[texhax] dvi vs pdf

Steve Revilak steve at srevilak.net
Fri Dec 3 04:02:22 CET 2010

>From: Michael Barr <barr at math.mcgill.ca>

>I have one further problem with pdf.  I am accustomed to compiling a 
>file, previewing it, making changes and then iterate.  I cannot do 
>that with the Adobe reader.  I cannot write a new pdf file while the 
>old one is loaded. So exit the file from the reader, then compile the 
>new version, load the new file, and then find your place again.  I 
>find this intolerable. Someone once suggested a different pdf reader 
>and I tried it and found it unsatisfactory in other ways (I no longer 
>recall why).  I'll stick to dvi, thank you.

I've found several ways of producing pdf output from Latex, and having
the pdf reader refresh the document after it was typeset.  Of course,
there is a different way for each operating system.

On linux, I've become very fond of Okular, KDE's pdf viewer.  If you
enable the option "Reload document on file change", then Okular
reloads the document when the .pdf changes.  It works well with the
edit, compile, view workflow that you described earlier.

Xpdf is also reload-friendly.  (You may have to press `r' to cause the
reload.  I can't remember for sure right now).

On Mac OS, I'd configure TexShop to use an external
editor. (Preferences > Document > Configure for external editor).
 From a command line, "open myfile.tex".  TexShop runs pdflatex and
renders the pdf.  Edit myfile.tex in your favorite editor, then switch
back to TexShop and press Cmd-T to typeset and view the results.

Someone mentioned Skim -- I believe that Skim has a "check for file
changes option".

I used MikTeX once (literally, once :) and it seems to have an
integrated pdf viewer that reloads the document each time it's

Wikipedia lists many pdf readers


I'm sure you can find one that fits your needs better than Adobe

But of course, if dvi works well for you, then why mess with a good
thing? :)


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