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Directory macros/latex/contrib/ocgx2


The ocgx2 Package

© 2015–\today, Alexander Grahn



This package serves as a drop-in replacement for the already existing packages ocgx by Paul Gaborit and ocg-p by Werner Moshammer for the creation of PDF Layers.

It re-implements the functionality of the ocg, ocgx and ocg-p packages and adds support for all known engines and back-ends including

  • ⇒ dvips ⇒ ps2pdf/Distiller
  • (Xe) ⇒ (x)dvipdfmx
  • pdf, Lua

To enable dvipdfmx support, pass dvipdfmx globally as a class option.

Also, it adds some features, improvements and bug fixes, such as package options, remembering option settings of re-opened OCGs, correct behaviour of layer switching links that were themselves placed on layers, correct listing of (nested) OCGs in the "Layers" tab of PDF viewers, compatibility with the animate and media9 packages, a re-implementation of hyperref's ocgcolorlinks option.

New features

  • layers extending across page breaks
  • OCMDs (Optional Content Membership Dictionaries) for creating layers with complex visibility dependency
  • grouping OCGs into Radio Button Groups (ocg environment option radiobtngrps=...)
  • additional keys for the TikZ interface of package ocgx
  • re-implementing ocgcolorlinks option of package hyperref for links that wrap around line and page breaks



\begin{ocg}[<options>]{<layer name>}{<OCG id>}{<initial visibility>}
  ... material to be put on a PDF layer ...
<layer name> is the name shown in the PDF viewer's "Layers" panel, <OCG id> is an identifier used for referencing the layer elsewhere in the document (e. g. layer switching buttons, visibility configuration of an ocmd environment, re-opening the OCG at another place using the ocg environment).

<initial visibility> is on, true, 1 or off, false, 0.

\begin{ocmd}[<OCMD id>]{[<visibility policy>][,<visibility expression>]}
  ... material to be put on a PDF layer ...
  visibility calculated by <visibility expression> (Boolean expression) from
  other OCGs visibility, or according to <visibility policy>

Package and ocg environment options:

viewocg = always | never | ifvisible
printocg =  always | never | ifvisible
exportocg =  always | never | ifvisible

showingui = true | false
radiobtngrps = {<group name 1>[,<group name 2>[, ...]]}
Options not in ocgx, ocg-p:
  • showingui (to be preferred over listintoolbar of ocgx/ocg-p)
  • radiobtngrps = {<group name>, ...} (comma-separated strings; environment-only option)
  • tikz (package-only option; enable TikZ styles, see below)
  • ocgcolorlinks (package-only option, see below)

Package options have global scope. Environment options override package options locally.

OCGs can be added to one or multiple Radio Button Groups using the new option radiobtngrps. From all OCGs within a Radio Button Group only one can be enabled at a time. Enabling an OCG, e. g. in the Layers tab of the PDF viewer, automatically hides the previously visible OCG in the group. An OCG can be added to multiple Radio Button Groups, passing a comma-separated list of group names. This list must be enclosed in braces, {...}.

ocg as well as ocmd environments can be nested and span multiple pages.

See the ocg-p manual about the ocg environment usage and the meaning of the remaining options.

The ocmd environment (Optional Content Membership Dictionary)

\begin{ocmd}[<OCMD id>]{[<visibility policy>][,<visibility expression>]}
  ... material to be put on a PDF layer ...

This environment creates a PDF layer whose visibility is determined by the current visibilities of other OCGs in the document according to at most one visibility policy plus at most one visibility expression. If both are given (with a comma in between) <visibility expression> takes precedence over <visibility policy>, but the latter may serve as a fallback in older PDF viewers.

<OCMD id> is an optional identifier which can be used to re-open the same layer with the same visibility setting at another place further down in the document.

A <visibility policy> can be one of

\AllOn{<OCG id 1> [, <OCG id 2>, ...]}
\AnyOn{<OCG id 1> [, <OCG id 2>, ...]}
\AnyOff{<OCG id 1> [, <OCG id 2>, ...]}
\AllOff{<OCG id 1> [, <OCG id 2>, ...]}

All four directives take a list of OCG ids from wich the OCMD visibility is calculated. If the condition represented by the policy is met, the content associated with the OCMD is shown. The listed OCGs can be defined anywhere in the document. These directives can neither be combined nor nested in order to define the policy. Thus, a visibility policy has limited capabilities.

A <visibility expression> is much more flexible than a policy. Arbitrarily complex visibility relationships can be formulated, based on the Boolean functions

\And{<item a>, <item b>, ...}
\Or{<item i>, <item j>, ...}
\Not{<item n>}

In the argument list, items represent OCG/OCMD ids and nested Boolean functions. As nesting of the three functions is possible, any thinkable visibility relationship can be defined.

