PDF rendering is REALLY slow
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    142

    PDF rendering is REALLY slow

    I have a fairly complex PDF file composed mostly of vectors. It takes Okular 10 minutes or more to render the file, and ANOTHER ten minutes to zoom in one level, and ANOTHER ten minutes to repaint after panning around. Evince is worse, and xpdf will not render the file at all.

    By contrast - on the same computer! Running Windows 10 under VirtualBox, the file will render in Sumatra in about 10 seconds. Zoom and pan are almost instant. Adobe Reader in Windows is even faster. I know there is a version of Adobe Reader for Linux, but I have not tried it.

    WHY, oh why is this???

    Example file available on request. It is a cave map, about 4 megabytes in size.

    Fedora 27, 64-bit with all updates to a week ago.

    Thanks - Bill Gee

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    142

    Re: PDF rendering is REALLY slow

    Apparently no one is using complex PDF files ... 10 days and no replies whatever???

    I installed the 32-bit Linux version of Adobe Reader on the system. As with Windows in a VM - It renders these PDF files in just a few seconds.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    126

    Re: PDF rendering is REALLY slow

    I also noticed that PDF rendering is sluggish on Fedora even on not very complex files.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    724

    Re: PDF rendering is REALLY slow

    I find mupdf to be very lightweight and the quickest of the bunch, there's are no menus though so you have to reference shortcuts keys (e.g: "/" to search for string) which isn't to everyones tastes. However evince isn't usually that bad, if you post a link to the pdf I'll have a look.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    142

    Re: PDF rendering is REALLY slow

    Hi HaydnH -

    You can get a sample file from DropBox ...

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/gah09zdire...gCave.pdf?dl=0

    I think the real problem is in the poppler libraries. AFAIK, all of Okular, Evince and xpdf use poppler as the rendering engine for PDF files.

    Bill Gee

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    724

    Re: PDF rendering is REALLY slow

    I think that PDF might be corrupted somehow, ghostscript doesn't seem to able to open it for repairing... pdf2ps and then converting back from ps might help but it might take some time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    London, UK
    Posts
    724

    Re: PDF rendering is REALLY slow

    Opening the file in Google Chrome seems to show the file quickly... but the other apps I'm using can't. I wonder what libraries Chrome uses for PDFs?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    142

    Re: PDF rendering is REALLY slow

    Hi HaydnH -

    Interesting! I never thought to use Chrome. Indeed, I did not know Chrome has a built-in PDF viewer. I know Firefox does - and I never use it.

    I tried Chrome and confirm your result. The files renders with very good speed. Even zooming and scrolling around works well. It would be interesting to know what library Chrome uses to render PDFs. It is probably some Google invention. Just for grins I also tried it in Firefox which also works well. Judging by the controls and "look and feel", Firefox and Chrome are probably using the same PDF viewing library.

    I have never run ghostscript across one of these files. PDFInfo shows clean header information:

    Code:
    Title:          Map of Allie Spring Cave (PUL-317)
    Subject:        Plan map of Allie Spring Cave (PUL-317)
    Author:         Bill Gee
    Creator:        Therion 5.4.1 (2017-04-18), MetaPost, TeX
    Producer:       pdfTeX-1.40.17
    CreationDate:   Wed Feb 14 14:35:15 2018 CST
    ModDate:        Wed Feb 14 14:35:15 2018 CST
    Tagged:         no
    UserProperties: no
    Suspects:       no
    Form:           none
    JavaScript:     no
    Pages:          1
    Encrypted:      no
    Page size:      6237.25 x 11103 pts
    Page rot:       0
    File size:      3259021 bytes
    Optimized:      no
    PDF version:    1.5
    Form:           none
    JavaScript:     no
    Pages:          1
    Encrypted:      no
    Page size:      6237.25 x 11103 pts
    Page rot:       0
    File size:      3259021 bytes
    Optimized:      no
    PDF version:    1.5
    Qpdf --check shows no errors.

    What other viewers did you try the file in?

    Thanks - Bill Gee

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