SumatraPDF - lightweight PDF viewer

Submit portable freeware that you find here. It helps if you include information like description, extraction instruction, Unicode support, whether it writes to the registry, and so on.
Message
Author
mordor
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Jan 07, 2007 12:38 pm

SumatraPDF - lightweight PDF viewer

#1 Post by mordor » Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:28 am

[Moderator note: this is the primary SumatraPDF thread. View database entry]

----

Free Open source PDF viewer which does not write to windows registry, is smaller than FoxitReader and renders better than Foxit. Note: it creates user specific file in the Application Data directory

DL(500KB zip archive)

http://blog.kowalczyk.info/software/sumatrapdf/

User avatar
Andrew Lee
Posts: 2507
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:19 am
Contact:

#2 Post by Andrew Lee » Fri Jan 19, 2007 5:39 am

Fluffy has given his verdict previously:
Sumatra is not portable. It creates some keys in the reg and creates its own folder in %appdata%. I'm thinking that in the current state of development the options seem so minimal that there's not a whole lot to write, but in the future it will definitely not be portable.

kjk
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:43 pm

#3 Post by kjk » Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:54 pm

I'm the author of SumatraPDF and I'm interested in making in more portable.

Currently, the only thing Sumatra PDF writes to registry is to associate itself with PDF files. In future versions it'll ask the user for permission first.

Sumatra also remembers things like list of recently opened files by using a file for persisting this data. Not sure how other portable apps reconcile the need to remember information and not creating any files on the system.

If you have any specific suggestions on how to make Sumatra PDF more portable, the best way is to post it in our forum: http://blog.kowalczyk.info/forum_sumatra/

Darkbee
Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:35 am
Contact:

#4 Post by Darkbee » Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:22 pm

kjk wrote:I'm the author of SumatraPDF and I'm interested in making in more portable.

Currently, the only thing Sumatra PDF writes to registry is to associate itself with PDF files. In future versions it'll ask the user for permission first.

Sumatra also remembers things like list of recently opened files by using a file for persisting this data. Not sure how other portable apps reconcile the need to remember information and not creating any files on the system.

If you have any specific suggestions on how to make Sumatra PDF more portable, the best way is to post it in our forum: http://blog.kowalczyk.info/forum_sumatra/
Ok, well the main problem that users of portable applications have are with applications that store their preferences in fixed locations, outside of the application directory itself. Currently, SumatraPDF stores its preferences in <X>:\Documents and Settings\<Username>\Application Data\SumatraPDF. However, this is a problem if I move to a new computer because the new computer will not have the original prefs.txt. So, it's better if you store prefs.txt in the same folder as SumatraPDF.exe.

It's true that currently there are not really many preferences that are critical to carry over from computer to computer but if you develop Sumatra further and add more options then this could become a big issue. Along those lines, one current annoyance with SumatraPDF, at least for me anyway, is that the initial window size is too big to sit comfortably within my screen height (1024 x 768 resolution). Furthermore, SumatraPDF doesn't 'remember' the window size or position so I have to resize the application window everytime I open it.

As far as the registry entries go, I think that you're ok with the ones that you have. Apps listed in the PF database are allowed to use the registry so long as it doesn't have a major impact on usage across multiple computers. From what I can tell your registry entries are simply associating PDF's with the app, setting a PDF icon for PDF files and few other entries which seem to be setting even more file associations for PDF (not quite sure why you seem to have multiple ways of associating PDF files with SumatraPDF but I'm not a developer so I may be missing something).

My honest assessment of SumatraPDF is that it is OK. It is certainly nowhere near as comprehensive as FoxIt Reader (and as such, does not really provide as a suitable replacement). However, you make no claims about trying to have a feature rich PDF viewer, simply one that works, so in that sense you've fulfilled your development goals. For me SumatraPDF would be a useful if I:
a) Quickly wanted to browse a PDF (maybe to assess content i.e. is this PDF what I expected it to be)
b) Had no other options or possibility of using something else like FoxIt Reader.

