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Is there a way to create an alias that will open a pdf or other document to a particular position? For example, I have a 105 page pdf which I want to alias/shortcut to in a directory on my system. But I actually need page 36 of that file and I want an easy way to get there. Is there a way to create an alias that will open the pdf at page 36?

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    That will depend strongly on what program you use to open them. evince, for example, has a -p switch to open the specified page. – Ulrich Schwarz Aug 17 '16 at 5:48
  • @UlrichSchwarz Do you mean -i, --page-index option? – Costas Aug 17 '16 at 6:12
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    In any case, that is irrelevant to aliases or symlinks. The only way this could be relevant here is to make a shell script to do it. – Julie Pelletier Aug 17 '16 at 6:25
  • @Costas: both exist, they do different things if the page numbers in your pdf are i, ii, iii, iv, 1, 2, 3,… (-p 3 will give you the page that has page number 3, -i 3 will give you the third page, even if that says "ii" at the bottom.) – Ulrich Schwarz Aug 17 '16 at 9:52
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'aliases' usually refer to command line aliases in shells, which may not be what you want if you're using a GUI. The closest thing to 'shortcuts' for files are symbolic links, but they are just a way of referencing a file by another name, not something that can be used to give command line arguments to a program.

A simple shell script may be the closest bet. E.g. create a file with the following content, and make it executable (chmod +x /path/to/the/script):

#!/bin/sh
evince --page-label=36 /path/to/the/file.pdf

Running the script should launch evince and ask it to open the given file, on the given page.

As mentioned in the comments, the options required to open a document on a given position depend totally on the program. For evince, the --page-label parameter is mentioned in the command line help. Many (text mode) text editors and less support the option +NNN to jump to line NNN when opening a file. On the other hand, LibreOffice apparently saves the last viewed position per user in some cases. Check your programs' manuals.

  • An argument in an alias is ok. alias page36="evince --page-label=36 /path/to/the/file.pdf" – Tomasz Aug 18 '16 at 19:05
  • @tomas, sure, aliases with arguments for ls are likely the most common use. But aliases only work on the command line. – ilkkachu Aug 18 '16 at 19:34

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