xpdf - Portable Document Format (PDF) file viewer for X (version 2.01)
xpdf [options] [PDF-file [page | +dest]]
Xpdf is a viewer for Portable Document Format (PDF) files. (These are also sometimes also
called 'Acrobat' files, from the name of Adobe's PDF software.) Xpdf runs under the X
Window System on UNIX, VMS, and OS/2.
To run xpdf, simply type:
where file.pdf is your PDF file. The file name can be followed by a number specifying the
page which should be displayed first, e.g.:
xpdf file.pdf 18
You can also give a named destination, prefixed with '+' in place of the page number.
You can also start xpdf without opening any files:
Xpdf reads a configuration file at startup. It first tries to find the user's private
config file, ~/.xpdfrc. If that doesn't exist, it looks for a system-wide config file,
typically /etc/xpdfrc (but this location can be changed when xpdf is built). See the
xpdfrc(5) man page for details.
Many of the following options can be set with configuration file commands or X resources.
These are listed in square brackets with the description of the corresponding command line
Set the initial window geometry. (-geometry is equivalent.) [X resource:
Set the window title. By default, the title will be "xpdf: foo.pdf". [X resource:
-cmap Install a private colormap. This is ignored on TrueColor visuals. [X resource:
Set the size of largest RGB cube xpdf will try to allocate. The default is 5 (for
a 5x5x5 cube); set to a smaller number to conserve color table entries. This is
ignored with private colormaps and on TrueColor visuals. [X resource:
-rv Set reverse video mode. This reverses the colors of everything except images. It
may not always produce great results for PDF files which do weird things with
color. This also causes the paper color to default to black. [X resource:
Set the "paper color", i.e., the background of the page display. This will not
work too well with PDF files that do things like filling in white behind the text.
[X resource: xpdf.paperColor]
Set the initial zoom factor. A number (-5 .. 5) specifies a zoom factor, where 0
means 72 dpi. You may also specify 'page', to fit the page to the window size, or
'width', to fit the page width to the window width. [config file: initialZoom; or
X resource: xpdf.initialZoom]
Set the type of font rendering for t1lib (the Type 1 rasterizer) to use. Options
are 'none' (don't use t1lib at all), 'plain' (use non-anti-aliased fonts), 'low' or
'high' (use low-level or high-level anti-aliased fonts). [config file: t1libCon-
Set the type of font rendering for FreeType (the TrueType rasterizer) to use.
Options are 'none' (don't use FreeType at all), 'plain' (use non-anti-aliased
fonts), 'low' or 'high' (use anti-aliased fonts; these two are identical). [config
Set the default file name for PostScript output. This can also be of the form
'|command' to pipe the PostScript through a command. [config file: psFile]
Set the paper size to one of "letter", "legal", "A4", or "A3". [config file: psPa-
Set the paper width, in points. [config file: psPaperSize]
Set the paper height, in points. [config file: psPaperSize]
Generate Level 1 PostScript. The resulting PostScript files will be significantly
larger (if they contain images), but will print on Level 1 printers. This also
converts all images to black and white. [config file: psLevel]
Sets the encoding to use for text output. The encoding-name must be defined with
the unicodeMap command (see xpdfrc(5)). This defaults to "Latin1" (which is a
built-in encoding). [config file: textEncoding]
-eol unix | dos | mac
Sets the end-of-line convention to use for text output. [config file: textEOL]
Specify the owner password for the PDF file. Providing this will bypass all secu-
Specify the user password for the PDF file.
Open xpdf in a full-screen mode, useful for presentations. You may also want to
specify '-bg black' (or similar) with this. (There is currently no way to switch
between window and full-screen modes on the fly.)
Start/contact xpdf remote server with specified name (see the REMOTE SERVER MODE
Reload xpdf remote server window (with -remote only).
-raise Raise xpdf remote server window (with -remote only).
-quit Kill xpdf remote server (with -remote only).
-cmd Print commands as they're executed (useful for debugging). [config file: printCom-
-q Don't print any messages or errors. [config file: errQuiet]
Read config-file in place of ~/.xpdfrc or the system-wide config file.
-v Print copyright and version information.
-h Print usage information. (-help and --help are equivalent.)
Several other standard X options and resources will work as expected:
[X resource: xpdf.display]
(-foreground is equivalent.) [X resource: xpdf*Foreground]
(-background is equivalent.) [X resource: xpdf*Background]
(-fn is equivalent.) [X resource: xpdf*fontList]
The color and font options only affect the user interface elements, not the PDF display
The following X resources do not have command line option equivalents:
Enables the 'h', 'l', 'k' and 'j' keys for left, right, up, and down scrolling.
