[OS X TeX] pdfopen in MacTeX useful?

Ettore Aldrovandi ealdrov at math.fsu.edu
Fri Aug 3 01:02:08 EDT 2012

On Fri, Aug 03, 2012 at 04:12:35AM +0000, Charles Shooshan wrote:

> Now my problem. I stumbled onto pdfopen and first time through I
> received an acroread not found error. I created a link on my path
> (/usr/local/bin/acroread) and I pointed it to the executable within
> first Adobe Reader 9 and then Adobe Reader 10. I then tried a bash
> script called acroread instead to launch the Readers with the OS X open
> command.
> Some of this worked a little. Some worked not at all. All seemed to
> launch X11 (which I believe is gone in Mountain Lion but can a version
> can be downloaded). I also used the -viewer ar9-tab with pdfopen. When
> it worked, the file opened in Adobe Reader but did not reload if I
> issued the command again after a change.

> Might it somehow work with Preview?
> Should I just abandon the idea of using pdfopen?
> Is there another option for "terminal workflow" in OS X?

The OS X way to launch an app (in this case a PDF viewer) from the
command line is:

$ open filename.pdf

which opens with Preview. If another one is desired---Skim is an
excellent PDF viewer especially suited for TeX related work---then the
command becomes:

$ open -a Skim filename.pdf

The command "open" causes the app to open as if you had clicked on its
icon.  'man open' for more information.  

>From the manpage of pdfopen it appears pdfopen is meant to open an X11
aware PDF viewer, which the Adobe Reader you would normally install
under OS X would not be.  Moreover, it seems pdfopen is specifically
looking for Acroread, xpdf, evince.  You can always install something
like xpdf, but I don't really see the point of doing so. It is
perfectly possible to have a very efficient workflow without ever have
to run X11 apps.  TeXShop is an excellent example, as is the
combination Emacs + Skim (and there are others).


Ettore Aldrovandi
Department of Mathematics, Florida State University
1017 Academic Way		 *    http://www.math.fsu.edu/~ealdrov
Tallahassee, FL 32306-4510, USA * * aldrovandi at math dot fsu dot edu

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