Evince sucks (in my humble opinion). I’m looking for something like Foxit, but Foxit for Linux is so old.

  • Maintained and updated.
  • Free.
  • Must have an option to highlight text, I save and quit the text should still be highlighted.
  • Search text option.
  • Support for PDF (and Epub if possible).
  • Runs on Ubuntu 64 bit. Must be a native Ubuntu app, no Wine, no web based solutions.
  • Huge plus if I can add notes.
  • Not based on KDE. Okular is not an option unless I absolutely have to use it.
  • What does “as good as Foxit” mean? What does “clean, nice GUI” mean? What do you mean by “highlight text”: do you want to add persistent coloring, or coloring that lasts until you close the document, or a single colored zone when you click the mouse? Mar 26, 2014 at 18:55
  • @Gilles I edited my question, removed the nice gui and the foxit part, it's a matter of taste than no one can answer, as for coloring, I want persistent coloring that lasts even when I close the pdf, for example i color the courses that I finish, and then in another semester, I highlight other courses, so the colors can't go away when i close, I should have the option to save them
    – Lynob
    Mar 26, 2014 at 19:04
  • Have you looked at a combination of CoolReader (for EPUBs) and Evince (for PDFs)? Mar 27, 2014 at 4:03
  • @DeerHunter I havent used coolreader, as for evince, it doesn't support text highlight as far as i know
    – Lynob
    Mar 27, 2014 at 11:04

2 Answers 2


It might be a slightly different intended use-case, but perhaps Mendeley would suit your needs.

It's designed as a reference manager, and lets you store + annotate PDFs for academic research. A lot of the application's utility is in keeping a database of all the important metadata for citing the work, but if you ignore those features (assuming they're not what you're after) then it should at least do what you require in terms of highlighting, annotating, notes, retaining them after quitting, being actively developed, free and working on Ubuntu.

Some others I've not personally tried, but look like they suit your needs. All are (or can be) based on the Poppler PDF library, which seems to have annotation support (since Poppler v0.20-ish).

qpdfview — seems to have all features requested (not sure how extensive the annotation support is, but seems to depend on what version of Poppler you build it against).

Zathura — plugin-based document viewer, includes two different PDF plugins (one is Poppler-based), seems to have most features requested, but not 100% sure about annotations.

Poppler themselves list a few projects that utilise Poppler too (seems a bit out of date though).

  • i gave you the bounty, it was going to expire and mendeley indeed provide the features I want, but I guess I'll keep using Okular, Mendeley just not for me.
    – Lynob
    Apr 1, 2014 at 20:22
  • found some more info, haven't tried these personally, but hopefully one of them justifies the bounty! Apr 2, 2014 at 1:56
  • For what it's worth I'd encourage someone with actual experience with Poppler, qpdfview, Zathura to answer this. I'm breaking the rules including software I've got no experience using, so would prefer a real user to give an opinion. Apr 3, 2014 at 0:16

It's a little late, since you accepted an answer last year ;-), but, I have always been a fan of FoxIt Pro.

From my answer to Linux PDF reader that shows annotations:

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.

As an addition to the above answer, to address your question about highlighting, the Technical FAQ says

Foxit Reader is a small PDF reader for you to view, search and print PDFs. With this software, you are able to measure distances, insert images, add links, create annotations on PDFs, highlight PDF text, email PDFs, etc.

This answer probably comes far too late for @Fischer, the OP, but it might help others who read this question in future.

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