I am looking for a lightweight PDF reader that shows annotations. I do not need to be able to add my own annotations. Evince only shows one type of comments - it does not show removed text or replaced text. Okular seems to have these options but has a whole lot of large dependencies. Any tips?

Command line parsing is also an option, if that turns out to be the only lightweight option.

  • If you don't get an answer, you might consider using a Windows PDF viewer under Wine. See my answer for the best free option softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/questions/17212/…
    – Mawg
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 9:25
  • You might also try installing the Chrome browser for Linux as that handles PDF, so might / will probably show annotations. google.com/chrome/browser/desktop (it auto-detects your o/s in order to offer you a download)
    – Mawg
    Commented Feb 17, 2015 at 9:58

4 Answers 4


FoxIt PDF reader has a Linux version and say that it can

read, create, sign, and annotate (comment on) PDF documents and fill out PDF forms.

It would seem to follow logically that any program which can create annotations can also sign them.

Alas, I have no current access to a Linux box, but if you follow my logic, then give it a try.

See specifically http://www.foxitsoftware.com/Secure_PDF_Reader/collaborate-share.php

enter image description here

Provide feedback to documents through annotation and text markup tools.


The modern Browser seem to be able to open PDF and show annotations.
Can confirm for Chrome, heared for Firefox.
You can just move the PDF on it.

  • In my case, after trying several dedicated PDF readers on linux, firefox ended up being the one that allowed me to view annotation text.
    – ebrahim
    Commented Aug 25, 2021 at 1:18
  • genius, thanks a ton, it worked like a champion.
    – Gery
    Commented Feb 20, 2022 at 3:21

Evince shows annotations since 2010 or so. As you mentioned yourself, there is a catch: Many annotation types exist and there are some which are not yet supported (as of mid 2016). Check this bug report for more information and links to other bug reports which track some annotation types.

However, since you posted this bug got fixed which may fix the issue you saw.

enter image description here


Try our free PDF reader for Linux, PDF Studio Viewer: https://www.qoppa.com/pdfstudioviewer/download/

It can render / display any type of annotations contained in a PDF document. It will show Replace Text and Insert Text which are called text markup annotations.

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