When I do:

display file.pdf

it shows this:

enter image description here

I can't resize the little window that it adds but I can remove it by clicking on the x. I can also remove the checkerboard effect that comes from assuming transparency, I think, with:

display -alpha opaque file.pdf

enter image description here

The text is now rough and slightly hard to read. It seems to have been rendered in black and white where anti-aliasing should have used more shades/colors.

How can this be fixed?

  • Is there a reason you're using display? There are much better PDF viewers available.
    – marcelm
    Apr 18 at 19:59
  • @marcelm It was the only thing I found to view pdfs on a particular server
    – Simd
    Apr 18 at 20:03

1 Answer 1


You need to remove the alpha channel, rather than making it opaque — this will render the alpha information correctly (including anti-aliasing), then remove it.

display -alpha remove file.pdf

The small window shown above the main window is used to scroll around the document.

  • " -alpha option on, activate, off, deactivate, set, opaque, copy transparent, extract, background, or shape" doesn't include remove interestingly. That is what display -h gives you. How did you find the remove option?
    – Simd
    Apr 19 at 8:45
  • 1
    It’s described in the manual, I’ve added a link in the answer. Apr 19 at 10:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .