The 5 Best Open Source PDF Readers That Are Free In 2023


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A PDF reader is a software that lets you open and read PDF files. It may also be called a PDF browser. Some PDF readers may let you add notes or make simple PDF changes. Anyone who works with PDF files would probably want an open-source PDF reader. Open-source software remains free, and there are never any annoying ads.

So, this post is here to give you a few options. You don't have to spend more time trying or studying a lot of PDF reader apps. Look over the 5 PDF apps that are easy to use and have open-source code. You will learn about these open-source PDF players' design, features, and more.

Sumatra PDF

Sumatra PDF is a good open-source PDF player because it loads files quickly. This software is a great choice if you don't need to make any changes to PDF files. It lets you open multiple PDF files in different tabs in the same window. You can show favorites and comments to make it easy to move around.

There are different ways to read, such as Single Page, Facing, Presentation, Fullscreen, and more. This PDF player is free and works on Windows. The program has a unique feature that lets you look for and find a certain word in a PDF. It also has simple tools for marking PDFs, highlighting or crossing out text, and adding notes, text, stamps, etc.

The open-source PDF reader makes it easy to change the notes you added later. The free reader app can also read other documents, like eBooks in EPUB and MOBI format, XPS files, and pictures. It shows the last things you opened on the home screen.


Okular is an open-source PDF player that can be used on Windows and Linux. The reading app puts all its tools for making notes in an easy-to-use layout. It has a picture panel, a panel for favorites, and a panel for making notes to make reading easier. If you don't require reading the whole page in a PDF, you can trim the borders or the pages to the chosen area.

The ability to digitally sign is a good thing about the free open-source PDF reader. A lot of other PDF apps don't have this ability. The program lets you read more than just PDF files. You can also read EPub books, pictures, Markdown files, and other file types. It can turn PDF files into plain text files in TXT format.


Inkscape is a free, open-source, cross-platform PDF reader that is one of the best. You can download the open-source PDF reader for free on Windows, Mac, and Linux. The finest thing about it is that you can change PDFs. Almost no other open-source software can change the text in a PDF, but this one can.

Also, it lets you type text and draw lines and shapes on PDFs as you like. You can also add and remove pictures and links from your PDF file. Inkscape is a free program to read, write, and change PDF files. It can also split files, make PDFs, and do much more.

One thing to maintain in mind is that you can only change one PDF page at a time with this app. You must open each PDF page in a different window to change more pages. Inkscape is good software for making and changing vector images.


Check out XpdfReader if you want the best free, open-source PDF player. This PDF reader and tool are small and quick and can be used on Linux, Windows, and Mac computers. It has panels on the left that let you immediately see stacked text and notes in a PDF. To open and read a PDF file, go to "File" and choose "Open." Then, pick the PDF file you want to open in the reader program and choose how you want to read it.

The best part of XpdfReader is its set of tools called Xpdf Tools. You can get Xpdf Tools from the open-source PDF reader site to do more complicated things. Users can change PDFs to pictures or text, remove photos, and do much more with these command-line tools.

Evince Document Viewer

Evince Document Viewer is an open-source PDF reader with a marker, just like most other PDF apps. It lets you look for text in a PDF file, highlight it, and add notes to the text. You can widen the thumbnail panel on the left side of the software to make it easier to move from page to page.

The Linux-based open-source PDF reader app lets you view PDF pages side by side or as a slide show. Evince can show you a single-page or multi-page PDF file to read. The app for reading is a general document reader made just for Gnome users. It works with documents like PDF, Postscript, djvu, Tiff, XPS, and comic books.

The Best Alternatives to Open Source PDF Reader

With the open-source PDF readers and users listed above, you don't need to pay for software to read and change PDF files. A PDF player is built into browsers like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge. But if you want to change PDFs more or need to, you may want a real PDF viewer.

Especially for people who want something other than Adobe Acrobat. You can do almost everything Adobe Acrobat can do with a PDF tool like PDF. It's safe to say that no open-source software can work as well or better than paid software.

But you can expect an application that will save you money. PDF is the best option for an open-source PDF player because it lets you change PDFs, convert them, organize pages, use a strong OCR, and do other things. It's cheap enough for a single person and comes with a free PDF player. Check out its best parts below:

Text, pictures, and other items in a PDF can be added, deleted, and changed.

Make PDF files and turn them into Word, Excel, TXT, pictures, and other forms, as well as the other way around.

You can write on PDFs and erase parts of them.

PDF files can be joined, split, compressed, read out loud, and translated.

Insert, remove, change, separate, and rotate PDF pages.

PDFs can have a label added or taken off.


Inkscape is the only one of the five open-source PDF readers that can also be used as a free PDF designer. It can make a PDF that can be edited. Okular is the best open-source PDF reader with a more current design and can be downloaded for free. The tasks of open-source apps are limited.