[NTG-context] PDF viewer poll

context at vivaldi.net context at vivaldi.net
Wed Oct 16 11:30:43 CEST 2019


On 2019-10-13 12:43, Henning Hraban Ramm wrote:
> Hi, I’d like to update my list of (usable!) PDF viewers.
> Which one do you use? (Current version?)

PDF XChange Viewer 

> What are its pros and cons?

+ Free; not annoying as AR is; many functions included, restore last 
view, tabbed env, page thumbs navigator/bookmarks navigator, attachment 
list, comment list; OCR included; handy designed; (many command line 
options, e.g.) /open and /close options to be used by 3rd party 
programs; /printto for batch printing; printing also: tile large pages / 
print many pages on one sheet of paper; some "extras" require pro 
(non-free) version.

> Is it free (open source, freeware)?

Free, not open source.

> Does it work on Win/Lin/Mac?


> Does it have a localized interface? (I don’t care, but I work with
> people who don’t understand a lot of English.)


> Can it handle comments, attachments?


> Can it handle forms with or without JavaScript?

Not using - don't know

> Does it support SyncTeX? (Who uses that anyway?)


> Does it update changed PDFs on its own (or does it even block 
> overwriting)?

No. With working with ConTeXt, I'm using a batch file which normally 
opens a copy of a PDF being compiled, and once it's (successfully) 
compiled, the batch reopens the PDF in the viewer.

> Which other features are essential for your choice?

Handy work - after some time of using the prog, you see how much "handy" 
the program is, but hard to say which feature is essetial or most 
important; "total handyness" is the goal.

I would probably change this PDF viewer just if synctex worked WELL with 
the source (and in my case - I'm using Lua in ConTeXt widely to generate 
the PDF, so in most cases synctech navigates me badly to the source).

Best regards,


> E.g. I’m working with:
> - Preview.app (Mac)
>   Default on MacOS, fast & easy. No JS, bad forms support, updates
> "sometimes". Usable as a previewer, not as a PDF toolbox.
> - Adobe Reader DC (Mac)
>   I use it only to check forms or as reference. Unusable GUI.
> - Acrobat Pro 9 (Mac)
>   Was my workhorse, but works on MacOS Mojave only partly; slow &
> crash-prone; no updates. Can check PDF/X<4 and convert colors.
> - PDF Studio Pro (on Mac & Linux)
>   Bought to replace AcroPro9; JS support broken; slow startup; no
> updates. Can check PDF/X, A, UA and convert colors.
>   Ok with forms, but doesn’t support LiveCycle forms (deprecated, but
> used by German boards).
> - Qpdfview (Linux)
>   Fast and easy; reliably updates.
> - PDF.js (Browser or Atom)
>   Is said to do SyncTeX (never tried). Easy, but slow. Updates.
> Curious: Hraban
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