Again, this is not meant as a derogatory comment, sometimes "quick and dirty" is what is required or necessary. I would certainly consider carrying SumatraPDF around on my USB drive for those reasons mentioned above (as long as the prefs.txt issue is resolved).

Darkbee
Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:35 am
Contact:

#5 Post by Darkbee » Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:34 pm

I've just been testing it some more and it seems that window position is 'remembered' if I open Sumatra.exe directly, but not if I double-click a PDF file. Furthermore, the window size is never remembered and seems to default to some annoyingly high size that it just slightly too big to fit on my screen (I run a toolbar at the top of my screen which further restricts window heights).

The icon seems to be messed up, I get only a yellow bar across the top (only a few pixels high) and the rest of the icon is white. This is true for both the exe and associated PDFs. However, when the exe or pdf is highlighted the icon seems to be ok. Actually, closer inspection tells me that the bar that sits above the letters "PDF" is what is displayed without any file/s selected.

It would be nice if you could allow for a custom icon to be associated with PDF files (again, it should be stored in the same folder as SumatraPDF.exe) and only used if the user selects an option to associate PDFs with SumatraPDF.

I would say that of all the other options missing, text search, text selection and printing of files are probably the most critical but I think these have already been suggested on your forum.

What about mouse wheel support for scrolling, should it work?

...and I did just think of something else but it's gone again... *wraps on the table* ... Ah yes, browser integration is bound to rear it's ugly head at some point. Not sure if this one has been mentioned on your forum but I'm guessing somebody probably mentioned/requested it.

Sorry to place lots of info on this forum (outside of your developer forum) but these might be issues that other portable apps users have run into when using SumatraPDF, so it will be a useful document for users of this forum to reference.

kjk
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:43 pm

#6 Post by kjk » Sat Jan 20, 2007 12:25 am

Thanks for the input.

My current thinking wrt. prefs.txt file is that I want my cake and eat it too. Currently it's stored in %APP_DATA% directory because this is recommended by Microsoft guidelines. But doesn't work for portable usage. Solution I'm thinking about is: detect portable usage (if app is run from a removable hard-drive (like SD card) I'll assume it's used in portable way) and in that case write prefs.txt in the same directory as sumatrapdf.exe. I could also provide a -portable switch to force that.

Size of the windows: I'll add logic to make the windows always fit on the screen and a better way to remember previous position.

Preliminary printing support has already been written and should be in next release. Same with mouse-wheel support.

Text search and text selection should follow shortly.

Not sure about the icon. The yellow icon was in v 0.2 and it was rather awful and invisible on white background. I hope I improved that in v 0.3 (icon should be more visible) although I'm not happy about this icon either (shows why I'm a programmer, not a graphic designer).

Krzysztof Kowalczyk | http://blog.kowalczyk.info

Darkbee
Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:35 am
Contact:

#7 Post by Darkbee » Sat Jan 20, 2007 5:54 am

kjk wrote:Thanks for the input.

My current thinking wrt. prefs.txt file is that I want my cake and eat it too. Currently it's stored in %APP_DATA% directory because this is recommended by Microsoft guidelines. But doesn't work for portable usage. Solution I'm thinking about is: detect portable usage (if app is run from a removable hard-drive (like SD card) I'll assume it's used in portable way) and in that case write prefs.txt in the same directory as sumatrapdf.exe. I could also provide a -portable switch to force that.
I don't see any reason why you can't have your cake and eat it... many applications upon being run check for the presence of preferences file in the application/installation directory, and if not found then go to the user/%appdata% directory. I would recommend from a portable application standpoint that if the preferences file is not found in either location that you prompt the user whether they would like a multi-user or single-user installation and create the prefs file in the relevent location accordingly (multi-user user implies %Appsdata%, single user implies installation directory).
Size of the windows: I'll add logic to make the windows always fit on the screen and a better way to remember previous position.
That would be very much appreciated because it's currently quite annoying (for me anyway). I'd even be happy just starting with the window state as maximized as a solution (since my personal preference is to see as much of the PDF on screen at once).
Preliminary printing support has already been written and should be in next release. Same with mouse-wheel support.
Nice and very important for users to know.
Text search and text selection should follow shortly.
Would be extremely cool.
Not sure about the icon. The yellow icon was in v 0.2 and it was rather awful and invisible on white background. I hope I improved that in v 0.3 (icon should be more visible) although I'm not happy about this icon either (shows why I'm a programmer, not a graphic designer).
Hehe, as a psuedo programmer myself I understand your dilema, my graphical skills extend as far as copying and pasting, and editing a few pixels at a time. The beauty of the Internet is that you may well find that there is a talented artist out there willing to offer his/her services and time, to create a nice shiny icon. I'm sure featuring your application on these forums won't hurt in bringing it a little more attention.

