter.pdf". If that works, then you'll know that it is related to the name (not the contents) of the file.

knealewj
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Re: Unable to attach PDF

Postby knealewj » Thu Jan 03, 2013 10:16 pm

Hi DavePeterson

The issues experienced seem to be random, with no clear way of making it work. However, I have found the following combinations MAY be of assistance. Even then, sometimes I just can't upload it.

1. From what others have posted, reducing the file size sometimes works
2. Try removing spaces and other characters (eg. TheLivingChrist, not The Living Christ).
3. Try creating a new newsletter item and uploading the article again.

Of note, I entered a filename called "lds.org flyer.pdf". Turns out that the period symbol followed by a space produces a file called "file.pdf". I had to replace the space with an underscore (_) symbol.
I also once renamed a file from "YSA River Cruise.pdf" to "YSA_River_Cruise.pdf" and it worked when previously it didn't.

The problems and solutions seem very random to me. I just keep trying different things, and eventually something may work. I still have one that I can't get to upload.

I don't know if anyone has anything more specific to suggest?

Best of luck


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