Basically, I want a viewer which has a night mode or a dark mode so that I can change a pdf with a white background and black text to a dark background and light coloured text.

  • 5
    qpdfview (lubuntu 18.10 & up standard viewer) allows you to change colors of background, paper-color & presentation backgrounds to any of a huge list (30+) of selections.
    – guiverc
    Apr 2 '19 at 4:40
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    Which pdf file viewers have you researched? Both okular and qpdfview can invert colors unless the pdf file is composed of images.
    – DK Bose
    Apr 2 '19 at 4:40
  • 1
    I used search terms "dark mode","pdf viewer", "night mode" coudn't get any result. qpdfview.Till now I was using default docuement viewer. Thanks, qpdfview have the feature that I was asking for. Apr 2 '19 at 5:04
  • 1
    qpdfview is awesome! I love the Invert colors option in its view menu and it has the most sensible scrolling I've seen in any pdf viewer. Thanks @guiverc I have a new goto pdf viewer! Jul 21 '20 at 3:26
  • @guivers - qpdfview cannot change text color the way you said; if the text is black it stays black in all those 30+ selections. The "invert color" option under "View", as LonnieBest said, can change that, but only to white-on-black, which is not as comfortable as adjusted colors like light-grey on dark-grey etc (which other viewers can provide).
    – cipricus
    Jan 4 '21 at 10:13

This method is only for text only documents. Otherwise the image colors will be inverted.

You can install Evince document viewer from this link and open it.Then goto the options on the top right corner as seen in the picture.

enter image description here

Then select Inverted colors. This will help you to read white text on a black background. In Evince document viewer 3.30.1+ select Night Mode.

  • 2
    Thanks I already had Evince document viewer installed but didn't know that inverted colors can do this. Apr 2 '19 at 7:36
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    @UbuntuLover You are welcome, yes it comes pre-installed. Apr 2 '19 at 7:41
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    @UbuntuLover Actually could not find it here... help.gnome.org/users/evince/stable/shortcuts.html.en Apr 2 '19 at 7:50
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    In my Document Viewer (3.30.1) the option is called 'Night Mode'.
    – muclux
    Apr 2 '19 at 8:11
  • 2
    Nothing better than finding out that the feature you're looking for you already have!
    – cjauvin
    Nov 26 '20 at 16:45

Simply inverting colors doesn't provide the best readability (being limited to very bright white text on very dark black background), although it can improve it a lot in a dark environment.

Evince and also pdfstudioviewer can do that, which will result in something like this (in both image and text pdfs):

enter image description here

PDF readers that can change both page and text color in both text and image (scanned text) pdf files are:

I think this is more readable:

enter image description here

enter image description here

UPDATE on Okular:

In newer versions of Okular (like 1.9.3) both font and page colors can be edited — and a dark-mode look can be enabled — through a new and rather non-intuitive setting, under Configure Okular - Accessibility - Color mode: Change Dark and Light Colors, by selecting a light color for dark and a dark one for light color option.

enter image description here

Then, for easy access, configure toolbar and add Toggle change color. It works for picture/scanned pages too.

enter image description here

enter image description here

Adobe Reader 9, which can still be used in Linux, can change both text and background color but only in text-based pdf files. More here.

See my linked answer on Foxit Reader, which can match Adobe Reader but has no dark GUI and no full-screen.

Calibre Ebook Reader (like many ebook readers) can edit colors of font and page, but it can also open text-based pdfs.

  • Master PDF Editor is news to me. Glad to hear about that. Jul 21 '20 at 3:36

Atril from MATE DE also has Inverted Colors mode (accessible with Ctrl+I):

Inverted Colors mode in Atril

You can install Atril with sudo apt-get install atril.


I recommend you to go for Okular, one of the best readers for Linux platform. It is free of cost and provides features such as

  1. Night view mode
  2. Annotate and Markup tools
  3. Text extraction from PDF file
  4. Border trimming, and lot more.
  • how do you enable the night view?
    – cipricus
    Dec 13 '19 at 14:54
  • 4
    not sure if there is a night view, I use okular and change the colors in the accessibility settings: Settings->Configure Okular...->Accessibility->tick change color, and I use change dark&light color, I then choose as dark color a lighter gray and as light color a very dark gray. This tuns the text light gray and the background dark gray, which imo is nice. I really don't like the invert color stuff, 100%white on 100%black is just too much contrast for me and strains way more than more gentile (gray) colors. Jan 14 '20 at 18:17
  • I had just discovered that and updated my answer when I saw your comment!
    – cipricus
    Jul 20 '21 at 9:58

I found all these answer are usefull then finally found this

xcalib -i -a

This inverts all the screen , everywhere. So no need to find if a particular software have this feature or not. I can set a hotkey and now whenever I want dark mode I just need to press the Hotkey, works even for browser.


sudo apt-get install xcalib
  • That's cool! I'll be setting up autokey shortcuts that link to various xcalib adjustments. It even allows you to adjust contrast and brightness. Thanks for sharing this; what a jewel. Jul 21 '20 at 4:11

how about Foxit Reader? ( a big name on Windows - although the Linux version seems like minimal version )

It allows us to view a PDF in many better ways than Inverted Colors so you can choose what is suit for you ( and your eyes)

![enter image description here

thanks @bodqhrohro for the image

For Night:

Black: enter image description here

Darkmode: enter image description here

For Day:

Yellow : enter image description here

Pink: enter image description here

Blue: enter image description here

Get it officially here: http://www.foxitsoftware.com/products/pdf-reader/

  • 2
    For the moment the problem with FoxitReader when we are looking for dark mode is that it has no dark gui and no full screen, which means that a large part of the screen stays very white.
    – cipricus
    Apr 24 '20 at 16:12
  • I install Foxit all the time for my windows users, but had no clue it ran on Linux too. Jul 21 '20 at 3:29
  • 1
    >(don't know why I cannot screenshot that menu ) I strongly suggest scrot -d 5 for such cases ;) Here's my screenshot; feel free to replace your photo with it.
    – bodqhrohro
    Nov 4 '20 at 12:53
  • thank @bodqhrohro, I updated it, And also thanks for the tip
    – Thinh NV
    Nov 6 '20 at 4:14

If you're using Compiz WM with "Color filter" plugin installed, you can enable any of several nightmode filters for any windows.


i was searching for X software too and i could not find one my bad solution...using vim with a plugin ( Plug 'makerj/vim-pdf') let you do it just make sure your terminal is readable and you book as no real image and your set here a link to the "plugin" https://github.com/makerj/vim-pdf


WPS Office 11

WPS Office since v11 has a PDF viewer with Dark mode that works quite well (i.e. not just simple colour inverting). It also has Sepia and Eye Protection mode.

enter image description here

You can install it from:

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