Any suggestions for a PDF reader?

Hey All,

What do you all like using to read and enjoy PDF books? I shop on drivethrurpg, so I have a collection of PDFs I like reading. On Windows, I used Foxit reader but the year+ I spent on Fedora meant that I used Gnome’s Document Viewer and on EOS I’ve realized that Gnome’s Document Viewer is just as jank. It tends not to agree with PDFs that have too many bookmarks, for example, which is common in PDFs that pertain to rules for a board game or a tabletop RPG.

I use and like Evince. It is about the only pdf reader I have used.

I didn’t realize Document Viewer was called Evince. This one has been buggy for me with bookmark heavy PDFs.

you can always try xpdf :slight_smile:

There is also one named qpdfview. I have not used it so I dont know if it is any good or not.

If you prefer that, it can be installed from AUR:

Also, here is a list of pdf viewers from ArchWiki:


I personally use qpdfview, but if you like Foxit Reader so much you should just install and use it, the above commenter even gave you the link to on aur.

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I did, I didn’t realize it was on AUR. I have to get used to using and searching the AUR.

You can do so by typing yay -Ss [package name]

qpdfview is demoted to aur, xpdf is also qt :slight_smile: personal it is bit better also :slight_smile:

I’m not unhappy with Okular. It’s nothing special, but it does the job.


What additional features would make it “special” for you ?

What I mean by “nothing special” is that it is not exceptional compared to many other PDF viewers. It’s not bad by any means, and since I use KDE, I have found no need to replace it with anything else.

That said, I would like an option to turn on autoscroll with the middle mouse button, like in Firefox. That’s pretty much the only annoyance I have with Okular. In fact, scrolling in Okular is rather slow and feels heavy, scrolling quickly through a dozen pages of a large book in a split second is very inconvenient… It seems to me that this is not a performance issue, because it is possible to do it using the scrollbar, for example, but rather an issue with the clumsy interface.

I think in comparison to evince it has many more features like annotation, digital signature, commenting/highlighting but I could be wrong…

I stumbled on this rather old article. Now I am curious about muPDF…

the one and only

@Zircon34 you are not wrong

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There is nothing particularly wrong with Okular’s performance, sure it is not as fast as MuPDF, but that’s okay. Okular feeling slow is, I would argue, a problem is with its interface, not performance.


Using the mouse, apart from dragging the scroll bar, there is no way to tell Okular to scroll down with lightning speed, say, 20 pages.

If you use the hand tool, you have to click and drag, and drag, and drag, and drag, and you’ve moved your hand almost a metre, and you’ve only scrolled down 10 pages. Or you can turn the wheel, and keep turning it and turning it and turning it and getting maybe one page per second (if you have to flick through a 500 page book, that just won’t cut it).

Keyboard scrolling is not any better.

Depending on the zoom level, if you press the Page
key, that only scrolls a few lines down, not a whole page! You have to zoom out to get a decent speed, which is inconvenient.

If you use keyboard autoscroll, the top speed of scrolling is capped to several seconds per page. Besides, I prefer interfaces that are either keyboard only, or mouse only, so I can do it with one hand.

Left and right arrows are pretty fast, so you’re pretty much stuck with them, but that’s a rather mediocre way to flip pages. Also, they don’t work if you’re zoomed in, then they do a completely different thing: horizontal scrolling at snail’s speed.

Again, I’m nitpicking here, I still use Okular in spite of this.

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I can’t agree with that, it’s slow at loading pages when having a large article including images and moving from page to page. Not sure if there is any settings that can be changed but I don’t notice any significant improvement when using Okular on a 4 vs 8 core 8 vs 32 gb ram computer. In inkscape for example one can increase memory allocated to load things faster. That would be neat.

Don’t get me wrong Okular is one if my favorite Linux pdf reader, but it loads slow and don’t see how it has to do with interface alone.

Edit: I guess what do you mean by performance? For me it has to be how many Mb can be loaded/refreshed at a given time.

Have you looked at the settings in Okular? Set the memory usage to greedy. If you have a decent computer with plenty of RAM, it should be loading PDFs quite quickly, even scans of books that are several hundred MiB large. I mean, it’s not lightning fast, but I find it quite acceptable. Like I said, good, but nothing special.

My complaint is completely different from yours. I complain that scrolling is sluggish and inconvenient, not page loading. This does not depend on the size of the document.

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I haven’t! Thanks for the tip… I guess I have been too busy reading my PDFs :grin:

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