PDF viewer capable of....

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PDF viewer capable of....

Postby cds60601 » 2018-07-11 14:24

Hi folks!

I'm looking for a FOSS PDF viewer/creator that will read newer formats that are being used (dynamic XFA, etc).
I'm finding out that PDF docs from mid-sized to enterprise companies are sending and using the type of PDF that every app I tried in Debian, just wont pull in.
I suppose I could use Master PDF (https://code-industry.net/) but would prefer to know if there are alternatives to the mentioned app if any reason, just to have options.

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Re: PDF viewer capable of....

Postby Danielsan » 2018-07-11 15:04

Did you try mupdf?
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Re: PDF viewer capable of....

Postby cds60601 » 2018-07-11 15:55

Danielsan wrote:Did you try mupdf?


I did and it too failed... Somewhat discouraging but I suppose I should be happy there is at least one (Master PDF).

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Re: PDF viewer capable of....

Postby cds60601 » 2018-07-11 16:10

arochester wrote:https://unix.stackexchange.com/questions/265845/pdf-reader-that-supports-xfa-forms-while-adobe-reader-for-linux-is-not-supporte



I saw this thread, Tried pdfviewer2018 and unfortunately, the PDF's I'm somewhat forced to deal with are dynamic xfa.
So be it - as I mentioned, at least I have an option (opposed to having a single Windows system just for PDFs, lol - Good Lord).

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Re: PDF viewer capable of....

Postby Danielsan » 2018-07-11 18:05

It is very annoying when we are bounded to this pesky proprietary stuff (from wikipedia: "XFA (also known as XFA forms) stands for XML Forms Architecture, a family of proprietary XML"), public services should never rely on those proprietary solution.
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Re: PDF viewer capable of....

Postby shep » 2018-07-11 19:16

Evince can handle some XFA forms - specifically US tax forms.
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Re: PDF viewer capable of....

Postby cds60601 » 2018-07-11 19:43

Danielsan wrote:It is very annoying when we are bounded to this pesky proprietary stuff (from wikipedia: "XFA (also known as XFA forms) stands for XML Forms Architecture, a family of proprietary XML"), public services should never rely on those proprietary solution.


Agreed. I took it a step further with Master PDF. I contacted tech support to see if they maybe had a "community" version. Something that I would be willing to attempt to package for Debian. Alas, I was told that it is a "commercial secret". Be that as it may, the gentleman was quite nice in the email and at least accommodated the question enough to send out a reply without being snarky.

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Re: PDF viewer capable of....

Postby pylkko » 2018-07-11 20:00

Anyone correct me if I am wrong, but I believe what you are asking for is impossible, as Adobe published PDF 1.5 as an open standard, but the later published version 1.7 PDF specification contains proprietary Adobe stuff (for example this Adobe XML Forms Architecture) and AFAIK the only way you can use them is by using Adobe products (or possibly products of other producers to whom Adobe has given/sold the permission to use them).

See:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PDF#Histo ... ardization

and the references there from number 8 ->

But at least the latest version of the reader is only for MacOS, Windows or Android, meaning that you need to use some form of emulation/virtualization to get it to run on a Linux box.
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Re: PDF viewer capable of....

Postby cds60601 » 2018-07-11 20:22

pylkko wrote:... and AFAIK the only way you can use them is by using Adobe products (or possibly products of other producers to whom Adobe has given/sold the permission to use them).


This may be the case as with the mentioned application (Master PDF) may have been given or sold permission to use it. Perhaps it was simply a matter of reverse engineering but in any event, there is at least an option (even if you have to purchase the item - I think the freebie has a watermark that gets removed once purchased).

But to reiterate from a previous post, its unfortunate that there are times when proprietary items are used and used to set a particular standard.
Shame really.

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Re: PDF viewer capable of....

Postby pylkko » 2018-07-12 17:56

The only thing I don't get is why anyone would pay for the software (Masterpdf)when you can run Adobe's software for free...
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Re: PDF viewer capable of....

Postby jibberjabber » 2018-07-12 18:18

shep wrote:Evince can handle some XFA forms - specifically US tax forms.

