This tip shows how to use Vim to view the text in a PDF document. That can be useful to use Vim to see the differences between the text in two versions of a pdf. You need to install xpdf (available on all major platforms) as it provides the
pdftotext utility to read the text from a pdf file.
Put one of the following mappings in your vimrc:
:command! -complete=file -nargs=1 Rpdf :r !pdftotext -nopgbrk <q-args> - :command! -complete=file -nargs=1 Rpdf :r !pdftotext -nopgbrk <q-args> - |fmt -csw78
These define the
:Rpdf command to read the result of converting a pdf document to text. The text is read into the current buffer after the current line. The first reads the pdf with each paragraph as a long line, while the second wraps long lines (if the
fmt utility is available).
For example, the following commands open a new tab page and read the text from a pdf document into the buffer.
:tabnew :Rpdf example.pdf
- View and diff MS Word files Uses a similar concept to open Word documents.
- Working with CSV files Uses a similar concept to open Excel spreadsheets.