Steps for Vim & Okular
The accepted answer got me most of the way to making this work with Okular, but I had a couple of issues. So I'd like to provide an elaborate description with some more explanatory information. Note that these steps do NOT require any third party files, extra plugins, or gVim.
1. compile the tex file with SyncTeX support
First, make sure you compile your Latex document with SyncTeX. This will generate a
.synctex file (in addition to the
.pdf file) which provides the mapping between the tex file(s) and pdf file. You can compile a
.tex file with Synctex support using either the
latexmk shell commands:
$ pdflatex -synctex=-1 file.tex
$ latexmk -pdf -pdflatex="pdflatex -synctex=-1" -cd /path/to/file.tex
Note that you can also generate a zipped
.synctex.gz file by replacing the
-1 in the commands above with a
1. This may be helpful to reduce file size. As an alternative to using the
-synctex flag, you can tell the compiler to use Synctex by putting the line
\synctex=1 in the preamble of your Latex file. As far as I know, you can't generate an uncompressed
.synctex file this way though.
You can run the
latexmk compilation commands from a terminal. Alternatively, you can run these commands from Vim itself. A quick way to do so would be to enter the following command in Vim's colon command line
:!latexmk -pdf -pdflatex="pdflatex -synctex=-1" -cd % (note
% represents the path to the current file). But this method may not be ideal if you often edit and compile tex files. Other ways to compile a tex file from Vim are described in the answers to this question.
2. tex-to-pdf search (Vim to Okular)
If you compiled the tex file as in step 1, you should have a Synctex (
.synctex.gz) file along with the corresponding tex and pdf files. You can then issue the following shell command to use Okular to open the pdf to the location which corresponds to line_number in the tex file:
$ okular --noraise --unique "/path/to/file.pdf#src:line_number /path/to/file.tex"
Note the quotation marks are necessary. Also note that the
--unique option will ensure only one Okular window is opened, and the
--noraise option will prevent the Okular window from being focused and raised. This will be helpful in the next step so that Vim isn't exited every time a search is done1.
The next step is to run the
okular shell command from Vim, using the line number the cursor is on. As an example of how to do this, you can add the following to your
let this_tex_file = expand('%:p')
let master_tex_file = this_tex_file
let pdf_file = fnamemodify(master_tex_file, ':p:r') . '.pdf'
let line_number = line('.')
let okular_cmd = 'okular --noraise --unique "' . pdf_file . '#src:' . line_number . ' ' . this_tex_file . '"'
let s:okular_job = job_start(['/bin/bash', '-c', okular_cmd])
nnoremap <leader>f :call OkularFind()<cr>
The last line just defines a keymap to apply the function (note: the
<leader> key is \ by default).
Also, this code assumes that your project only involves one tex file. If your project involves a master tex file and other tex files referenced by the master, you will have to change the
3. pdf-to-tex search (Okular to Vim)
The way I know how to do Okular-to-Vim search is by using a server in Vim. Note that I figured out some of the following information from the documentation and issues of vimtex.
To use a server in Vim, your Vim installation must be compiled with the
+clientserver option2. Note that you can check to see if this option is installed by using Vim's
:version command. To start a server named "VIM" in Vim, you can run Vim as
$ vim --servername VIM
If Vim is already running, you can start a server from within Vim with
With Vim running as a server, you can jump to line_number of a tex file with the shell command
$ vim --remote +line_number /path/to/file.tex
The next step is to run that
vim --remote command from Okular. When viewing a pdf that is part of a tex project, Okular's Editor feature has the native ability to map locations in the pdf to lines in the corresponding tex file, by means of the Synctex file. Upon a Shift + Left Mouse Button (when using the Browse tool) the Editor will run a shell command, which is intended to open a text editor to view the tex file. As part of this shell command, Okular provides the symbols
%f to be used as placeholders for the line number and filename (see The Okular Handbook for more info). So, search from Okular to Vim can be accomplished with the following steps:
go to Settings 🡢 Configure Okular 🡢 Editor and select Custom Text Editor, and in Command type3
vim --remote +%l %f
make sure you're using the Browse Tool (Tools 🡢 Browse)
put the cursor over the part of the pdf you want to search for, and do Shift + Left Mouse Button
The last step should take you to the corresponding line in your tex file4.
--noraise option will prevent the Okular window from being focused and raised. You can leave this option off if you want to focus the Okular window. Additionally, if you want to raise, but not focus the Okular window, you can combine the
okular command with a shell command that can interact with windows, for example
wmctrl. As an example, you could augment the
okular shell command above like this:
this_WID=$(xdotool getactivewindow) && \
okular --unique "/path/to/file.pdf#src:line_number /path/to/file.tex" && \
xdotool windowactivate $this_WID
This will focus the Okular window the first time it is opened, but not subsequent times.
2 In Arch Linux, the default
vim package is not compiled with the
+clientserver option, so you must install the
gvim package, which will install gVim, as well as a more fully-featured version of Vim which is compiled with the
3 You should also be able to leave off the
%f because Okular should add it to the end of the command automatically.
4 Depending on your system configuration, this may or may not focus the Vim window. See the answers to this question and this question for workarounds.