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When I call the command:

$ xpdf file.pdf -z width -fullscreen

...it does not have the desired effect.

The individual options:

$ xpdf file.pdf -z width


$ xpdf file.pdf -fullscreen

...work as expected.

Is it possible to achieve the desired effect in xpdf?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Sure enough. This appears to be a bug in xpdf.

You can switch to "width" view easily by tapping w as soon as xpdf opens, but there does not seem to be a way to make it behave from the command line. The only thing I could think of would be to hack it using expect or some sort of keyboard event routing to the X window to send it that keystroke when it starts up.

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tapping w does not work too. In fullscreen mode I can't change the zoom. There is a message in commandline Error: Invalid command syntax: 'zoomFitWidth' when I'm pressing w – xralf May 3 '11 at 13:56
Hm. What version of xpdf? My 3.02 works find and allows me to change the zoom using that keystroke after launching with -fullscreen. – Caleb May 3 '11 at 14:04
I have 3.02 too. – xralf May 3 '11 at 14:16
I found out that it works with w and + or - – xralf May 3 '11 at 14:22
Tapping 'w' works for me, but alas "xpdf -z width foo.pdf" from the command line still fails. – user7543 Oct 10 '14 at 13:40

I used Evince for this, but I grew tired of the scrollbars. When setting it up for Xpdf, I encountered this very problem. This is a workaround - without exaggerating ;) - that seems to do the trick:


# This allows you to use xpdf with options, although you're invoking
# it implicitly from Iceweasel. Just pick this script (instead of
# /usr/bin/xpdf) as your PDF reader under Preferences: Applications.

/usr/bin/xpdf -fullscreen -rv $1 &
while (( ! `wmctrl -l | grep Xpdf | wc -l` )) { sleep 0.1 }
xmacroplay "$DISPLAY" < ~/keydowns/xpdf &> /dev/null

# ~/keydowns/xpdf:
# KeyStrPress W
# KeyStrRelease W
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