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[ABANDONED UNSOLVED] Does anybody know of a useable Linux version of Foxit PDF Reader for Windows?

Posted: Mon May 13, 2019 6:22 pm
by taxedserf
I've hit another stumble in my crusade to migrate lock-stock-and-barrel from Windows to Linux.

This time, it's the PDF reader.

I would be grateful for comment from those with experience of reviewing corporate PDF documents.

Is there a native Linux PDF reading app that: a) meets the range of functionality of Foxit PDF Reader for Windows; and b) is practically useable? Backstory follows.

Background:

PDF browsers are functionally very simple: they just need to do on-screen what we used to do straight onto paper in the 1970s: scrawl, scribble and overtype. Foxit PDF Reader for Windows does this fluently (allegedly so does Adobe PDF Reader for Windows, but it's so bloated, I tried to open it once in 2015 and it's still loading). For example:
  • bookmarks, saved into the PDF so that the next user can see them;
  • a variety of annotations, saved into the PDF so that the next user can see them;
  • a typewriter function, saved into PDF so that the next user - typically a bank or government department - can see them (and, hopefully, pisses them off);
  • a form-filling function, saved into the PDF so that the next user can see them;
  • copy-text-paste-into-text-editor (where the PDF security settings permits it);
  • export-form-data-to-XML and import-form-data-from-XML;
  • nice to have: a secure e-signature;
  • not really necessary: a cloud repository of PDFs;
  • may be delegated to other apps: merge, split, encrypt/decrypt, rotate, etc
Foxit PDF Reader for Linux exists! Yay! But it is totally and utterly unusable. Boo! Navigating through the application and the document by keyboard is practically impossible, with billions of mouse clicks necessary on scroll bars just to get the zoom level right... ugh. Even the menu is keyboard inaccessible!!! (ALT+F should be the file menu, right? Apparently not...).

I've tried Okular briefly. I've found that, whilst it can read PDFs and permit a number of annotations, it has too many limitations to be useful in a multi-user or multi-instance environment. For example, the user can create bookmarks in Foxit for Windows, save the PDF file, another user can open the same file and see (and edit, and amend, and add to) the created bookmarks. Can't do that in Okular: the bookmarks appear to be stored in a cache exclusively for the local user. So the same user sychronising data between machines cannot see bookmarks created on a different machine (has Okular's team ever heard of an office server environment?). And yet, bookmarks created by Foxit Windows, saved in the PDF file, are viewable as "contents" in Okular.... Go figure.

PDF reader developers in Linux seems to have prioritised the need for splitting, merged and decrypting PDFs. These are useful objectives, but they serve a different need.

I've not yet decided whether I want to pour time into campaigning to Okluar's development team. My instincts tell me that it's unlikely to be worth the bother.

Re: Does anybody know of a useable Linux version of Foxit PDF Reader for Windows?

Posted: Mon May 13, 2019 8:51 pm
by Schultz
Have you checked out Master PDF Editor?

Re: Does anybody know of a useable Linux version of Foxit PDF Reader for Windows?

Posted: Mon May 13, 2019 9:00 pm
by Flemur
I use windows foxit reader v5.4.5.xx in wine. There's also a linux version of foxit reader (@their website?).

Re: Does anybody know of a useable Linux version of Foxit PDF Reader for Windows?

Posted: Mon May 13, 2019 11:25 pm
by bertradio
Master PDF Editor does a lot more than Foxit. Version 4 (the prior version) was free for non-commercial use. The current version 5 is $83 and lacks some important features. For more information, see https://www.linuxuprising.com/2019/04/d ... linux.html

Re: Does anybody know of a useable Linux version of Foxit PDF Reader for Windows?

Posted: Tue May 14, 2019 5:17 pm
by NChewie
Jimallyn kindly posted a link to a copy of Master-pdf-editor 4.x which has the form-filling functionality without the watermark, at the bottom of the first page of this thread:

viewtopic.php?t=268785

Re: Does anybody know of a useable Linux version of Foxit PDF Reader for Windows?

Posted: Thu May 16, 2019 8:24 am
by taxedserf
Thanks for your suggestions. I'll look at Master PDF Editor v4.

Re: Does anybody know of a useable Linux version of Foxit PDF Reader for Windows?

Posted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:52 pm
by taxedserf
I've had an initial play with Master PDF Editor v4.

It started off badly: ALT+x doesn't do any menu selections, so it's all mouse only. Strike one. Then I realised I couldn't right-click on any pre-existing comment (created by FoxIt PDF Reader for Windows) to edit their properties. Strike two. This fails core functionality (a hygiene factor), so there is no need to find strike three.

I'll mark this thread up as abandoned-unsolved.

The prospects of the project to migrate from Linux to Windows look bleak.

Re: [ABANDONED UNSOLVED] Does anybody know of a useable Linux version of Foxit PDF Reader for Windows?

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 8:40 pm
by TI58C
Hi Martin,

Looks like you want to find software for your business, but want it free of charge.

A long, long time ago (10 years or so) I bought a licence for (windows) program pdfxchangeview, as then I mainly used XP. Still use that same program with playonlinux. It can do the things you describe. If you find (or buy) an email-certificate, it can even digitally sign documents! And it looks a lot better than master-pdf-editor. There is a free test-version, but it is limited. It will give you an impression of the program though.

