Programs to view HINT files
The HINT file format version 2.0 features a complete redesign of the short (binary) format used for viewing.
As a consequence, an updated viewer is required.
While it should be forward compatible with newer versions, it is not backward compatible with older versions.
The hint viewer software consists of a backend, written in C and several
frontends. The backend is reusable and depends heavily on the HINT file format version,
the frontends are specific for an operating system.
Currently five frontends are (see below) available:
for Linux, Windows, Android, iOS and MacOS.
The Android HintView is joint work with Prof. Gudrun Socher.
Currently the most simple viewer is the viewer for Linux. Its
user interface consists just of a few key strokes and mouse movements
as described in the man page. All the viewers use the same backend.
The code for rendering pages is written in OpenGL and available in two slightly different
version, one for OpenGL and one for OpenEGL. If you want to
investigate the sources or want to implement your own viewer,
the Linux viewer is a good starting point.
A book (cover on the left) is in preparation. Documented sources will become available with the
printed documentation (or on request from the author).
Sources for hintview are now on github:
Binaries using the old HINT file format version 1.4 can be found
here: HINT version 1.4
the version 1.4 is deprecated.
- Windows: the Version 2.0.0 viewer supports HINT Format Version 2.0.
For easy inatallation use this setup file: setup_HintView_2_0_0.exe.
For manual installation just download the executable hintview.exe.
You may want to put it to directory on your search path and
associate the viewer executable with .hnt files.
- Android: The HINT viewer for Android is available from the
There are temporary problems with the Play Store. But here is a APK
- Linux: For Linux there is a precompiled binary
hintview. As it is with precompiled binaries, they might
work on your system or not.
As long as hintview is not available through the standard package
sources, you can find the Debian packages
They were created for Debian 11 and Debian 12, but may also run on derived
distributions such as Ubuntu.
Using the sources from the repository mentioned above,
it should be sufficient to install the required libraries
(libdl, libglew, libglfw3 libfreetype, libX11, libXrandr, libXinerama, libXi,
libXcursor, libGL, libz, libpthread, libm, libc),
change to the Linux/ subdirectory and run make or possibly
WITH_GTK=number make where number is either 2 or 3.
- MacOS: Due to restrictions at my institution, currently I can not offer a viewer in the
Apple Store (which is however the long term goal).
Thanks to Richard Koch, you can download a package for MacOS from his home page at
Alternatively you can download a complete Xcode project from the source repository mentioned above.
There is a short video, demonstrating some of the
program features. It was made for Jonathan Fine's
TeX Hour on Thursday, September 29, 2022.
- iOS: Due to restrictions at my institution, currently I can not offer a viewer in the
Apple Store (which is however the long term goal). Instead, you can download a complete Xcode project
from the source repository mentioned above.
Examples using the old HINT file format version 1.4 can be found
here: HINT version 1.4
The following files use the HINT file format version 2.0
and were produced using hitex.
Errata and Improvements
Data Protection Declaration
The Data Protection Declaration for the HintView application
can be found here.
- These programs are still under continuous development. So don't ask for support.
- If you want to help, send me immediately an email to ruckert (at) cs.hm.edu.
- If you own a company and want to use HINT files and HINT viewers as part of your products,
send me an email to ruckert (at) cs.hm.edu.
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