As far as adding Sumatra to the PF database goes, I will leave that up to others but I think once you make a few minor changes, I don't see why it shouldn't be added.

User avatar
Andrew Lee
Posts: 2507
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:19 am
Contact:

#8 Post by Andrew Lee » Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:35 am

I would humbly suggest checking for prefs.txt in the EXE folder. If the file exists, use it. Otherwise, write to APPDATA.

I can understand why you would also want to support APPDATA, since that is important in a multi-user scenario. I think checking for prefs.txt in the EXE folder is the best compromise.

Darkbee
Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:35 am
Contact:

Sumatra PDF viewer

#9 Post by Darkbee » Fri Feb 23, 2007 7:54 am

Updated to version 0.4. Sorry if this has already been posted, been mega busy this week and haven't had time to check the forum much.

Changes:
* printing
* ask before registering as a default handler for PDF files
* faster rendering thanks to alternative PDF rendering engine. Previous engine is available as well.
* scrolling with mouse wheel
* fix toolbar issues on win2k
* improve the way fonts directory is found
* improvements to portable mode
* uninstaller completely removes the program
* changed name of preferences files from prefs.txt to sumatrapdfprefs.txt

Darkbee
Posts: 291
Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 8:35 am
Contact:

#10 Post by Darkbee » Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:37 am

Oops, my mistake, it still seems to be writing settings to the user folder.

Guess we're still looking for that FoxIt replacement...

kjk
Posts: 3
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:43 pm

#11 Post by kjk » Tue Feb 27, 2007 1:17 am

Only if you install the program. If you run SumatraPDF from any other place that c:\program files directory, it switches to portable mode and doesn't touch any registry or the files on the computer (it still writes preferences file but to the same directory where SumatraPDF was started from).

Unless, of course, I've made a mistake and there's a bug, in which case do post a bug report in the forums http://blog.kowalczyk.info/forum_sumatra/

User avatar
AlephX
Posts: 663
Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 10:53 pm
Contact:

#12 Post by AlephX » Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:37 am

Like Darkbee, I saw that the previously released 0.3 version was not portable. I tested it and it seems to be portable, writing settings to tha application folder. I downloaded th ZIP file...

BTW: there are these (historical) threads...
http://www.portablefreeware.com/forums/ ... ht=sumatra
http://www.portablefreeware.com/forums/ ... ht=sumatra

Is someone else testing the app?
I often ask myself: "What have I to ask myself?"...

User avatar
AlephX
Posts: 663
Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 10:53 pm
Contact:

#13 Post by AlephX » Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:46 am

I will move this thread to the submission section!
I often ask myself: "What have I to ask myself?"...

User avatar
Andrew Lee
Posts: 2507
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 9:19 am
Contact:

#14 Post by Andrew Lee » Wed Feb 28, 2007 5:55 am

Latest version is indeed portable. Thanks! I have posted it to the database.

BTW, anyone knows if it works on Win9x/ME/NT? The system requirement is not listed on the website. Since I only tested it on Win2K and XP, that was what I indicated in the database entry.

User avatar
AlephX
Posts: 663
Joined: Thu May 11, 2006 10:53 pm
Contact:

#15 Post by AlephX » Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:40 am

John T. Haller has built a portable package anyway...

just to check it:
http://portableapps.com/news/2007-03-20 ... rtable_0.5
I often ask myself: "What have I to ask myself?"...

Post Reply