I like zathura for its simple UI, very nice for just reading. I like xournal for its rich annotation features.

But what I still need is a reader that

  • is interactive,
  • has a "find" feature,
  • is able to highlight an copy text to clipboard,
  • is independant of any desktop environments (gnome, kde ...) and
  • is able to display simple notes e.g. made with xournal (so no epdfview).

Is there such a viewer?

  • 1
    Except for the notes feature xpdf would be sufficient.
    – Marco
    Mar 20, 2013 at 11:05
  • 1
    evince will do all that too, except probably not the xournal notes unless you save them in a portable format. I doubt there is any software that will work with xournal's native format except xournal -- it's just too obscure for other people to support.
    – goldilocks
    Mar 20, 2013 at 12:12
  • I really like evince but it is gnome-dependant. I will take a look at xpdf. Mar 20, 2013 at 22:19
  • @ManuelSchneid3r evince isn't dependent on any desktop environment. Very few applications are. An application may use this or that widget library which is also used by a desktop environment, but you can mix applications using different widget libraries to your liking. Mar 20, 2013 at 23:03
  • Look ... 4 necessary dependencies and one optional to gnome packages. Well xpdf isnt thaaaat convenient :D. I am looking for a independant evince equivalent for easy work purposes. Mar 21, 2013 at 9:59

2 Answers 2


Actually this IS zathura. Meanwhile I switched to arch. Now I have an up-to-date version of it. xournal for noting, zathura for everything else.

zathura is just beautiful.


Another alternative would be qpdfview, a lightweight tabbed document viewer. It's Qt-based and DE-independent.

You can find qpdfview in the default Ubuntu and Debian repos. More recent versions are available from the following PPAs:

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