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I give a lot of talks using PDF slides built with LaTeX beamer. I was very happy with Skim, because it offers you to synchronize two Skim windows, s.t. you don't have to mirror the screen, but instead use both displays at their native resolution and also be able to watch the thumbnail sidebar etc. on your own display without your viewers watching (similar to what PowerPoint and Keynote offer with two displays).

However, as we all know, Apple has rendered PDFkit unusable since Sierra and Skim uses PDFkit for rendering. The main issue that rendered PDFkit unusable for presentations is the fact that it first shows a low resolution version of the content, before actually showing the high resolution rendering. This is very bothersome in the context of overlays.

  • In Sierra one could circumvent this by scrolling through the entire presentation beforehand, which apparently built up the cache of high resolution renderings
  • In High Sierra this is no longer possible, every time a page is shown it is shown at low resolution for a split second

Thus, I'm looking for alternative PDF viewers, which support two displays without mirroring but do not rely on PDFkit for rendering. Adobe Acrobat renders fine, but is not so suitable for presentations.

  • This is just a work-around: You are mentioning that you are using Adobe Acrobat. You can convert your PDF to PPT (PowerPoint) which is supported by keynote (File->Export to->PowerPoint). Then you can choose to use keynote or powerpoint for your presentations. – iTunes May 17 '18 at 14:35
  • An experiment I would try: output PS from LaTeX, convert it to PDF, with Preview. Test it with Skim. – dan May 17 '18 at 14:48
  • @iTunes Sorry, Adobe Acrobat Reader I meant - that thing keeps changing its name ;) – barbaz May 17 '18 at 14:54
  • @danielAzuelos I don't see any change how PDFkit renders the resulting PDF. The delay is still the same, in Preview as in Skim – barbaz May 17 '18 at 14:57
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    Related answer: tex.stackexchange.com/a/431696/36296 – user36296 May 17 '18 at 16:58
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Just a few days ago I have asked the same question at tex.stackexchange.com. User DG‘ has provided a couple of useful suggestions, which culminated in the following answer:

The delay in rendering pdfs with preview.app can be avoided with the following apps (they are all available through homebrew):

Additional Remarks by Daniel

  • For those who prefer MacPorts: Currently MacPorts provides only the X11 versions, which do not work well for presenting full-screen mode. The homebrew variants are native. You can install them without doing any harm on your MacPorts setup.
  • The graphical Présentation.app and the console-based pdfpc assume a dual-screen setup and provide a presenter display with the next slide, elapsed time and so on. Both internally pre-render the PDF pages. Depending on the complexity of the slides (transparencies have quite an impact), this may take a while. However, the presentation output is superb.
  • Apparently, xpdf does not do pre-rendering. While it is fast in general, switching to a new slide causes flicker.
  • So basically, this is a duplicate of the linked question. However, I am neither sure how duplicates across different SE sites are handled, nor which of the two sites would be the better fit. – Daniel May 17 '18 at 19:18
  • So moderators should feel free to close either side, if cross-site duplicates are possible. – Daniel May 17 '18 at 19:21
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    Just to be clear: This is only a workaround. The issue is a bug and apple should fixit. – DG' May 17 '18 at 19:46
  • @DG' Sure. However, they have been ignoring user complaints about the fundamentally broken new PDFKit for more than two years. So I am only semi-optimistic that this is going to happen (soon). – Daniel May 17 '18 at 22:45
  • Indeed, I totally agree, but, then again, I am quite happy with Présentation... – DG' May 18 '18 at 6:04

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