The ultimate guide to free DjVu Readers for different operating systems
If you just came across a DjVu file and want to open it you might simply use our handsome PDF converter. However, file conversion always comes along with quality-losses, unless you are willing to put up with larger output files than the original document. Since DjVu documents perform pretty similar to PDFs and even are searchable in many cases (which is often forgotten) it might be a good choice to stick with the original document choosing an adequate reader to open your DjVu.
DjVu is a digital document format mainly images and other scanned files with support for an advanced compression technology and incredible performance. Its loosy compression features ensure storage of high-quality and readable images in a modest space offering distribution channel for the internet. DjVu’s open standard and its promotion as an alternative to the popular PDF considering its offering of a lot smaller file size compared to PDF results in the rising adoption of DjVu among users and organisations such as Wikipedia and Internet Archive. Like PDF, DjVu also supports OCR text layers which allow copying, pasting and text searching operations on documents. These superior features of DjVu lead to the development of a series of viewers and Readers for DjVu for different operating systems. The most popular of these viewers are:
The best free DjVu Readers
Sumatra Reader (with DjVu support)
The Sumatra Reader is one of the less known DjVu readers which are available for Windows. In comparison to the other alternatives presented here, it not only allows to open and view DjVus but also supports basic operations to manipulate and edit them. These operations for example include annotations to your DjVu files or exporting single pages to other formats. Therefore, it is probably by far the best choice to deal with DjVu under Windows. The main pro for the Sumatra reader is that the installation process is really easy and straight-forward, altough other tools offer more sophisticated features.
DjView is a handsome DjVu reader and browser plugin which is available for free for the operating systems Windows, Linux and Mac. It allows to search DjVu documents and can display outline of the DjVus. The lastest version is version 4. DjView4 offers a standalone viewer for Unix under X11, a browser plugin for most unix browsers, a full set of utility for manipulation and assembling of DjVu images and documents among other cool features. It is based on the free DjVuLibre to decode documents and its main features include a tabbed document interface, text-searching and copying, thumbnails with adjustable size, content hyperlinks and display modes such as Color, Black and White, Foreground or Background as well as support for exporting of particular pages into images (Supported formtas: bmp, png, gif, tif and jpg). Furthermore, it is the only apllication which is maintained by the original inventors of DjVu.
Windows Macintosh Linux
Another useful tool which is offering about the same functionality as DjView. In addition it allows to highlight and copy text with the cursor what makes you feel like dealing with a PDF document. Also the user interface is pretty similar to most PDF readers. As the names already imply the software is available for Windows and MacOs. WinDjView has language support for English and Russian and can be downloaded for free.
Windows & Macintosh
The STDU Viewer is a free (for non-commercial and educational use) and powerful document viewer which also supports DjVu. The software is available in different languages. Like WinDjView, STDU also supports tabbed document interfaces and in addition, STDU also allows users to save and restore sessions and also saving of users’ bookmarks. It also displays thumbnails of pages, and allows to perform color adjustments and change of text settings. STDU is available in English, Russian, French and German. Since it also deals very well with DjVus which are equipped with a textlayer it is useful if you want to export plain text from DjVu and other supported documents.
X Djvu for iPhone and iPad (2.99 $)Yes, you can read DjVu documents with your iPhone! X Djvu is an useful application which enables you to read DjVu documents with an iPhone or iPad offering a lot of different features. The reduced X Djvu Lite version can be downloaded for free for testing.
DjVu Viewer is the fastest DjVu documents renderer for mobile devices running iOS notably the iPhone, Ipad and ipod touch. DjVu viewer is developed and maintained by Cuminas Corporation equiped with the latest DjVu engines completely rewritten for this devices. DjVu is a free app on itunes store and can be downloaded from Mac OS.
Ebookdroid - a Document Reader for Android
You want to read your DjVu documents also on your Smart Phone using Android. No problem! There are also many free document readers available which allow to open DjVus on Android. A good one for example is Ebookdroid which also supports PDF. The installation is very easy via the Google App Store. It is highly customizable and support several other ebook formats such as Portable Document Format (PDF), FictionBook, Comics Book Format, XPS, EPUB, RTF, MOBI and AWZ3. Its customization ability makes it possible to change the applications font. EbookDroid also supports text highlighting, free hand annotations as well as text notes and page notebooks. Ebookdroid is free to download on Google Play Store and can be found at
It was shown that there is a wide variety of DjVu viewers and readers on the market. Which one is the best one for you depends totally on your taste and your personal requirements. If you are using Linux you might simply go for DjView since it comes along with the entire implementation of DjVu, providing you additionally with the ability to manipulated DjVu file. However, the DjVuView package also brings some complexity with it which goes beyond the functionality of simply viewing DjVus.
In case you are a Windows user you can avoid this complexity by simply switching to Sumatra PDF or WinDjVu and MacDjVu respectively. All these tools are very simple to handle and provide all functionality which is necessary to view DjVus.
Also the DjVu readers for mobile devices presented here are a good choice and can be both recommended without a strong preference.