Warning: this is an htmlized version!
The original is across this link,
and the conversion rules are here.
(Re)generate: (find-pdf-like-intro)
Source code:  (find-eev "eev-intro.el" "find-pdf-like-intro")
More intros:  (find-eev-quick-intro)
This buffer is _temporary_ and _editable_.
Is is meant as both a tutorial and a sandbox.

PDF-like documents
Let's introduce a bit of (improvised!) terminology: we will say
that a document is "PDF-like" when it is in a format like PDF,
PostScript, DVI or DJVU - i.e., divided into pages. Emacs has a
standard mode for viewing PDF-like documents,

  (find-enode "Document View")

but we will see a more eev-like way of pointing to pages of
PDF-like documents.

Two test documents
The following script creates two PDF-like documents - a DVI and a
PDF - that we will use in the examples below.

* (eepitch-shell)
* (eepitch-kill)
* (eepitch-shell)
cd /tmp/
cat > /tmp/foo.tex <<'%%%'
a \newpage
b \newpage
c \newpage
\newpage foo
   latex foo.tex
pdflatex foo.tex

In these two documents the page _names_ do not correspond to the
page _numbers_; the pages are named "i", "ii", "iii",
"1", "2", "3", but their numbers are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
In a table:

  number  name  contents
    1        i      a
    2       ii      b
    3      iii      c
    4        1      Chapter 1 - One
    5        2      foo
    6        3      Chapter 3 - Two

Using external viewers
The following sexps can be used to open the documents
"/tmp/foo.dvi" and "/tmp/foo.pdf" on the first page of
Chapter 1 - i.e., the page whose number is 4, and whose "name"
is 1 - using two of my favorite viewers, xdvi and xpdf, and a
low-level function, `find-bgprocess':

  (find-bgprocess '("xdvi" "+4" "/tmp/foo.dvi"))
  (find-bgprocess '("xpdf" "/tmp/foo.pdf" "4"))

Alternatively, we can invoke these viewers like this,

  (find-xdvi-page "/tmp/foo.dvi" 4)
  (find-xpdf-page "/tmp/foo.pdf" 4)

or, as they ignore extra arguments, like this,

  (find-xdvi-page "/tmp/foo.dvi" (+ 3 1) "Chapter 1")
  (find-xpdf-page "/tmp/foo.pdf" (+ 3 1) "Chapter 1")

where the `(+ 3 1)' and the "Chapter 1" are just to make these
links more readable by humans. The `3' is what we will call the
"offset" of the document: a quantity that can be added to page
"names" (outside the "front matter" of the document) to
convert them to page "numbers".

Let's introduce more terminology. Programs like xdvi and xpdf are
"external viewers for PDF-like documents", but that's too long,
so let's shorten this to "external PDF-like viewers", or
"external viewers", or just "viewers"; `find-xdvi-page',
`find-xpdf-page' and similar functions are "medium-level viewing

The high-level way
File names of PDF-like documents are often very long - especially
for documents that we have "psne"-ed from the web. To avoid
having to keep copies of these file names everywhere we can use
`code-c-d'-like words - like these:

  (code-xdvi "fd" "/tmp/foo.dvi")
  (code-xpdf "fp" "/tmp/foo.pdf")
  (find-fdpage (+ 3 1) "Chapter 1")
  (find-fppage (+ 3 1) "Chapter 1")

Each medium-level viewing word has an associated code-c-d-like
word - that creates "high-level viewing words". In the example
above, we used `code-xdvi' to create the high-level viewing word
`find-fdpage', that invokes `find-xdvi-page', and `code-xpdf' to
create the high-level viewing word `find-fppage', which invokes

Note that the "fd" in `find-fdpage' stands for not only the
filename - "/tmp/foo.dvi" - but also for the medium-level word
to be used - `find-xdvi-page'; same for "fp".

Default external viewers
We saw that for each of the supported formats of PDF-like
documents - DVI, PostScript, PDF, DJVU - there are medium-level
and high-level viewing words that use specific programs; for
example, for "xpdf" we have `find-xpdf-page' and `code-xpdf',
and for "evince" we have `find-evince-page' and `code-evince'.
But for each of the formats we also have words that use the
current default viewer for that format:

  Format       Medium-level     High-level
  DVI          find-dvi-page    code-dvi
  PostScript   find-ps-page     code-ps
  PDF          find-pdf-page    code-pdf
  DJVU         find-djvu-page   code-djvu

The four `find-<formatname>-page' words above are aliases to
`find-<viewername>-page' names, and to change a default viewer
you should use a `defalias' on the `find-', like these:

  (defalias 'find-pdf-page 'find-evince-page)
  (defalias 'find-pdf-page 'find-xdpf-page)

After running a `defalias' like the above all the high-level
viewing words defined using `code-pdf' will automatically switch
to the new default viewer (because words defined with `code-pdf'
call `find-pdf-page').

