In response to
I’ll open up this thread to avoid any more digression on the abovementioned thread.
Some views on PDF-Xchange:
There are various pdf viewers and most of them are competing on who has the most features to offer. In my opinion, the key features ought to be these three:
- Usability and speed
- Document fidelity and readability
Now, if we take a closer look on PDF Viewers, the difference on rendering differs based on the library they use. Now the ones that I do know are only so few, but the ones that I’ve tried uses the following:
- adobe pdf library (adobe reader) – proprietary, i don’t know any software that uses this aside from adobe acrobat. Offers the best rendering quality but also the heaviest and slowest.
- mupdf (mupdf, zathura, sumatra) – the speedy gonzales of them all; “quick and dirty”. It should be noted that, by my understanding, anti-aliasing is implemented by default which should make things look a tad bit better. However, I did hear that at times it looks overly blurred. It’s not an issue for me, but certain fonts could look a tad better. Compared to poppler though, mupdf renders images better though exceptions do occur.
- poppler (qpdfview, evince) – poppler is heavier than mupdf, but lighter than adobe pdf library. It has more features than mupdf, less than adobe pdf library. But it does excel at them. It was more consistent in rendering various pdf’s as opposed to mupdf’s seemingly hit-and-miss rendering. Among the free pdf software, the ones that used poppler offered support for form editing.
- pdf.js (firefox, chromium) – well, yeah, okay it’s not exactly a library. At this point in time, it’s more hit-and-miss than mupdf is. But it does show a lot of potential and cross-platform.
Memory-usage, I think, is independent of the library used since however heavy any of the above were (save for pdf.js, and adobe pdf which i could not test for consistency because i know of no other software that uses this library), none of them bogged down the desktop too much (1.0 Ghz processor with 224 MB of RAM, WINE via BodhiLinux). it would seem that memory usage is caused more by the framework they choose to use for its interface, the lightest of which being Qt followed by hit-and-miss GTK.
I don’t know if Nitro, Foxit and XChange View uses their own rendering library, but XChange Viewer offers more options though a tad bit more pricey. Foxit on the other hand, adds a toolbar as far as I remember, and Nitro requires you to register.
The best one I’ve tried is qpdfview which has a good balances of speed and document fidelity and form-filling, but only available in Linux as far as I can tell. Sumatra launches faster than XChange Viewer though more limited. XChange Viewer offers better rendering than Nitro. Nitro offers better form-filling functions though just as limited. Evince was slow and ugly for me.