Evince is what I use, and it is fine for all my needs. But the OP may need something more.
Re:
I don't get is why anyone would pay for the software (Masterpdf)when you can run Adobe's software for free.

I wouldn't use Adobes software, even if you paid me to use it, but I guess that would be another topic.
Another power full program I use, but for CLI use "pdftk"
Code: Select all
man pdftk

DESCRIPTION
If PDF is electronic paper, then pdftk is an electronic staple-remover,
hole-punch, binder, secret-decoder-ring, and X-Ray-glasses. Pdftk is a
simple tool for doing everyday things with PDF documents. Use it to:

* Merge PDF Documents or Collate PDF Page Scans
* Split PDF Pages into a New Document
* Rotate PDF Documents or Pages
* Decrypt Input as Necessary (Password Required)
* Encrypt Output as Desired
* Fill PDF Forms with X/FDF Data and/or Flatten Forms
* Generate FDF Data Stencils from PDF Forms
* Apply a Background Watermark or a Foreground Stamp
* Report PDF Metrics, Bookmarks and Metadata
* Add/Update PDF Bookmarks or Metadata
* Attach Files to PDF Pages or the PDF Document
* Unpack PDF Attachments
* Burst a PDF Document into Single Pages
* Uncompress and Re-Compress Page Streams
* Repair Corrupted PDF (Where Possible)

https://packages.debian.org/stretch/pdftk
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Re: PDF viewer capable of....

Postby pylkko » 2018-07-12 20:25

It is understandable that you have some kind of emotional problem with Adobe. And I guess your sentiment extends to Master PDF also as it likely licenses from Adobe. However, if there is no other solutions and you need it for government forms...

Or are you saying that pdftk can fill those forms somehow?
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Re: PDF viewer capable of....

Postby jibberjabber » 2018-07-12 21:04

Well, not exactly, no it does not fill out the forms for you, but yes it can be used to fill out those kind of forms,
* Fill PDF Forms with X/FDF Data and/or Flatten Forms



So be it - as I mentioned, at least I have an option (opposed to having a single Windows system just for PDFs, lol - Good Lord).

There is a lot of alternatives, Nobody has to use MS windows, nor Adobe software, if they don't want to, contrary to what the people that promote those products try to make everyone believe.

As far as this:
And I guess your sentiment extends to Master PDF

No, not necessarily, I have never tried MasterPDF, so I don't know, but if I read the OP correctly, they are looking for software for Linux, not MS Windows,
I do know, if my work requires some type of software, and I can not find it for free , and for a Unix like OS, IE: Linux, or a BSD, I would pay for it, if it works well, that is what counts, I do not let MS nor Adobe force me to use anything.
If I can not find any software, I would be willing to even pay a good programmer/developer, to write something that does what I need, before I would start using MS or Adobe products.
With that said, I stumbled on to this : https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/7-apps-prove-dont-need-adobe-creative-suite-linux/
I am not sure if it will do the OP any good or not, there are alternatives.
I notice, "scribus" is mentioned, in the above link, I forgot to mention it, but it is also very powerful, and give the user a GUI,. I use it myself, not so much any more , (retired) but used to.
For InDesign: Scribus

I don’t know of many people who do desktop publishing on Linux, but if you need an alternative to Adobe InDesign, rest assured that such an alternative does exist. It’s called Scribus.

I have read where some people say they can use InkScape, on PDF documents, but that might just be gossip.
We do not have to allow the MS and Adobe promoters force us to use their products, they are liars as well, and will tell you things like this:
I believe what you are asking for is impossible, as Adobe published PDF 1.5 as an open standard, but the later published version 1.7 PDF specification contains proprietary Adobe stuff (for example this Adobe XML Forms Architecture) and AFAIK the only way you can use them is by using Adobe products (or possibly products of other producers to whom Adobe has given/sold the permission to use them).--- snip--
But at least the latest version of the reader is only for MacOS, Windows or Android, meaning that you need to use some form of emulation/virtualization to get it to run on a Linux box.

You don't even really need to use MS windows on a VM, either,...there are alternatives.
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Re: PDF viewer capable of....

Postby pylkko » 2018-07-13 11:24

Sorry, but whatever emotion laden stupid games you are trying to play with me (calling me a liar and that) I don't have time for it.
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