I have a PDF file, and I'd like to comment in adobe style. Is there a way to enable that somehow, or are there any alternatives?


There is a feature to add annotations using the default gnome evince, but the tool doesn't have the feature switched on in Ubuntu 10.10, so you have a choice between:

pdfedit - Dedicated tool for editing pdf files.

flpsed - Useful, but not as polished.

inkscape - Importing the pdf, adding your visible notes and exporting back to pdf, downside is, they're not real pdf notes.

  • OP asked for "comment in adobe style" so that means Adobe compatible comments. So inkscape comments are not adobe style and evince is not either. Is either pdfedit or flpsed commenting mechanisms "adobe style"?
    – rjt
    Jun 15 '16 at 15:16
  • Then the answer must be: That's impossible until Adobe stops being obstructionist to Linux and provides versions of their software. Otherwise we have no choice but to develop our own style. Jun 19 '16 at 18:48

It might be a licensing issue.

Linux Adobe Reader 9 Document Properties --> Security Tab --> "Commenting: NOT ALLOWED"

Even thought the PDF has no security, commenting is still NOT allowed. Might be a licensing issue since the original was created using open source tools, not Acrobat.

"PDF Producer: Apache FOP Version 1.1" -- Commenting Not Allowed.
"PDF Producer: Adobe LiveCycle Designer ES 10.0" -- Commenting Works.



Platform: Linux Mint with Adobe Reader 9.

  • 4
    This. Is. So. . . . Frustrating.
    – Dɑvïd
    Mar 22 '16 at 10:26

Foxit Reader allows pretty advanced commenting.

  • Which is a Windows program :-(
    – guntbert
    May 3 '16 at 20:15
  • @guntbert They have a linux version. I run it on my Ubuntu.
    – yohbs
    May 4 '16 at 4:30

okular is the default KDE editor (though using it with Unity/Gnome is not a problem), is very polished and provides the requested functionality. After opening your PDF, enable "Review" in the "Tools" menu and a toolbar will appear with buttons for notes, highlighting, etc.

  • 5
    Just remember that the reviews made with okular, will be only visible in okular.
    – user74045
    Jun 29 '12 at 15:19
  • ... and only as long as you don't move or rename your document, because the comments are not saved in the document itself, but in some corresponding xml file in .kde/share/apps/okular/docdata/. Jan 28 '14 at 13:19
  • 1
    I overwrote the pdf using okular after highlighting and Adobe Reade 9 is able to show the highlighted text. Works great!
    – manav m-n
    May 26 '16 at 8:59

For text comments I suggest to use PDF Annotator (available in Ubuntu software center) - very easy application which allows saving in PS or PDF formats.

Regards, Vincenzo

  • Couldn't find it :-/
    – DReispt
    Jan 10 '16 at 9:57

Try Xournal

You can Comment, Highlight, Underline, Draw.......

Install by typing

$sudo apt-get install xournal
  • It's actually much more reliable than evince, the latter often fails to highlight or save annotations for mysterious reasons. Mar 5 at 5:02

Not a desktop app, but Adobe has released Acrobat.com, which is essentially an online office suite, but it can read and make pdfs (a limit of 5 made per month for free, I think). I would assume that they have commenting as part of the suite and it would be acrobat style.


If you can wait for a while the new Acrobate X you can comment your document. I tried in windows and work's perfect.

  • Try it windows upon a PDF created by something other than Adobe such as "PDF Producer: Apache FOP Version 1.1" used to create a "byte of python".
    – rjt
    Jul 21 '16 at 23:16

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