Archive for March 2009

Plyn: Yet another textfile-and-scripts based ToDo system

Warning: this post is mostly for geeks/programmers who will never be fully satisfied by any planning system, ever.

Over the years I’ve tried different ways of handling my ToDo, planning and work logging. This is my Xth iteration. I wonder if anyone but a programmer could use this, but hey, programmers are a non negligible fraction of society (which I happen to be part of)!

I’ve long wanted to create a program which would do precisely what I want in terms of planning, but was always put off by the “*knocks head on wall* the GUI is so long to code!” aspect. Well to hell with the GUI!

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PDF annotation under Linux with Wine and PDF-XChange Viewer


  • 2009/04/10, added script to open files from file manager.

I’ve long wanted a program to annotate PDFs under Ubuntu, but tried many options which all fell short in some way or another. Yet periodically I check to see if a new one has appeared and it seems my wishes have come true, though not through open source software.

PDF-XChange Viewer is a Windows freeware (pro version available too) which installed flawlessly under Wine (Windows emulator) in Ubuntu. In fact I had not used Wine up to this point, and I was surprised how indeed flawless the process was: ‘sudo apt-get install wine’, ‘wine installer.exe’. Bam. It just worked. And it loaded a huge PDF without flinching.

All is not so rosy, though, as the annotations and text won’t show up completely under Ubuntu default PDF viewer. But this had happened with annotations I had made with other programs, so I guess it has to do with Ubuntu’s viewer, not PDF-XChange. Indeed things worked a bit better under Xpdf.

The most surprising part in all of this is that the freeware beats other annotation options I had tried under Windows in the old days: it has many different ways of adding text to pages, different shapes to add and different highlighting options. So I guess I’d recommend that you try it even if you run Windows.

And a quick tip: you can add shortcuts for toolbar commands (including highlighting) by clicking right in the toolbar area, clicking “Customize…”, selecting the “Commands” tab, selecting “Highlight” under “Tools” and clicking “Properties”.

(Found via this post, from someone else who grappled with the other options)

Launching with “Open with…” (NEW 2009/04/10)

To open PDF files from the file manager, put the following script somewhere, change its file permissions to “executable” and use it for the “Open with…” command (adapted from here):


# Then use this script as default to open PDF files

# Adapted from:

# Purpose: To convert Linux-style filename to Windows-style
# to pass as an argument to wine when starting PDF XChange Viewer

#assuming you use the default installation folder for PDF
# XChange Viewer in Wine
App='eval wine "C:\Program Files\Tracker Software\PDF-XChange '
App=$App'Viewer\pdf-viewer\PDFXCview.exe" "'$Filename'"'