I would like to open all chapters of my PDF ebooks in the same window but neither evince nor okular seems to be capable of doing that (at least not out-of-the-box).

Is there a way to work this out?

  • 1
    What about creating a single PDF with all chapters? pdftk *.pdf cat output allchapters.pdf Or open one instance per PDF and use your window manager, instead of the PDF reader, to manage the windows.
    – Marco
    Nov 12, 2012 at 8:43
  • I second what Marco said. Most PDF viewers don't behave like web browsers. Nov 12, 2012 at 10:35
  • Why is Okular not capable of using tabs? Just activate the according 'Open new files in tabs' in the settings.
    – Jaleks
    Dec 14, 2018 at 10:12

4 Answers 4


qpdfview is a lightweight tabbed document viewer that should suit your needs.

It's in the default Ubuntu and Debian repos. More recent versions can be found in the following PPAs:

  • 1
    qpdfview is nice light weight and great for the job
    – sjsam
    Aug 2, 2016 at 7:04

Using zathura with tabbed might help here:

Tabbed provides a "simple generic tabbed fronted to xembed aware applications" and zathura is a simple PDF viewer that is XEmbed-aware.

A much more heavyweight approach would be letting a browser provide the tabbing while having the chapters displayed using plugins, e.g. using mozplugger (even with evince) or using PDF.js (both working with Firefox).

Regarding the all-mighty Okular, there's a wishlist item and a workaround using konqueror (like the heavyweight option above).

However, were you to use a window manager that supports tabbed layouts, e.g. i3, notion or XMonad (there might be more!), any lightweight PDF-viewer (xembed'able or not) could work just fine. You'd just open several windows in a tabbed window manager layout (details vary with the actual WM) -- like @Marco suggested in his comment.

  • 1
    To start zathura embedded into tabbed use tabbed -c zathura -e.
    – Shamaoke
    Apr 26, 2018 at 1:36

I would recommend just setting PDFs to open in Firefox (or Chrome) at this point.

In GNOME Nautilus, this can be done using Properties -> Open With. enter image description here

Unfortunately, the GNOME Evince document viewer maintainers have made it clear they aren't going to add tabbed viewing support.

  • This is great but browser based readers often lack such features as highlighting which is why I love Edge. If we could get Edge for Linux, I would definitely use that. Chrome is not so great either.
    – NelsonGon
    Sep 15, 2019 at 13:41

For my Okular is the best. Only you have to config:

settings Okular

Then you need to mark:

"Open new files in tabs"

enable multitabs

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