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I learned about the PDF possibility of taking notes which are then stored with the document, usefull when reading ebooks. If the note taker also supports some math notation, that would be wonderful! Which free PDF reader can do this? (I am using Lubuntu 12.10)

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possible duplicate of How can I highlight or annotate PDFs? – landroni Jan 24 '15 at 18:46

I suggest you try these two programs and choose the one that better fits your needs.


sudo apt-get install xournal

All annotations are hand made (so to speak). You can print them on the PDF, if you want, or you can set them apart.

enter image description here


Download from here. Very useful to keep track of your research notes.

enter image description here

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Xournal doesn't save annotation in the pdf file itself, so if you send the file to someone else, he won't get the annotations. – To Do Jun 1 '13 at 10:38
You must "Export to PDF" to generate a new PDF with the annotations. This way anybody can read them. – Ed Villegas Jun 2 '13 at 13:40
How can you save your annotations directly to PDF using Mendeley? – Georgy Ivanov Nov 21 '13 at 14:02
Yes, you can. Just go to «Export to PDF with annotations» in the «File» menu. – Ed Villegas Nov 24 '13 at 18:03

Evince 3.6.1 (the default PDF viewer) now supports adding annotations and bookmarks (proper PDF bookmarks), that are saved with the document.

Since Evince 3.14 you can add and delete annotations.


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Maybe I just do not see it, but I can't move or delete annotations in evince. I'm using the ubuntu 13.10 default version (3.10). – verpfeilt Oct 19 '13 at 23:02
yup, that is a pending feature – alfC Oct 20 '13 at 19:50
With GNOME 3.14, removing annotations has been finally implemented. See (evince: supports removing annotations). – Peque Dec 10 '14 at 22:13

Xournal Install xournal would be worth taking a look at. Annotations and modifications are stored in a separate file but can be easily exported to PDF.

I don't think there's any PDF editor out there that supports any kind of sophisticated math notation, but I might be mistaken.

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PDF-X-Change Viewer is fairly good. You have to run it under Wine, though.

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thanks, but I am not going to install wine! – kjetil b halvorsen Dec 19 '12 at 14:11

Try qpdfview Install qpdfview. It is fast, customizable and has rudimentary annotation support.

A recent version can be installed by adding this launchpad ppa.

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You could also try Okular. Now you can actually export annotations to PDFs in Okular (this was not possible until recently):

It seems Okular has to be built with Poppler at least version 0.20. It works with Ubuntu 13.04.


The version of Okular (0.19.3) found in at least Ubuntu 14.04 now also supports customising the review toolbar (the toolbar for adding annotations) by adding and modifying the various annotation types that can be selected.

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There is yet another alternative. You can install Adobe Reader. The latest linux version is 9.5.5 (which is dated compared to W$ and Mac versions). It allows for editing and commenting. You do have to enable the editing and commenting toolbars (right click on the toolbar and select).

sudo apt-get install adobereader-enu
sudo apt-get -f install # needed because there is a wrong dependency

For doing proofreading when working with a publisher this is the way to go.

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I also suggest you to use adobe reader for that. Adobe reader might not be the fastest (for viewing only the default ubuntu viewer is way faster for large documents), but is available on many platforms and works very well. – ortang Jul 30 '13 at 7:31
This seems to no longer work in Ubuntu 14.04. – Finn Årup Nielsen Jan 25 at 15:39

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