PDF-like documents as text
Some PDF-like documents can be converted to text - usually uglily
and imprecisely, but the result is often useful anyway - by
external programs like "pdftotext" and "djvutxt". The
medium-level sexps below invoke these programs on the given
filenames and displays their output in an Emacs buffer:

  (find-pdftotext-text "/tmp/foo.pdf")
  (find-djvutxt-text   "/tmp/foo.djvu")

We can also use the correspondent generic medium-level words,
that are aliases to the default converters:

  (find-pdf-text  "/tmp/foo.pdf")
  (find-djvu-text "/tmp/foo.djvu")

As the output of these converters is also divided into pages -
with formfeeds as separators - it is easy to jump to specific
pages in the output, and if the first argument after the file
name is a number it is interpreted as a page number; string
arguments coming after that are interpreted as strings to be
search (forward) for. So these links make sense:

  (find-pdf-text "/tmp/foo.pdf" (+ 3 1))
  (find-pdf-text "/tmp/foo.pdf" (+ 3 1) "Chapter 1")

and note that the following pair of links make sense too - the
first one calls an external viewer, the second one opens the
conversion to text:

  (find-pdf-page "/tmp/foo.pdf" (+ 3 1) "Chapter 1")
  (find-pdf-text "/tmp/foo.pdf" (+ 3 1) "Chapter 1")

Note that they both point to the same page... The argument
"Chapter 1" is ignored in the first link, but when a pair of
links like that appear on consecutive lines it is clear for human
readers that they are both links to the same place, only rendered
in different ways. Note that the passage from this:

  (find-pdf-text "/tmp/foo.pdf" (+ 3 1))

to this:

  (find-pdf-text "/tmp/foo.pdf" (+ 3 1))
  (find-pdf-text "/tmp/foo.pdf" (+ 3 1) "Chapter 1")

is a special case of "refining hyperlinks", an idea that we saw

  (find-eval-intro "Refining hyperlinks")

High-level hyperlinks to pdf-like documents
By executing

  (code-pdf      "fp" "/tmp/foo.pdf")
  (code-pdf-text "fp" "/tmp/foo.pdf" 3)

we can use shorter hyperlinks, like

  (find-fppage (+ 3 1) "Chapter 1")
  (find-fptext (+ 3 1) "Chapter 1")

instead of the longer forms with `find-pdf-page' and
`find-pdf-text'. This works exactly like `code-c-d', as explained


Try these sexps to see the code that the `code-pdf' and the
`code-pdf-text' above execute:

  (find-code-pdf      "fp" "/tmp/foo.pdf")
  (find-code-pdf-text "fp" "/tmp/foo.pdf" 3)

There is a wrapping comand for producing these
`code-pdf'/`code-pdf-text' pairs quickly - `M-P'. Try it here:

  fp /tmp/foo.pdf

Producing and refining hyperlinks to pages
We also have something like this

  (find-eval-intro "Producing and refining hyperlinks")

for pdf-like documents, that will let us produce hyperlinks to
the current page of the current pdf-like document very quickly,
but it depends on several hacks.

Note that the functions `code-pdf', `code-pdf-text',
`find-xxxpage', `find-xxxtext', set the global variables
`ee-page-c', `ee-page-fname', and `ee-page-offset'. You can
inspect their definitions with:

  (find-code-pdf      "fp" "/tmp/foo.pdf")
  (find-code-pdf-text "fp" "/tmp/foo.pdf" 3)

Here's how these variables are used. Try this:

  (code-pdf      "fp" "/tmp/foo.pdf")
  (code-pdf-text "fp" "/tmp/foo.pdf" 3)
  (kill-new "Two")
  (eek "M-h M-p")

You should get a page with several hyperlinks to the "current
page" of the current pdf-like document, including some like

  (find-fppage 1)
  (find-fptext 1)
  (find-fppage (+ 3 -2))
  (find-fptext (+ 3 -2))

  (find-fppage 1 "Two")
  (find-fptext 1 "Two")
  (find-fppage (+ 3 -2) "Two")
  (find-fptext (+ 3 -2) "Two")

Where did the "fp", the "1", the "3", the "-2" and the
"Two" above come from?

The page number, which in the links above is sometimes "1",
sometimes "(+ 3 -2)", is obtained by counting the number of
formfeeds before point; this makes sense only when we are
visiting the buffer generated by "(find-fptext ...)". The
"fp" is taken from the variable `ee-page-c', which was set by
`(code-pdf-text "fp" ...)' or by `(find-fptext ...)'; same for "3",
which is taken from the variable `ee-page-offset'. Finally, the "Two"
is the last kill, from the top of the kill-ring; we usually set it by
selecting a region of text from the `(find-fptext ...)' buffer and
typing `M-w'.

An alternative way to produce hyperlinks to pages, which, as the hack
above, also uses `ee-page-c' and `ee-page-offset', is to prepare a
series of lines with a page number followed by a text that will play a
similar role to the "last kill", and then type `M-Q' on each line. Try
this below, by first executing the `code-pdf-text' then typing four

  (code-pdf      "debt" "~/books/graeber__debt.pdf")
  (code-pdf-text "debt" "~/books/graeber__debt.pdf" 8)

   1 1 On The Experience of Moral Confusion
  21 2 The Myth of Barter
  43 3 Primordial Debts
  73 4 Cruelty and Redemption

It is usually not hard to produce such page-number-plus-text
lines for `M-Q' from the table of contents of a book. The ones
above were extracted from

  (find-debttext 7 "Contents")

with a bit of fiddling by hand and keyboard macros. Keyboard
macros are VERY useful; if you don't use them yet, see:

  (find-enode "Keyboard Macros")