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Xdvik is a program for displaying DVI files (generated e.g. by Troff or TeX) on the X window system. It is based on the regular (non-k) xdvi of the same version number.

We try to track the changes in xdvi (possibly with some delay), so that any version of xdvik has at least all the features of the `regular' xdvi with the same version number. For updates between xdvi releases, an additional `patchlevel' number is used, e.g. 22.74.3 for patchlevel 3 of release 22.74.

As of xdvik-22.84, features common to both versions include:

  • Fast and lean interface with support for full keyboard navigation.
  • Rendering of Postscript images via ghostscript.
  • Inverse search - a click in the xdvi window opens an editor with the corresponding TeX source (and vice versa).
  • Support for color specials.
  • Print/save a Postscript version of the DVI file.

As of 22.84, xdvik has the following additional features:

  • Hyperlinks in DVI files via the hyperref package.
  • String search in DVI files.
  • A `watchfile' option to automatically reload the DVI file.
  • Uses a backup copy of the DVI file when the file is corrupted so that you can still view the old version of the document while (La)TeX is running.
  • Postscript font rendering via t1lib.
  • GUI enhancements: A pagelist for easier navigation, a statusline, and a toolbar and preferences windows in the Motif version.
  • Save DVI files in different formats: PS, PDF, DVI and plain text.
  • Select text in DVI files.
  • Kpathsearch library to locate (and generate) files (hence the `k' in the name).
  • Support for Omega.

Here are some screenshots of the Xaw version and the Motif version.

Design Goals

Xdvi is a tool for previewing DVI files, so its main application is viewing the typeset results while editing or proofreading a (La)TeX file. It is not targeted at doing presentations or multimedia - there are other formats (e.g. PDF) and tools that are much better suited for that.

But even with this limited application range, there's still a lot of room for improvement. Please send suggestions about features that could enhance xdvi's functionality and usability to this sourceforge tracker. (Help with implementing suggestions is of course also welcome - see the section Join the development! below.)

Downloading and installing xdvik


  • The most current version of xdvik can be obtained either from sourceforge, or from a CTAN mirror.
  • You can also browse the xdvik source tree or check out a snapshot of the (possibly unstable) CVS version. (To obtain a stable version from CVS, look for branches with the `_STABLE' suffix: a branch like xdvik_x_y_STABLE contains the most current stable version of xdvi release x.y). More information on obtaining xdvi via CVS can be found here.


The installation process is described in the `INSTALL' file in the source distribution; here is a link to the most recent version of that file.

Submitting bug reports

The best way for sending bug reports is to submit them to the sourceforge bug reporting page so that all developers as well as other users can view the reports and post followups. Please include as much useful information as possible, such as:

  • the output of xdvi -version
  • the version of your operating system and X server (output of `uname -a' and `X -version').
  • the output of xwininfo and xdpyinfo if it's an X related problem.
  • the output of `xdvi -debug FEATURE' (see the description of the -debug option in the xdvi man page for the possible values of FEATURE).
  • a sample .dvi file if the error occurs only with specific .dvi files, a sample .eps file if the error occurs with an image etc.
If xdvi has crashed, please include a backtrace if the problem is reproducible. Here's how to do it:

$ gdb xdvi-xaw.bin
Or: gdb xdvi-motif.bin if you're using the Motif version of xdvik
(gdb output snipped)
(gdb) run testfile.dvi
(Now xdvi is running; do whatever you did that caused the crash)
(gdb) bt
(Here, gdb should display a stack trace)

Please copy the entire stack trace into your bug report, and a description of what exactly you did that caused the crash.

Join the development!

Suggestions on how to improve xdvik or direct contributions are always welcome.


  • Changes in recent versions (starting from 22.7x) are listed here.
  • A full change histrory is contained in the CHANGES file in the xdvik distribution.
  • A change history of the original xdvi version is available on the xdvi homepage.

2009/05/10 22.84.16 released

Older Stuff
2009/03/02 22.84.15 released
2008/05/28 22.84.14 released
2007/10/31 22.84.13 released
2007/07/22 22.84.12 released
Last updated on Sun, 10 May 2009 22:13:54 +0200 by Stefan Ulrich Valid HTML 4.01!