Thursday, March 26, 2009

How to highlight pdf files on Linux and Windows machines

Two annoyances that I have always had with ebooks and pdf material is that when I'm reading I like to highlight important info for future reference. Most readers (like Adobe) only allows you to highlight files that you have document rights to it, which I don't think makes any sense.

The other problem is that I read the same book between multiple computers and multiple platforms. I always have to write down the page I read last, and this is a bit annoying.

After doing a lot of searches I was finally able to find a pdf reader (PDF-XChange Viewer) that allows me to highlight text and save that information. Even better, they have a portable version so you can have the book, program and saved data (highlight and page) on a USB device and access it between machines.

For my utmost surprise the program works under wine and also reads the saved data.

Hot to get it working

1- Download the portable version of the program and unzip it to your flash device (either on Linux or Windows)

2- Install wine on your Linux machine if you have not already done so

# Ubuntu (8.10)
$ sudo aptitude install wine
$ winecfg

3- Create a script in the flash drive within the program folder to open the program on Linux

$ echo -e '#!/bin/bash\n\nwine PDXCview.exe &' > PDFXCview_for_Linux

You should now be able to open the program on either Windows or Linux and see your highlighted text.


arpit said...

Thanks man for this post.

Sandeep said...

damn good software!! Thanks a lot!

John W. Robertson said...

You guys can avoid using virtualizing Windows all together and use Marqed. It's a free webapp: check it out

F. said...

For linux: Use Okular.

karim said...

thanks. nice software. I used preview in mac. this one beats everything. now i use windows. i love it!!!

Vikram said...

Thanks a lot for sharing this.
Even the free version is very useful

Vikram said...

Thanks for sharing this.
The free version is good enough
Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

It’s funny how many articles and news come out on a weekly basis.