is a FLOSS document viewer for Linux and MS Windows.
It handles multiple formats, including PDF.
See also the Debian PDF page.
As of 2018 Dec 31, the latest version is 3.31 (2018 Dec 12).
As of 2018 Apr 1, the version 18.104.22.168 (2010 Sep 27) for MS Windows
was available from the
GNOME Evince Downloads page.
As of 2018 Dec 31, that download is no longer provided. Instead,
two links are given for Windows packages. One of them is broken.
leads to a long list of .xz files and associated
.xz.sig files, including many versions of Evince.
One can also go to
One can download the .xz file for the latest version
and open it with 7-Zip, but it doesn’t contain all of the DLL’s
required to run the .exe file.
As of 2018 Mar 31, version 22.214.171.124 (2012 Oct 15) was available at
csc.warwick.ac.uk; the download was
a .rpm file,
which can be opened with 7-Zip and then browsed to find
the .msi file for Windows
As of 2018 Dec 31, the warwick.ac.uk link is broken. Atril
is the fork of Evince for MATE.
As of 2018 Apr 1, the latest version is 1.21.0 (2018 Mar 26).
No-cost PDF readers for MS Windows include:
(interface takes up too much room, except in Read Mode
in which too few controls are visible, and doing File
► Save As completely obscures all view of the document)
Nitro PDF Reader
(interface takes up too much room, and it failed to display some images
in one document)
Adobe’s proprietary Acrobat Reader can also be used for PDF
under both MS Windows and Unix.
A 64-bit version is not available but it can be run
under 64-bit Debian using i386 architecture support.
It's available for Debian from
is deprecated by Debian.
As of 2015 Nov the latest version, Adobe Acrobat Reader DC,
does automatic updates with no way of controlling them other than
editing the Windows registry or using some special tool, and
after an automatic update it may refuse to open further documents
until the operating system has been rebooted,
which is obviously unacceptable.
Filled PDF forms can also be saved using a print-to-file facility.
‘an application for notetaking, sketching,
keeping a journal using a stylus’ but it also can import
PDF files and then export them with annotations, including
highlighting, adding text and (starting with version 0.4.7) images,
and freeform drawing.
are not ‘real’ PDF annotations (movable, hideable,
but are useful for many purposes.
Xournal is open-source and multiplatform.
The file format is gzipped XML-like plain text, which makes it
possible to fix things like accidentally deleting a page or
changing its background when annotating a PDF file.
When I tried it under Windows, the default font acted oddly
but when I switched to another font it was fine.
As of 2017 Oct 21, the latest distributed version is
0.4.8.2016 dated 2017 Jul 20. Xournalpp
is a rewrite in C++, designed for tablets. As of 2017 Oct 21,
the latest version is 1.0.0 dated 2014 Feb 8; minor changes have
been made as recently as 2017 Oct 13. I haven't tried it.
‘is a free open source [GPL] pdf editor and a library
for manipulating PDF documents’. As of 2012 Mar 18, the
latest release is dated 2012 Feb 10. The Linux version is based
on Qt 3 but the Windows version is based on Qt4; the two versions
are apparently going to merge. With the Windows version I have been
able to apply annotations (comment bubbles) and highlighting, but
the application freezes when I try to add text.
handles both forms and annotation. Okular annotations can only
be read by Okular.
Okular is open-source and multiplatform; it is available
as part of KDE for Windows.
Foxit Reader is a free
commercial PDF reader for MS Windows that permits annotation and the saving of
filled PDF forms.
An old (2009) Linux version is available but it doesn't do any annotation.
Nitro PDF Software
offers free commercial tools for Windows, including
Nitro PDF Reader
(forms, annotation, etc.) and
PrimoPDF (PDF creator).
The fact that excessively large files are created by
the PDF creator was
acknowledged 2010 Jun 3
and is still a problem as of 2011 Jun 12.
The PDF files are images, not text.
BeCyPDFMetaEdit for editing metadata in PDF file (for Windows
latest version 2008 Feb 18, as of 2011 Jul 8)
PDF Split and Merge
by Andrea Vacondio,
an open-source tool for manipulating PDF files: split, merge,
extract, mix, rotate, etc. Written in Java.
When used to split PDF files produced by scanning, the resulting PDF
files are not displayed properly by Acrobat. They are handled well
by both Xournal
and Evince; an export from Xournal seems to lose resolution, but
a print to PDF from Evince creates a good-looking file that's readable
I've used this only for adding line numbers to PDF files, as
described by scriptdolphin here. My version of his procedure:
create a file lineNumbers.odt
containing just line numbers, with margins, line spacing,
font and colour as desired;
export it as lineNumbers-text.pdf; then do
gs -o lineNumbers.ps -sDEVICE=pswrite lineNumbers-text.pdf
gs -o lineNumbers-outlines.pdf -sDEVICE=pdfwrite lineNumbers.ps
In the directory where the PDF file to be numbered lives, do
pdftk name.pdf multibackground path/lineNumbers-outlines.pdf output name_lineNumbers.pdf