Am a die-had linux-fan, but not a fanatic. If there is a windows prog that can do something for which I cannot find a good linux-alternative, I'll go for it.

Hope this helps and still fits in your "quest". May you slay your dragon, sir Pellinore

Robert

Re: [ABANDONED UNSOLVED] Does anybody know of a useable Linux version of Foxit PDF Reader for Windows?

Posted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 9:47 pm
by phd21
Hi taxedserf,

I just read your post and the good replies to it. Here are my thoughts on this as well.

+1 if you use PDF documents for business, then paying for the excellent Master PDF editor, PDF Studio, Foxit PhantomPDF online, or another PDF editor is well worth it. You might even be able to get your employer to pay for it or reimburse you for it.

FYI: In Linux Mint and a lot of Linux applications including Master PDF Editor, browsers, etc... you can change the keys or key combinations for various functions and tasks through the application's preferences and or settings. And, Linux is not MS Windows and although ALT-F may open an application's File Menu it might not in another application, but you may be able to change it.

Foxit Online – Provide more than 20 PDF tools - install the browser extension add-on when asked.
https://online.foxitsoftware.com/

Foxit PDF Tools - Chrome Web Store
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta ... mfflcpbhka

Top 10 best PDF Editors for Linux | CuriousPost
https://curiouspost.com/top-10-best-pdf-editors-linux/

4 Best Linux PDF Editors You Can Use in 2019
https://itsfoss.com/pdf-editors-linux/

5 Ways To Edit A PDF On Linux
https://www.addictivetips.com/ubuntu-li ... -on-linux/

Using LibreOffice as a PDF Editor - gHacks Tech News
https://www.ghacks.net/2018/02/13/using ... df-editor/

Scribus – Open Source Desktop Publishing - including PDF documents
* There are usually 3 versions of Scribus: Scribus (stable release), Scribus-NG (newer), Scribus-Trunk (nightly newest versions) and you can have all 3 installed at the same time.
https://www.scribus.net/

PDF Studio - PDF Editor Software for Mac, Windows and Linux
https://www.qoppa.com/pdfstudio/

Master PDF Editor | Edit text and images in PDF files
https://code-industry.net/masterpdfeditor/

A Free Microsoft Office: Is Office Online Worth Using?
https://www.howtogeek.com/183299/a-free ... rth-using/

How to Edit a PDF in Google Drive - Google Docs | Zapier
https://zapier.com/apps/google-docs/tut ... ogle-drive

PDF Editor for Docs:Edit, Fill, Sign, Print - Chrome Web Store
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta ... oagi?hl=en

There are numerous browser extensions and add-ons for PDF reading and or Editing and will work on Linux, but most good PDF editors will cost you something.

Hope this helps ...
.
Foxit PDF Online
Foxit PDF Online
.
Master PDF Editor - Settings Keyboard shortcuts
Master PDF Editor - Settings Keyboard shortcuts

Re: [ABANDONED UNSOLVED] Does anybody know of a useable Linux version of Foxit PDF Reader for Windows?

Posted: Wed Jul 31, 2019 9:44 pm
by dimspace
I dont really get what your problem is with Foxit

I have used it on linux for years and it works as well as windows version including keyboard navigation. (i too used Foxit on windows)

you can completely customise all the keyboard controls under help>keyboard mapping

zooming for instance which you claim to have issues with is ctrl+ and ctrl-, pageup and down for browsing, but it literally lets you map keys for over 100 in app commands. The mapping for keyboard control in foxit is amazing

Re: [ABANDONED UNSOLVED] Does anybody know of a useable Linux version of Foxit PDF Reader for Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:26 pm
by karlchen
Hi, TI58C, pdh21, dimspace.

I am afraid that you joined the show roughly 2 months late. taxedserf marked this thread as [abandoned unsolved] at the beginning of June already. Today is August 1st. And there is no hint that he visited our phantastic forum after July 7th. So you are unlikely to convince him. :(

If you insist on functionality corresponding 1 to 1 between Windows and Linux applications, you are not totally unlikely to confirm your expectation that Linux software simply is not good enough to be used for your everyday work.

In case, however, you try to figure out whether you can achieve the same results using both, Windows applications and Linux applications, maybe on slightly different ways, then you may eventually end up doing all your work on Linux only. :wink:

Cheers,
Karl

Re: [ABANDONED UNSOLVED] Does anybody know of a useable Linux version of Foxit PDF Reader for Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:43 pm
by br1anstorm
Wise and practical comment from Karl.

It's a pity that taxedserf, the OP, appears not to have been back to check on the discussion. He might have been persuaded to persist!

But the advice in this thread ought to be helpful to others who might be grappling with similar questions. There are a couple of important general points worth noting:

- first, that Linux or open-source programs are almost always capable of performing just as well as software which is designed for Windows;

- but second, that this does require user-flexibility and an acceptance that Linux is not the same as Windows, and so may need a different approach and different commands to deliver the desired results.

It's just a matter of persevering, with an open mind!

Re: [ABANDONED UNSOLVED] Does anybody know of a useable Linux version of Foxit PDF Reader for Windows?

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 12:51 pm
by lafritz65
taxedserf may not have seen the recent responses, but I certainly find them useful, especially dimspace's experience with Foxit (I'm a long-time user of Foxit in M$ Windoze) and phd21's detailed post with links for alternatives.

Thx! :D