I'm in a locked down computing environment, where I have access to acrobat pro and to a snapshot of cygwin from a few months back, meaning that I have xpdf. These are my two options. LaTeX composition requires a PDF viewer that allows a PDF file to be regenerated without having to close the PDF file in the viewer. Acrobat won't permit a PDF file to be regenerated without closing it, and if one closes it, one loses one's position and zoom level upon re-opening the refreshed PDF file. On the other hand, xpdf allows this, but its anti-aliasing is nowhere near that of acrobat.

It's a tough choice. Go with acrobat and lose one's place in between PDF file refreshes, or go with PDF and the rough anti-aliasing. Both have a price in terms of heavy distraction from document composition. Can anyone suggest a clever way around these limitations? Preferably without having to resort to yet another app, but I would even consider that; I can at least resort to that at home, if not at work.

  • What are you asking? Obviously, if you are willing and able to use a different application, the answer is to use a decent PDF viewer. So, at home, the solution is clear enough. Where you can't do that, I'm not sure what kind of answer you are looking for. If you have a DVI viewer, you could use latex rather than pdflatex. Or you could experiment with different fonts and/or system settings and/or xpdf settings. – cfr Oct 12 '15 at 1:06
  • Why is this a problem for document composition? You shouldn't, in most cases, need to continuously preview the document.... (That's meant to be the point of using TeX!) – cfr Oct 12 '15 at 1:09
  • @cfr: My main concern is to find a common solution for work and home, so I was wondering if I was overlooking a solution involving either acrobat or xpdf. From your answer, I assume not. As for dvi...I do have xdvi. I'll give that a shot. Thanks. As for why it is a problem, I realize that the point of TeX is to separate content from formatting, but I find it burns up cognitive effort staring through the LaTeX code to get the essential points being crafted. Much easier to look at the WYSIWYG version in PDF. I'm not saying that I prefer....some other pervasive office document app... – user36800 Oct 12 '15 at 2:26
  • Ouch, it looks like it's more than just replacing pdflatex with latex...the figures may need to be all converted to eps. I don't think it's worth it at this point, considering that there is no evidence that xdvi will have any better antialiasing. However, I'll keep this option open as a curious question to explore when I have some free time. Thanks again. P.S. regarding some of your original questions that I neglected to respond to, the relevant xpdf setting is antialiasing. As for fonts, the problem is that I need a small size to see everything, so changing fonts won't help. – user36800 Oct 12 '15 at 2:35
  • Just to complete the story, I found a similar thread. My problem differs a bit in that I'm zoomed out, yielding few pixels per letter. Rendering seems far more complex than just antialiasing. From comparing Acrobat with Xpdf, Acrobat shifts some of the rendered lines to better align with the pixels on-screen. I think it boils down to superior hinting (apparently even better than SumatraPDF). The ultimate solution is to get a higher res laptop :( – user36800 Oct 12 '15 at 23:33

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