As I don't use Windows whatsoever and have been a big fan of Evince for some time, I was really happy to learn that Evince now supports the addition of annotations (even if it doesn't support the deletion of them, which I find odd).

I have a paper accepted for a journal, and I was sent a type-set copy of the paper for proofing. I was asked to add my corrections directly to the PDF as annotations using Adobe Commenting Tools.

I decided to use this opportunity to try out Evince for annotation. It seemed to work like a charm, and so I sent off the annotated PDF to the journal. But they are saying it is corrupted and cannot be viewed. I imagine they are using the full version of Acrobat. I then tried to open the file in Acrobat Reader -- it gets flagged up as corrupted, just as they say.

But it opens fine in Evince. Anyone know how I can make the output Adobe friendly?

Has anyone tried annotating PDFs in Okular and had the output work with Reader? Did you have to do anything special?


Update: I edited the title to make it more useful to others searching for the same topic.

  • i have used okular and okular crashes very frequently i suggest not to use it Jun 16, 2014 at 13:54
  • I appreciate the comment, but I'm not worried about Okular's usability or stability. I will gladly put up with crashes, as long as I can complete the task of annotating this PDF. :-)
    – user294061
    Jun 16, 2014 at 14:05
  • "it doesn't support the deletion of them" -- annotations in Evince can be deleted and edited.
    – Alexey
    Nov 8, 2020 at 8:47

4 Answers 4


I believe you can do what you want with master-pdf-editor. It will annotate and play nicely with Adobe. Only snag is that it is free as in beer, but not as in speech,


  • I am sure there may be other, good, working open source alternatives, but I know that particular tool works from recent personal experience. Jun 17, 2014 at 8:13

I had exactly the same issue. You have to press File → Save As in Okular, otherwise annotations are stored locally. I decided not to use Okular since I find it quiet unhandy how Okular stores the annotations and I simply do not want to use KDE.

For me, qpdfview works like a charm. Annotations and text highlighting is recognised in Adobe Reader (Linux version 9, Windows, iOS). Editing done with Acrobat Reader on the aforementioned platfroms are recognised by qpdfview as well. It allows you to delete annotations and highlighting too.

It is free, the source code can be found on launchpad. You find it in the Ubuntu Software Center and there is a ppa for a more recent version: ppa:b-eltzner/qpdfview

  • qpdfview is good, but has a few annoyances for me. The main one is that selection is done in rectangular areas, not text. Feb 5, 2016 at 17:59
  • @spinup I agree. However, selecting text in PDFs with several float objects (dependent on the formatting) is an issue in most PDF readers with natural text selection as well. Btw: qpdfview is using the poppler engine. For some time now, they have the "Investigate better ... text selection" as first bullet point on their TODO list.
    – Marcus
    Feb 7, 2016 at 17:31

I annotate PDFs in I, Librarian. It supports PDF highlighting and comments.


  • It is both open source and also commercial service.
    – Martin
    Jun 21, 2014 at 14:03
  • Please add that information to your answer and include a link to the sources. Thank you.
    – Elder Geek
    Jun 21, 2014 at 14:05

PDF Studio Viewer will add annotations to PDF documents that are compliant with Adobe products. It can add text highlights, markup, text annotations (typewriter, text box, sticky notes) and shape annotations (circle, rectangle, cloud, line, polygons..). You can go back and move or edit annotations after reopening the documents.

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