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Old 02-08-2009, 02:55 PM   #1
Bob Russell
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Reading PDF files on Windows or Linux

I don't remember any recent discussion of free PDF software alternatives for a Windows or Linux computer, so maybe it's time to stir up the pot.

For Windows, there is Adobe Reader, Digital Editions that also reads ePub documents, and the program that I've been using... Foxit.

Are there any other really solid (and preferably lightweight) PDF readers out there that we should be considering? What's your favorite?

And for you Linux folks... what do you recommend? (Please be sure to indicate which OS you are discussing!)
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:23 PM   #2
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On Linux I use Acroread (or whatever name it has now). It's maybe not the most efficient, but it supports the most features (like transparency, layers, vector antialiasing, javascript...). Oh, and I had to go back to version 7, because in version 8 it was not possible to close a file and then go "back" to reopen the file (and this is a must when working with LaTeX).

Other options are xpdf, kpdf, okular...
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:48 PM   #3
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On linux I use Okular, because it has such nice bookmarking and annotation abilities. Also, it supports lots of different formats, not just PDF.
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Old 02-08-2009, 04:40 PM   #4
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On Ubuntu GNU/Linux, I use Evince which is distributed as part of Gnome.
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:50 PM   #5
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Thank you for asking this, Bob. I've been toying with getting a netbook and using Linux to avoid Windows, if possible, and I have no idea what ebook formats I'll be able to read. So I'll be watching this thread carefully. I could also use tips on other ebook formats (Adobe DE, DOC, LRF, PRC, etc.) that I'll be able to read and with what software alternatives without having to doing any blasted conversions or DRM removals.
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Old 02-08-2009, 05:52 PM   #6
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You can read all non DRMed ebook formats onlinux using calibre. As far as I know you cant read any DRMed ebook formats on linux
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Old 02-08-2009, 07:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kovidgoyal View Post
You can read all non DRMed ebook formats onlinux using calibre. As far as I know you cant read any DRMed ebook formats on linux
MobiPocket read was working in wine but maybe that is not considered to be linux.
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Old 02-08-2009, 08:07 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tompe View Post
MobiPocket read was working in wine but maybe that is not considered to be linux.
For the purposes of vivaldirules, I doubt it
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Old 02-08-2009, 09:54 PM   #9
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Foxit PDF reader has versions for Windows, Windows Mobile, embedded Linux (I have no idea what that is) and several portable systems; it'll run off a flash drive.

Sumatra is also Windows-only, and will also run portably.

Googling turns up free PDF readers for other platforms, but as I don't use the platforms, I'd rather not comment on them--I have no idea if they're too complicated, or too buggy, or terrific.
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Old 02-08-2009, 10:28 PM   #10
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gmail has a new web based PDF viewer. It looks like it might be flash based, not sure. So, just email yourself the PDF and view it in your browser.

BOb
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Old 02-09-2009, 05:27 AM   #11
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PDF-Xchange viewer for Windows

pros :
-free
-light (must be installed but the folder can be copied, 8mb on version 1)
-can open files with non-latin characters (unlike adobe)
-can be used to make annotations
-can export pdf pages to pictures

cons :
-some embedded objects (like sounds) doesn't work
-unlike adobe, can't even save in txt format.


All in all, it is worth considering as a default pdf viewer
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Old 02-09-2009, 01:12 PM   #12
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I installed the Windows versions of Acrobat Reader and Mobipocket on an eeepc (Xandros, i believe) under wine. The installation was painless - no crippling glitches. ADE doesn't install without Internet Explorer, so I installed Reader version 6, which is the last version of Reader to support DRMed library downloads. If I remember right, the Mobipocket installation was of an earlier version (5, not 6) and also supports DRMed books.

I can fetch the actual version numbers if anyone is interested. For me, the trick with DRMed downloads in wine was making sure the reader software can access the internet in order to validate the copies' keys.
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Old 02-09-2009, 04:36 PM   #13
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foxit

There are many reasons for foxit, here is my fav reason:
Once I had problems opening a file with foxit (problems with a graph). I contacted the support and after a few days they fixed the problem in an update!

FOXIT is my sollution for pdfs!
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Old 02-10-2009, 07:17 AM   #14
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I am using a mobile version of Microsoft Reader on my pocket PC as well as my laptop and it works just fine. I will never use Adobe Digital Editions again, it is good eye candy but it is not stable and kept on disappearing along with my books ( on my laptop ) and it is DRM'd all to hell. Adobe Acrobat is ok but the pocket pc version is a bit annoying because you have to scroll a lot. With MS Reader on pocket pc the pages are configured to fit the screen so you just turn the page.
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Old 02-10-2009, 11:09 AM   #15
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Windows
Foxit

Linux
Evince - What I use about 99% of the time.
(Acroread) Adobe Acrobat - (it's a lot faster than the Windows version, and sometimes it corrects the forms I need to print out whereas Acroread doesn't)
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