James recently mentioned a program called Evince that can be used to read PDF (and other) documents in Linux. I decided to give it a whirl when I had a PDF document that wasn’t looking so good under Konqueror. So I installed Evince which didn’t take much of a fuss once I updated all of my libraries. I opened the file in question and: it looked exactly the same. No sexy magic, just the exact same unreadable document sitting in the same interface that I was used to — only with fewer features.
I’ve been using Konqueror to view PDF files as long as I’ve been using Linux and I must say that it does a fine job. It is also a file system browser so I can manipulate and navigate my PDFs and then one click and I am viewing a document. Konqueror also has thumbnails of the pages along the side as does Evince and it allows me to scroll through the whole document and not just the current page. I’m sure this is something that you can turn on and off, only I didn’t see a way to do it in my cursory look through Evince’s menus.
I realize that Evince is young and immature, and I’m sure it will be a special person when it grows up, but for now, I think I’m going to stick to Konqueror. Turns out the PDF I was trying to look at wasn’t rendered very well in the first place and didn’t even print very well. It was readable in Preview.app though and I must say that is the best third-party PDF viewer available. But yes, only available on the Mac — would you expect any less?