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An unexpected perf feature
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Applications and bundled libraries
Posted Mar 18, 2010 4:51 UTC (Thu) by djao (subscriber, #4263)
It still uses enormous amounts of memory (192M), but alternatives such as evince (147M) are not exactly efficient either. There's no embedded copy of GTK (I checked). It feels just as fast as evince, and in certain important objective respects (such as the proportion of screen space wasted by the chrome) it improves on evince by quite a large margin. In terms of stability, it's superior to the free alternatives -- I've never seen acroread crash, whereas I've seen plenty of crashes with the free pdf readers.
Finally, acroread uses system settings for font antialiasing, including subpixel antialiasing on LCD screens, which evince does not do (although my own copy of evince is patched to support this feature, because I really like it).
As I said above, I dislike the idea of proprietary software, but all things being equal, I'd much prefer acroread to be good than to be bad, and I have to admit it's getting good.
Posted Mar 18, 2010 5:38 UTC (Thu) by roelofs (guest, #2599)
Hoo boy, I sure have. Of course, I use an old version (37M) in preference to the JS-infested privacy disaster Adobe is currently shipping, so that probably has something to do with it. But after a few weeks or months of use, it frequently either locks up with/on an X grab or just blows itself out of the water altogether. It's not frequent enough to be a showstopper, but it is mildly annoying, and I use both Evince and xpdf as well (especially for forms).
Posted Mar 18, 2010 6:53 UTC (Thu) by djao (subscriber, #4263)
The best software for PDF forms, without question, is flpsed. It allows arbitrary annotations, even on PDFs that don't include embedded forms. You can save your work at any time and edit it later (hardly worth advertising as a feature, except for the fact that Acrobat Reader doesn't allow it), and the resulting output files are small and correct. It's also free software (GPL) and quite robust and stable.
Posted Mar 18, 2010 7:40 UTC (Thu) by evgeny (guest, #774)
I suggest you take a look at xournal (<http://xournal.sourceforge.net/>). Although it was primarily intended for use with a tablet input, later versions also have support for entering typeset text from keyboard. I use it exclusively for PDF annotations.
Posted Mar 18, 2010 8:10 UTC (Thu) by djao (subscriber, #4263)
Posted Mar 18, 2010 8:33 UTC (Thu) by evgeny (guest, #774)
Posted Mar 18, 2010 9:06 UTC (Thu) by djao (subscriber, #4263)
I still believe, however, that flpsed is better for PDF forms, which invariably consist largely of data entry.
Posted Mar 18, 2010 7:43 UTC (Thu) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164)
But I find Okular far superior to adobe's product, mostly in the UI
department. Acrobat is just horrible, while Okular has 95% of the features
yet a clean and efficient interface. Just try using your mouse to scroll
through a page - when you hit the bottom of the page, things stop in
Acrobat. Okular just goes on, you won't even notice such features but they
matter once you have to go back to Acrobat.
Posted Mar 18, 2010 8:15 UTC (Thu) by djao (subscriber, #4263)
Perhaps you're using an old or misconfigured version of Acrobat Reader?
Posted Mar 18, 2010 9:46 UTC (Thu) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164)
In Okular you can just scroll on, no extra movements needed. It's a small touch, extremely intuitive and I only figured out I was using it when someone pointed it out ;-)
Posted Mar 18, 2010 18:33 UTC (Thu) by djao (subscriber, #4263)
Posted Mar 18, 2010 21:34 UTC (Thu) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164)
It's tiny, hard to understand (clearly) if you haven't seen it, yet
completely intuitive and unobtrusive. Just a nice touch.
Similarly nice is finding stuff in Okular, btw. I find the search bar on
the left, which only shows the pages where the search results show up so
you get a quick overview of where the term you were looking for is, far
superior to Acrobat's approach. Acrobat lacks such a simple yet effective
search - you have to go through everything with F3.
Also the automatic scrolling (shift-arrow down) is very nice, I've used
Okular a lot to read from the screen, adjusting speed with the arrow keys
(shift-arrow, again). Press shift to stop scrolling, shift again to
continue. Space to move one page further, shift-space to go back. Sure,
Acrobat offers auto scrolling with the mouse, like word and most
webbrowsers, but it's far less nice imho.
Again, tiny differences, but as I don't use any of the advanced stuff but
just read and search for stuff (and annotate sometimes) Okular is perfect.
Posted Mar 18, 2010 22:17 UTC (Thu) by dlang (✭ supporter ✭, #313)
I don't know if this is implemented by the window manager or by the individual app.
Posted Mar 18, 2010 22:22 UTC (Thu) by djao (subscriber, #4263)
One problem is that, most of the time, when I'm scrolling through a PDF, I want to read the pages from the top down (i.e. scroll forward through the file). However, in order to scroll forward by dragging the main page with the left mouse button, the mouse cursor itself actually has to move up in order for the page content to move down. So my mouse cursor never hits the bottom of the screen like you describe, unless I'm scrolling backwards, which happens very rarely. When I scroll forward, the cursor hits the top of the screen, and when it hits the top, it certainly doesn't automatically wrap the cursor to the bottom.
Since I cannot reproduce this behavior, I have to make certain assumptions about what you mean. Assuming you meant that the mouse cursor wraps from top to bottom, I can see how it would be a worthwhile option, but I would never use it myself. Most of my pdf reading occurs on a laptop, with a touchpad, in which case dragging the page is worse than useless -- it requires holding down a button as well as moving a finger along the touchpad, whereas the scrollwheel is built in to the touchpad and only requires moving a finger along the touchpad, and thus involves strictly less work. The only time I use dragging is for fine (pixel-level) scrolling control that cannot be achieved with the scroll wheel, but in such cases wraparound is unnecessary.
In addition to the lack of utility, my own opinion is that the bottom of the screen should be an absolute boundary to movement, not an invitation to wrap the cursor around to the top of the screen, no matter how worthy the justification may be. Moreover, if the PDF is displayed in a window, rather than full screen, then automatic cursor wraparound would be even more jarring, as it would jump from the top of the window to the bottom of the window rather than the top of the screen to the bottom of the screen.
Posted Mar 19, 2010 17:06 UTC (Fri) by jospoortvliet (subscriber, #33164)
But I guess everyone's habits are different, as are preferences ;-)
I just wanted to illustrate a very small yet nice feature Okular has which makes it (to me) nicer than Acrobat. It has more of those, of course ;-)
Posted Mar 18, 2010 13:06 UTC (Thu) by michaeljt (subscriber, #39183)
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