On-screen controls, at the bottom of the xpdf window
left/right arrow buttons
Move to the previous/next page.
double left/right arrow buttons
Move backward or forward by ten pages.
dashed left/right arrow buttons
Move backward or forward along the history path.
'Page' entry box
Move to a specific page number. Click in the box to activate it, type the page
number, then hit return.
zoom popup menu
Change the zoom factor (see the description of the -z option above).
Find a text string.
Bring up a dialog for generating a PostScript file. The dialog has options to set
the pages to be printed and the PostScript file name. The file name can be '-' for
stdout or '|command' to pipe the PostScript through a command, e.g., '|lpr'.
Bring up the 'about xpdf' window.
The space between the '?' and 'Quit' buttons is used to show the URL or external
file name when the mouse is over a link.
Pressing the right mouse button will post a popup menu with the following commands:
Open a new PDF file via a file requester.
Open in new window...
Create a new window and open a new PDF file via a file requester.
Reload Reload the current PDF file. Note that Xpdf will reload the file automatically (on
a page change or redraw) if it has changed since it was last loaded.
Save the current file via a file requester.
Rotate the page 90 degrees counterclockwise.
Rotate the page 90 degrees clockwise. The two rotate commands are intended primar-
ily for PDF files where the rotation isn't correctly specified in the file, but
they're also useful if your X server doesn't support font rotation.
Close Close the current window. If this is the only open window, the document is closed,
but the window is left open (i.e., this menu command won't quit xpdf).
Quit Quit xpdf.
Dragging the mouse with the left button held down will highlight an arbitrary rectangle.
Any text inside this rectangle will be copied to the X selection buffer.
Clicking on a hyperlink will jump to the link's destination. A link to another PDF docu-
ment will make xpdf load that document. A 'launch' link to an executable program will
display a dialog, and if you click 'ok', execute the program. URL links call an external
command (see the WEB BROWSERS section below).
Dragging the mouse with the middle button held down pans the window.
o Open a new PDF file via a file requester.
r Reload the current PDF file. Note that Xpdf will reload the file automatically (on
a page change or redraw) if it has changed since it was last loaded.
Redraw the current page.
Close the current window.
f or control-F
Find a text string.
Find next occurrence.
n Move to the next page. Scrolls to the top of the page, unless scroll lock is
p Move to the previous page. Scrolls to the top of the page, unless scroll lock is
<Space> or <PageDown> or <Next>
Scroll down on the current page; if already at bottom, move to next page.
<Backspace> or <Delete> or <PageUp> or <Previous>
Scroll up on the current page; if already at top, move to previous page.
v Move forward along the history path.
b Move backward along the history path.
<Home> Scroll to top of current page.
<End> Scroll to bottom of current page.
Scroll to first page of document.
Scroll to last page of document.
arrows Scroll the current page.
g Activate the page number text field ("goto page").
0 Set the zoom factor to zero (72 dpi).
+ Zoom in (increment the zoom factor by 1).
- Zoom out (decrement the zoom factor by 1).
z Set the zoom factor to 'page' (fit page to window).
w Set the zoom factor to 'width' (fit page width to window).
q Quit xpdf.
If you want to run xpdf automatically from netscape or mosaic (and probably other
browsers) when you click on a link to a PDF file, you need to edit (or create) the files
.mime.types and .mailcap in your home directory. In .mime.types add the line:
In .mailcap add the lines:
# Use xpdf to view PDF files.
application/pdf; xpdf -q %s
Make sure that xpdf is on your executable search path.
When you click on a URL link in a PDF file, xpdf will execute the command specified by the
urlCommand config file option, replacing an occurrence of '%s' with the URL. For example,
to call netscape with the URL, add this line to your config file:
urlCommand "netscape -remote 'openURL(%s)'"
REMOTE SERVER MODE
Xpdf can be started in remote server mode by specifying a server name (in addition to the
file name and page number). For example:
xpdf -remote myServer file.pdf
If there is currently no xpdf running in server mode with the name 'myServer', a new xpdf
window will be opened. If another command:
xpdf -remote myServer another.pdf 9
is issued, a new copy of xpdf will not be started. Instead, the first xpdf (the server)
will load another.pdf and display page nine. If the file name is the same:
xpdf -remote myServer another.pdf 4
the xpdf server will simply display the specified page.
The -raise option tells the server to raise its window; it can be specified with or with-
out a file name and page number.
The -quit option tells the server to close its window and exit.
The Xpdf tools use the following exit codes:
0 No error.
1 Error opening a PDF file.
2 Error opening an output file.
3 Error related to PDF permissions.
99 Other error.
The xpdf software and documentation are copyright 1996-2002 Glyph & Cog, LLC.
pdftops(1), pdftotext(1), pdfinfo(1), pdffonts(1), pdftopbm(1), pdfimages(1), xpdfrc(5)
05 December 2002 xpdf(1)