In Ubuntu 10.04 Evince does not display comments in an annotated PDF file. Or at least that is what my experience is when I was trying to view them. I searched for information about it and I found some people who complained about this feature missing.

I am wondering if anyone has suggestions for a good PDF viewer that run in gnome and displays comments in an annotated PDF file. I don't care about being to annotate the file myself right now, I just want to be able to view comments made by someone else.

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    Thanks, I guess I was hoping that there was a good open source app, but Adobe Reader works okay, and is also available with apt-get. – Gabriel Southern Dec 9 '11 at 7:01

Well it seems Adobe has turned its back on the Linux community so I have to update this answer. I suppose you have moved to the latest Ubuntu or at least one that can use the more capable open source applications below.

Viewers With Annotation Viewing Capabilities

Open source viewers


A KDE based application, runs ok and looks ok in Gnome, one of the best open source applications that can both view and create annotations, note that this application can do standard and non standard annotations. You can create annotations that can be viewed by all viewers that support the pdf standard for annotations.

you can create annotations that does not interfere with the document, you will need to use Okular to view these, these can then be converted to standard annotations if you need to.


The default viewer on Ubuntu and most Gnome based desktops, the latest now have a somewhat limited support for standard pdf annotation viewing.

Proprietary Solutions

PDF Studio Pro

A very good fully capable PDF viewer and editor, from Qoppa Software, there are trial versions available for standard and pro, the pro verson has most of the features of Expensive tools from Adobe.

Some notable features of the pro version
  • Redaction, block out parts of documents you do not want people to see.
  • OCR, Make scanned pdf searchable
  • Digital Signature, sign documents adding image of signature.
  • Create and fill forms
  • Measure Tool, measure using scale factors, CAD type dimensioning.

Kami (Formerly Notable PDF)

Kami is a browser based solution, can view standard annotations, can create non standard annotations, this works with Google Chrome browser, you can save annotated PDFs on Google Drive read PDF documents from web pages,and download to desktop or save to Google Drive this can replace Chrome's default PDF viewer, there are free, premium and Work versions available the premium version is $15.00 a year and the work version is $50.00 a year.

Some work features
  • Ocr, create searchable pdf.
  • Unlimited e-Signature
  • Unlimited Files to Split
  • Unlimited Files to Merge
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    Adobe Does not seem to support Linux anymore (The OSs proposed by your link are only Windows, MacOS and Android). As of this writing, the last version available is 2 years old (2013). The only remaining alternative are currently open source – Frédéric Grosshans Sep 21 '15 at 9:54

To view comments in PDF files under linux you may consider using current version of Firefox. Just drag PDF file into browser window or put absolute path to given file in the location bar (ie. /home/username/Documents/file.pdf) and hit Enter.

If you are using older version of Firefox it's possible that this feature is disabled by default (since it sometimes caused problems; howtogeek.com has an article that describes how to enable it). You may also install it as addon from:



As much as I had experienced, there is no native applications on Ubuntu which could open annotated PDF files "cleanly". I had tried opening with evince, xpdf, xournal, inkscape and no luck.

The good news is, I found a "dirty" way to view the annotation text by using openoffice. More accurately, the annotated text can be read in openoffice writer.

I had success viewing annotated text in OpenOffice 2.4, so newer version may display better [Unfortunately, I am new to AskUbuntu so I cannot post screenshot here].

Above all, to "cleanly" view annotated text in PDF, you would have to depend on Windows applications (such as Foxit Feader, etc) installed via Wine.

  • I think that you got voted down because Adobe Reader is available as a native application and it does let you view comments. Admittedly it is not an open source application though. – Gabriel Southern Dec 9 '11 at 7:00

Master PDF Editor

Master PDF Editor is another program for editing PDF files in Linux. It enables you to create, edit, view, encrypt, sign and print interactive PDF documents.

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It is a Proprietary Software but can also be used unregistered; further info on https://code-industry.net/free-pdf-editor/

Download on https://code-industry.net/free-pdf-editor/#get the newest deb package and install it or use

wget https://code-industry.net/public/master-pdf-editor-5.1.12_qt5.amd64.deb
sudo apt install ./master-pdf-editor-5.1.12_qt5.amd64.deb

The modern Browser seem to be able to open PDF and show annotations.
I can confirm for Chrome, other poster here pointed it out for Firefox.
You can just move the PDF on it.

And I just found out: Adobe Reader 9 is on my system and works fine (Ubuntu 18.04).

You may have to change AdobeReader.desktop in


Add a %U to the end of Exec= line, so it looks something like this:

Exec=acroread %U

Found it in ubuntuforums

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