Is there any way to grep a pdf document (originally written in LaTeX) for the math "2^n" as in 2 to the power of n? I have pdfgrep but I don't know how you would use that to grep for math.


You can use e.g. mutool clean -d from the mupdf package to decompress the streams in a PDF file, then you can look at it (or grep it directly).

Unfortunately, text in PDF files is rendered by placing glyphs (or sequences of glyphs) at pre-calculated coordinates. So both $2^n$ and $$2^n$$ will consist of two glyphs for 2 and n in different positions, and this is really difficult to match with a regular expression.

I suggest you decompress your pdf document and have a look at how the text rendering actually looks like.

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