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A simple pdf viewer that works under virtually any unix os

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Xpdf is an open source viewer for Portable Document Format (PDF) files. (These are also sometimes also called 'Acrobat' files, from the name of Adobe's PDF software.) The Xpdf project also includes a PDF text extractor, PDF-to-PostScript converter, and various other utilities.

Xpdf runs under the X Window System on UNIX, VMS, and OS/2. The non-X components (pdftops, pdftotext, etc.) also run on Win32 systems and should run on pretty much any system with a decent C++ compiler.

Xpdf is designed to be small and efficient. It can use Type 1, TrueType, or standard X fonts.

Xpdf should work on pretty much any system which runs X11 and has Unix-like (POSIX) libraries. You'll need ANSI C++ and C compilers to compile it.

Xpdf Web Site


  • PDF text extractor
  • PDF-to-PostScript converter
  • Cross-platform


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User Reviews

  • herrold
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    xpdf is and remains the foundation for what I consider most usable of the Open Source licensed PDF readers. Being GPL licensed will keep it free at its last free variant forever. The use of the Motif toolkit means that it does not end up with irrelevant 'chrome' and embellishment' around the edges [I am looking at you, KDE and Gnome], makes it lighter, and so carries fewer dependencies when rebuilding from sources The fork by some distributions (I see RHEL substitutes out libXpm [MIT licensed] and substitutes the slightly fatter t1lib [LGPLv2+]) for render purposes, and the related hoops that are needed to be solved for modern fontserver use are probably just the price of keeping the program working more broadly in the FOSS world. But carrying this cruft may be reduced as the autotools are well aware of how to build the pristine tarball, and other freely available Open Source libraries A key part of my 'build it if it is absent' list. Highest recommendation -- Russ herrold

    Posted 10/03/2013
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