For example, in this answer and this answer, we see that text had been quoted as image snapshots from a PDF file (in this case, Piya Tan's commentary) instead of copying, pasting, and reorganizing the text into a quote like the following.

I think this is not good, as such an image cannot be searched. Diagrams, pictures and charts (for example in this answer) can be images, but I don't think text should be pasted as images.

I appreciate the effort put in by the author of the answers, but I suggest that going forward, we should consider making it a strong recommendation or guideline to paste text as text.

What is your opinion?

Example of copying, pasting, and reorganizing the text of a PDF into a quote:

Bhikshus, as far as the sun and the moon revolve, illuminating the quarters with their light, there extends the thousandfold world-system. In that thousandfold world-system there are
a thousand moons,
a thousand suns,
a thousand Sinerus,
the kings of mountains,
a thousand Jambu,dīpas [Jambul Continents],
a thousand Western Goyāna continents [Apara,go,yāna],
a thousand Northern Kuru continents [Uttara,kuru],
a thousand Eastern Videha continents [Pubba,videha],
four thousand oceans,
four thousand maharajahs [emperors],
a thousand heavens of the Cātum,mahārājika [the 4 great guardian kings],
a thousand heavens of Yāma [the Yāma devas],
a thousand heavens of Tusita [contented devas],
a thousand heavens of Nimmāṇa,ratī [the devas who delight in creating],
a thousand heavens of Para,nimmita,vasavatti [the devas who lord over the creation of others],
and a thousand Brahma worlds.
And in that thousand-fold world-system, MahāBrahmā is regarded as the foremost.
Yet even in MahāBrahmā there still is uncertainty, there is change. Seeing this, the instructed noble disciple is revulsed with that.
Being revulsed with that, he becomes dispassionate toward what is the foremost, not to speak of the inferior.

1 Answer 1


When copying from most PDFs the actual formatting is lost. Therefore if you are quoting more than a few lines of text, it might take more time than you are willing to spend on reformatting. In case of Firefox at the time of writing, copy-pasting from PDF, like those by Pya Tan, corrupts the formatting of the pasted text, requiring even more work to format. In copying romanised pali from Piya Tan's texts the words do not copy properly sometimes (E.g. Alagaddûpam, bhassara, paipadā) hence you have to retype the these. Therefore it is much easier to copy a snapshot. Also, time may be well spent in improving the answer or answering another question.

Also, posts are editable. Others who might be able to invest the time and effort covert the quotation as an image could always edit and repost the image as formated text.

  • "Piya Tan ©20..", if caring about such, and surely a field of merits if asking personal, or even assist him in formating. Just thoughts which could cause path. (as for "past": User contributions licensed under cc by-sa 4.0 with attribution required (content policy)) Householder current works for Industry and Mara.
    – user11235
    Sep 30, 2019 at 16:39

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