Sumatra PDF Binaries
  • Jul 1, 2010: With release r1977 the linkify bug was finally fixed. Given this and that the extensions I built (see below) had also been integrated in the official code, I shall stop compiling builds. Many thanks to the authors.
  • Dec 2, 2009: As of r1506 and r1508, the extensions I created (see below) have been integrated in the official Sumatra PDF development code (thanks William Blum).

This is a modified version of the brilliant PDF viewer Sumatra PDF. It adds a better highlighting style -in my opinion- for the forward search feature. See below for more details about Sumatra PDF. I shall maintain (modified) binaries that include new official fixes and allow you to choose from two forward-search highlight styles. The official highlighting style, although ok for plain text, can look odd and confusing when typesetting equations (or any picky LaTeX fiddling for that matter).

I propose to use coloured blocks on the left side of the page. Although I like the official highlighting for plain text, I believe the proposed style is less confusing and equally efficient in drawing the user's attention to the corresponding lines. The binary has extra command-line options:

-fwdsearch-offset $offset: place the coloured blocks at $offset from the left page margin. If this is missing or 0 (or less), the official highlighting is used. Default is 0. Example: -fwdsearch-offset 20

-fwdsearch-width $width: coloured blocks width. Default is 15. Example. -fwdsearch-width 20

-fwdsearch-color $hexcolor: colour of the highlight in hex (actually HTML) color format. Default is #6581FF. Applies to both the official and proposed style. Example: -fwdsearch-color #D87300

The above examples are good candidates for the IEEEtran class in two-column mode.


You can either download the latest binary or one from the list below. They are built against code under devlopment so I cannot guarantee they are 100% bug-free. For changes, see the code releases.

r2021-mod [15/07/10] - bug fixes mostly
r2009-mod [04/07/10] - many updates and bug fixes
r1996-mod [29/06/10] - cannot render some pages
r1988-mod [25/06/10] - plenty updates and fixes
r1963-mod [19/06/10] - various updates

NOTE: Binaries marked "-mod" are modded with my patches, which can be found below.

[Older binaries]   [Patches]

About Sumatra PDF

For those unfamiliar with Sumatra PDF, this viewer is blazing fast, slim and portable, and has a couple of cool features for those of us writing LaTeX papers in Windows (sorry *nix folkes):

- For Forward search ("synctex" recommended over the problematic "pdfsync" package), it will highlight the current line from the TeX editor (e.g. WinEdt) in the resulting PDF file.
- Also performs Inverse search. A double click inside the PDF on a block of text, equations, figures etc. will open/focus the TeX editor and highlight the corresponding block of text in the editor.

These two features, as well as the speed, have been invaluable to me. Kudos to the developers for this great app and for opening the sources! Sumatra PDF should be advertised more, really.

Setup Sumatra PDF with WinEdt and other editors

Below is a summary for the WinEdt editor. A more detailed description, which also covers other editors, can be found at William Blum's Editors setup page.

If, like me, you are using WinEdt to write your LaTeX documents, then you can configure it to use Sumatra PDF and forward and inverse search as described below. This works for me in WinEdt v5.6 (20080429) and MikTex 2.7 and 2.8 and TeX Live 2008 and 2009. The following is a summary of the info in this thread at the WinEdt mailing list.

1. From, save all Acrobat* files and place them in the folder <WinEdt>\Exec (where <WinEdt> is your WinEdt installation folder) replacing the old ones.

2. In Options > Execution modes ... > Acrobat
- set the PDF viewer executable to "<SumatraPDF>\SumatraPDF.exe -reuse-instance -fwdsearch-offset 50" (where <SumatraPDF> is your Sumatra PDF installation folder)
- Check the "Use forward search (pdfsync)" option

3. In Options > Execution modes ... > Console Applications
- For the LaTeX and PDFLaTeX add [-synctex=-1], without brackets, to the switches and check the "Start viewer" and "Forward Search" options. This is valid for both MikTex and TeX Live distributions (you may need a newer MikTex and TeX Live to that supports synctex though).
- For TeXify and PDFTeXify (MikTex only), add [--tex-option="--synctex=-1"], without brackets, to the switches and check the "Start viewer" and "Forward Search" options.