[OS X TeX] Re: [tex-live] MacTeX -- xpdf

Victor Ivrii vivrii at gmail.com
Tue Apr 23 06:39:29 CEST 2013

On Mon, Apr 22, 2013 at 6:56 PM, Reinhard Kotucha
<reinhard.kotucha at web.de>wrote:

> Hi,
> a friend of mine installed MacTeX (TL-2012) recently.  Everything
> works like a charm.  However, I wrote a script for him (on Linux)
> which depends on pdftops (part of xpdf).  It turned out that this
> program didn't exist on his system.
> Aren't the xpdf support programs part of MacTeX or is his installation
> incomplete?
> I don't think that xpdf itself is needed because TeXShop and TeXworks
> are excellent previewers, but the accompanying commandline tools
> like pdftops, pdffonts, pdfinfo, pdfimages... are extremely useful.
> Not to mention that they are extremely reliable.
> BTW, Akira provides the xpdf commandline tools for W32TeX and TeX Live
> on Windows already, hence I assume that there is a way to compile
> xpdf --without-xpdf  :)

Yes, usually compiling xpdf on MacOSX results in compiling these and some
other commands but not xpdf

However most commands (in their more "modern") form could be obtained from
compiling poppler (without Qt):
pdfdetach, pdffonts, pdfimages, pdfinfo, pdfseparate, pdftocairo,
pdftohtml, pdftoppm, pdftops, pdftotext, pdfunite

(well, some require cairo). Probably some of them could be provided by
MacTeX in the same way as ghostscript or convert.

However, one should draw a line somewhere: why convert but not full
ImageMagick? Why asymptote but not gnuplot (which is very useful for

BTW, since both TW and xpdf are poppler based (for xpdf it is actually the
other way) TW could be rightfully considered as a replacement of xpdf (sure
TW is much more than this). Talking about pdf browsers on MacOSX one could
add Apple Preview and Skim (based like TS on PDFKit)


Victor Ivrii, Professor, Department of Mathematics, University of Toronto
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