Note that \Not{...} accepts only one item, either an OCG/OCMD id or a nested function. Besides that, a single, isolated OCG/OCMD item is not allowed as an expression, it must always be embedded in one of the Boolean functions listed above. In the simple case of an OCMD depending on a single OCG in a positive way, it is better to use a policy, such as \AllOn{<OCG id>}, or to put it as \And{<OCG id>}.

Thus, simple OCMD visibilities can be expressed in an equivalent way by a policy or an expression. For example, the visibility expression equivalent of the policy directive \AllOff{...} is written by means of Boolean functions as \Not{ \Or{ ... } }.

Note that Boolean functions and policy directives cannot be intermixed.

Clickable links for switching PDF layer visibility

These are the available commands:

\switchocg[<trigger>]{<OCG ids to toggle, comma-separated>}{<link text>}
\showocg[<trigger>]{<OCG ids to switch ON, comma-separated>}{<link text>}
\hideocg[<trigger>]{<OCG ids to switch OFF, comma-separated>}{<link text>}
\actionsocg[<trigger>]{<ids to toggle>}{<ids to switch ON>}{<ids to switch OFF>}{<link text>}
For details about their usage, read the ocgx manual.

By default, links are triggered on mouse-click. Other triggers are possible with ocgx2. For this, ocgx2 provides the optional argument [<trigger>] to the commands listed above. Choose one of

  onmousenter, onmouseexit, onmousedown, onmouseup, onmouseall
for <trigger>. In order to listen to more than one mouse event, use onmouseall. OCG ids in the mandatory argument(s) must then be grouped with braces and commas as follows:
  {<mouse-enter group>}, {<mouse-exit group>}, {<mouse-down group>}, {<mouse-up group>}
Any of these groups may be left empty in order to configure only some triggers. Inside the groups, OCG ids are also separated by commas. Therefore, braces must be put around the groups. For example:
\switchocg[onmouseall]{, ,{ocg1, ocg2, ocg3, ocg4},{ocg1, ocg2, ocg3, ocg4}}{Toggle layers on mouse-down and -up}

Package option ocgcolorlinks

Is a re-implementation of the same hyperref option for creating OCG- coloured links, which are printed on paper in the default text colour.

\usepackage{hyperref} % do NOT set [ocgcolorlinks] here!
Unlike the original hyperref implementation, OCG-coloured links are now allowed to extend over line and page breaks. Moreover, with pdf/Lua, OCG coloured links can be nested.

Breakable OCG-coloured links work best with normal text as link text. If the link text is mixed with graphical content, such as from external files or inline graphics (e. g. TikZ) and even \fbox-ed text, these graphical parts must be enclosed in

For example:
\href{http://ctan.org}{Visit me on \ocglinkprotect{\includegraphics{ctan-lion}}!}

Usage with TikZ

Package ocgx2 uses code from file tikzlibraryocgx.code.tex by P. Gaborit to enable TikZ styles for creating PDF Layers and clickable layer switching links in the tikzpicture context.

Just say:


instead of


to enable these TikZ styles and read the ocgx manual about their usage.

Package ocgx2 adds the key /tikz/ocg/opts to the list in section "How to add TikZ scopes into OCGs" in the ocgx manual:

/tikz/ocg/opts={<OCG options>}

It can be used inside the ocg style

  ocg={ref=..., name=..., opts={..., ...}},

and allows passing ocg-environment options (viewocg, printocg, exportocg, showingui, radiobtngrps) to the TikZ scope.

The style ocmd={...} is another way for turning a TikZ scope into a PDF layer (in addition to ocg={...}). It has two sub-keys, ref={...} and visibility={...}, which have the same meaning as the optional and the mandatory arguments of the ocmd environment:

  ocmd={ref=..., visibility=...},

Moreover, TikZ objects to be turned into OCG switching hyperlinks (section "How to transform nodes or paths into clickable links" in the ocgx manual) accept the additional key

/tikz/trigger ocg = onmousenter | onmouseexit | onmousedown | onmouseup | onmouseall

which makes them listen to various mouse events, as explained above.


This material is subject to the Project Public License.

Download the contents of this package in one zip archive (32.8k).

ocgx2 – Drop-in replacement for ‘ocgx’ and ‘ocg-p’

This package serves as a drop-in replacement for the packages ocgx by Paul Gaborit and ocg-p by Werner Moshammer for the creation of PDF Layers.

It re-implements the functionality of the ocg, ocgx, and ocg-p packages and adds support for all known engines and back-ends including:

  • → dvips → ps2pdf/Distiller
  • (Xe)(x) → dvipdfmx
  • pdf and Lua .

It also ensures compatibility with the media9 and animate packages.

Version0.57 2024-03-18
LicensesThe Project Public License
Copyright2015–2024 Alexander Grahn
MaintainerAlexander Grahn
TDS archiveocgx2.tds.zip
Contained inTeX Live as ocgx2
MiKTeX as ocgx2
TopicsPDF features
Adobe Distiller
Experimental 3
See alsoocgx
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