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Old 02-24-2011, 01:45 PM   #1
bennyt
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PDF viewer for annotating (or anything other than just viewing!)


Hi All,

After exhaustive searching it appears that okular is the only pdf viewer capable of annotating, marking up and bookmarking a PDF file under Linux - and even these are not genuine PDF bookmarks that can be accessed by other viewers. I believe a few other 'sketching' type tools load a PDF and allow overlay of some kind but again it is not the same (e.g. xournal).

As if that was not bad enough (essentially limited to one app), okular is still flakey (one of my files only partially renders whereas acrobat has no trouble) and the rendering is handled by poppler so multiple updates required if I wish to get the latest version.

Furthermore, it has no tabbed browsing for multiple docs and one has to continually click the annotation highlighter for each individual use!! You cannot apparently just turn it on and highlight away.

Anyways, I'm fairly sure that is the 'state of the art' on Linux at the moment wrt to doing anything with a PDF other than simply viewing it, which to be honest is pretty tragic. Doesn't seem to have been much progress over the past ten years?

So, if anyone has any advice to the contrary or has overcome this shortfall, pleeease let me know
Thanks.
 
Old 02-24-2011, 02:05 PM   #2
pljvaldez
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Have you tried Adobe's Reader? There is a linux version. Or have you tried pdfedit. I haven't used it lately, but it looked promising a couple years ago when it was in alpha.
 
Old 02-25-2011, 09:15 AM   #3
bennyt
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Hi, thanks. Unfortunately Adobe only support a viewer for Linux with pretty much no functionality. I find it very sad that they churn out hundreds of sophisticated packages for Windows & Mac but apparently cannot provide anything for Linux other than a basic pdf viewer. A shame because their viewer at least does seem quite good (apart from being bloated).

I think pdfedit is the only one I've yet to try, partly because it looked liked overkill and partly because I have more pressing work. However, I shall investigate and report back.

Cheers

Update: OK, after much messing about as usual I eventually got pdfedit to build, then rebuilt from slackbuilds go get a more stable version (it required qt3 libs and I'm on slack64 with qt4). The front end is pretty ugly but it successfully loaded a pdf and allowed highlighting and I could saved the changes into the pdf but sadly it garbled the file in the process. Interestingly though I opened the file in okular (which has now decided to pause for ~20s whenever I do anything) and it did actually recover the highlighting. Pointless however as the file was garbled. It is however a more comprehensive package but IMHO not nearly good enough for regular use on complex pdfs.

So I conclude the 'state of the art' with regards linux pdf software is pretty lame. I hope to proved wrong.

Last edited by bennyt; 02-25-2011 at 10:30 AM.
 
Old 02-28-2011, 06:45 AM   #4
Win32.Neshto
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Try to run Foxit Reader via WINE. But I'm not really sure it have no problems with WINE because I didn't try. There is no free as in freedom software for editing PDF due to legal issues (just like MP3 format).
 
Old 02-28-2011, 12:33 PM   #5
DavidMcCann
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If really necessary, I alter a page of a pdf by

1. extract the page with pdftk
2. import it into Gimp and make the alterations
3. save the page as .ps
4. convert with ps2pdf
5. replace into the document with pdftk

It's not exactly handy, but it works.
 
Old 02-28-2011, 05:41 PM   #6
jefro
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May be possible to use OpenOffice.
 
Old 02-28-2011, 08:00 PM   #7
teckk
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http://www.tracker-software.com/prod...xchange-viewer

This little app runs fine in wine and gives you quite a few .pdf editing functions.
 
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Old 03-01-2011, 02:08 AM   #8
OldManHook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Win32.Neshto View Post
Try to run Foxit Reader via WINE. But I'm not really sure it have no problems with WINE because I didn't try. There is no free as in freedom software for editing PDF due to legal issues (just like MP3 format).
There is a Foxit Reader for Linux a .deb and RPM package -Have not used but you might want to check it out.
 
Old 03-01-2011, 07:26 AM   #9
Frakk
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Hi,

IIRC OpenOffice allows you to import PDF files and edit them,
BUT here´s the catch:

it won´t import them to Writer or Calc but to OO Draw, meaning it is not very comfortable with 1-2 pages docs, and a PITA when the docs have several pages.

HTH
 
Old 03-02-2011, 05:54 PM   #10
bennyt
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Thanks for the assistance all.

To address these suggestions:
Openoffice does have a pdf importer downloadable from their website as a plugin. However, again this is an attempt at an all powerful pdf editor and not really what I need. Additionally it garbled the first pdf I tried to open

I believe the linux Foxit reader lacks some of the features I needed and is not nearly as good as the windows version. While running it under Wine would work it is not an avenue I'd like to explore yet (trying to keep things simple).

The other suggestions sound plausible but they're not really practicle. I am a research student and go through a lot of pdf scientific papers and references containing a lot of tables, diagrams, mathematical notation etc. I need to be able to highlight, create bookmarks and make notes quickly. Most importantly it needs to be reliable, consistent and retreivable. (Ideally it should inegrate with reference managers such as Sciplore.)

As it goes, Okular is not dreadful to use and apart from some minor irritations and the odd pdf it stuggles with (actually only one so far) it ticks all the boxes. The main draw back is that the annotation and bookmarks are only accessible in Okular and not transferable (i.e. if I make notes and annotation and then copy the file they're lost because they're not stored in the file itself.)

The funny thing is that doing general scientific research work involving HPC, coding, data management, maths / physics /stats, would be painful on Windows / Mac (IMHO) but yet I cannot perform fairly simple pdf operations.

Might mark this as solved if there's nothing else to add. I'm sure things will improve over the coming months.
Thanks again
 
Old 03-03-2011, 01:42 AM   #11
MaBu
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Try sending pdf which doesn't work as a bug to poppler.

With Okular you can send annotations together the pdf since KDE 4.2.
Copied from FAQ:
Quote:
Since KDE 4.2, Okular has the "document archiving" feature. This is an Okular-specific format for carrying the document plus various metadata related to it (currently only annotations).
You can save a "document archive" from the open document by choosing "File -> Export As -> Document Archive".
To open an Okular document archive, just open it with Okular as it would be eg a PDF document.
 
Old 03-03-2011, 01:42 PM   #12
teckk
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http://www.pdfescape.com/

There are also web based editors.
 
Old 06-09-2011, 06:49 PM   #13
ankit.subs
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How to edit PDF in Linux - The easy way.

I have written a small tutorial on the topic that you may find useful.

http://makegadgetswork.blogspot.com/...-easy-way.html

Regards,
Ankit.
 
Old 08-02-2013, 02:21 PM   #14
mtballday
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PDF Studio?

PDF Studio (Qoppa) is by far the best native linux pdf program. It isn't free, but < $100 and does almost everything Acrobat does. I needed highlighting and annotations that would save with the PDF and open in Acrobat, and it does that great. I spent a lot of time searching the Linux forums, etc. before I found it, and it made Linux a lot more viable for me.
 
  


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