Return to Main Contents
pdfopen, pdfclose - open or close a PDF file viewer
- -h, --help, -?
output help and exit.
- -v, --version, -V
output the version number and exit.
- -p <n>, --page <n>
when starting the viewer, display page <n> of the document (notes: not
all viewers support this feature, and even in those cases this option
only has effect when the document is initially loaded). This option
is over-ridden by -g.
- -g <named destination>, --goto <named destination>
when starting the viewer, display the page of the document containing
the named destination (notes: not all viewers support this feature,
and even in those cases this option only has effect when the document
is initially loaded).
- -r, --reset_focus
after sending commands to the PDF viewer, attempt to reset the input focus to
the window which had focus before the commands were sent.
- -viewer, --viewer <ar9|ar9-tab|ar8|ar7|ar5|xpdf|evince>
use (respectively) Adobe Reader 9 (in a new window), Adobe Reader 9
(in a new tab of a running AR9, if any),
Adobe Reader 8, Adobe Reader 7, Adobe Reader 5, xpdf or evince as the
PDF viewer program.
Adobe Reader 9 (in a new window) is the default.
At certain points of TeX document preparation, many people repeat a
"edit-compile-view" cycle. Since PDF viewers such as Adobe's Acrobat
") do not automatically refresh the display when the
PDF file changes, this cycle can be more cumbersome than desired.
program provides the ability to automate the reloading of the PDF
document when it is changed.
Note: there seems to be little need for
under GNU/Linux, since (unlike the situation for MS windows)
does not lock the PDF file, which would prevent
(or a DVI to PDF converter) from creating a new version of the PDF
output file. However,
is provided in case someone finds it useful.
searches for an instance of the specified (or default) PDF viewer
displaying the specified PDF file.
If there is already an instance of the given viewer displaying the
given file, the viewer is instructed to reload the file. If no such
instance is found, pdfopen
attempts to run the specified viewer
on the specified document.
The default viewer is "acroread", which could start any one
of a number of versions of Acrobat Reader, depending on what is
installed on your system. However, the commands to reload the current
document vary from one version of acroread to another;
consequently, if you are using a version of acroread other than
AR9, you should explicitly specify the viewer program.
This version of pdfopen accepts the following viewer options:
ar9, ar9-tab, ar8, ar7, ar5, xpdf,
The difference between ar9 and ar9-tab is significant
when there is no instance of AR9 already displaying the requested
document. In this situation, while ar9 will
request acroread to create a new instance of acroread
(and thus open a new window) by using the -openInNewInstance
argument, ar9-tab starts acroread without this argument;
if there is already an instance of acroread running, a new
tab will be opened in an existing window.
searches for one of the above PDF viewers displaying the given file
and instructs the viewer to "close" the window. In most cases, the
PDF viewer continues to run, possibly now displaying just a blank
window. (This behaviour varies somewhat from one PDF viewer to another.)
PORTABILITY AND AVAILABILITY
These programs have been tested on Slackware64 Version 14.1 and a few
other versions / distributions of GNU/Linux. The code is reasonably
generic and should work out of the box using most recent X11
implementations. (Reports to the contrary are welcome, particularly
if they come with robust fixes.)
These programs are designed for X11-based systems. If you somehow
find compiled versions of these programs on a system using another
window system, they are very unlikely to be of any use to you.
Source and binaries of the programs can be downloaded from
If you use
to reload the PDF document and the instance
with the given document is currently displaying some other document,
the command causes your document to be displayed, but not reloaded.
works by looking for a window with a name (window title) matching that
expected for the given viewer and document. If for some reason your
viewer's window name is not as expected,
may not work for you.
With at least AR9 and some window managers, using
to reload the document gives focus to the
window, even though the mouse cursor is not necessarily in that
window. This can be annoying. The -reset_focus option can be
used to deal with this problem.
This manual page was written by Jim Diamond <Jim.Diamond@acadiau.ca
I am the current maintainer of the X11 versions of
Report any bugs you find to me. Feature enhancement requests are
welcome, coded enhancements even more so.
Fabrice Popineau wrote the MS-windows versions of
upon which these programs were originally based.
Taco Hoekwater created the GNU/Linux versions, up to Version 0.61
(including some documentation which inspired parts of this man page).
Peter Breitenlohner has contributed both code and suggestions to
versions later than 0.61.
- PORTABILITY AND AVAILABILITY