As part of its Grumpy Editor series, LWN.net looks at PDF viewers including the KDE applications KGhostview and KPDF. The author was impressed by KGhostview and sees a bright future for KPDF.
"In general, the interface provided by KGhostview is as nice as any PDF viewer your editor has been able to find. It is clearly a tool which has received some serious thought - and use - by its developers."
About KPDF the author says the following: "It does appear that further work is being done with kpdf, at least if one goes by
by KDE.News. The images suggest that the current development version supports multiple-page displays, string searches, and more. A future kpdf could well be best PDF viewer of them all; the current version is too unfinished to be usable, however."
KDE.News contacted KPDF developers
Albert Astals Cid and
for some comments on the future plans. Enrico Ros has been working for the last few months on new features in the kpdf_experiments CVS branch. Albert Astals Cid says: "For KDE 3.4 I hope to convince Enrico to stop doing wonderful features and begin merging the kpdf_experiments branch. That includes continuous page mode, 2 page side by side mode, search,
PDF file properties dialog, table of contents, copy text from the document,
copy images from the document to file or clipboard, some accessibility things
like invert colors, change paper color, draw lines around images, etc. I
think bookmarks and annotations will probably have to wait till after KDE 3.4."
Enrico Ros adds: "I hope to do the merge between now and next weekend. A couple of things more: speech synthesis on text selection with kttsd
which is automatically detected at runtime if it is installed.
Lots of speed and happiness for the end user. We have an underlying engine for
doing very cool gfx effects too... and in a fast way. I don't know if
we will be able to take full advantage of its features for KDE 3.4 though."
A complete overview of KPDF's current status and future plans can be found in its
TODO file. "For the future we plan to add a complete set of annotation tools. Some colored highlighters, some sticky papers, a couple of pencils and a rubber. Support more file formats. I think the hard part for this is done. I think that PS will come first, then maybe DVI, txt... It depends on the code-base we'll get attracted. We also want to offer online (and offline maybe) translation for the document/page/selection and make some accessibility improvements." Enrico concludes.
If you have suggestions for useful or cool features that you would like to see in the
next release or just want to thank the developers for their work you can contact the
KPDF developers directly by e-mail.