[texhax] TeX for the blind

Tom Schneider toms at ncifcrf.gov
Mon Dec 11 16:19:09 CET 2006

> On Dec 11, 2006, at 4:49 AM, Chris Rowley wrote:
> > What I hate every second of every day right now is that I cannot keep
> > the file open in the reader and get it to update when the file changes
> > (on Windows mostly these days).
> On sort of work-around for this is to open the .pdf in a web browser,  
> then you can ``refresh'' to load the updated version. Takes you back  
> to the first page though.
> There's an ``atchange'' or something like that script which I believe  
> has been mentioned on comp.text.tex. I think it's on CTAN and that it  
> works w/ Windows.

Atchange, which I invented and which was then built in Perl by Jeff
Haemer, is described at:


It should work on any system that has a modern enough perl.  All it
does is watch one or more files and trigger scripts when the file(s)
change.  So, unfortunately, it can launch a new Adobe Reader but you
have to still kill the old one.

Likewise, one can have it kick a Mozilla brower, but unfortunately the
features in Netscape were lost and it goes to the top of the page.

Recently I discovered that the modern xdvi can be told to go to a
particular page and this can be used in conjunction with atchange to
have the xdvi go to the current page one is working on in vim.  If
there is an error it will go to the page of the error.  The trick is
that one can program vim to write out your current location to a file
when one writes the file out.  So I'm able to keep my fingers on the
keyboard and type just ',' (my command for writing the file out,
:w^M).  Vim writes the current location out and Atchange notices that,
runs latex and bibtex as needed and then kicks the xdvi to the right
page!  One can edit LaTeX and have it typeset without having to touch
the mouse at all.

Some of this is described on the Atchange page, but I don't have all
the parts functioning on my main computer quite yet.


  Dr. Thomas D. Schneider
  National Institutes of Health
  National Cancer Institute
  Center for Cancer Research Nanobiology Program
  Molecular Information Theory Group
  Frederick, Maryland  21702-1201
  toms at ncifcrf.gov
  permanent email: toms at alum.mit.edu (use only if first address fails)

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