How to Open DjVu Files on your PC

How to Open DjVu FilesDjVu is a file format that is primarily used for storing scanned documents. It’s popular thanks to the high level of compression it offers — the same files in PDF format will take up much more space than one in DjVu. It’s not just scanned documents that can be kept in DjVu but plenty of eBooks can also be downloaded in this format. No doubt, the compact size of DjVu files is a huge advantage, however, it’s actually a bit problematic to open DjVu files since only specific programs can do that. Worries aside, we have reviewed how to open DjVu files using various free programs. Take a look and choose your perfect DjVu reader.

1. DjVuLibre DjView – open source cross-platform DjVu reader

Quick review: DjVuLibre is a lightweight reader that only takes up about 27MB of your computer’s space. The file’s pages can be previewed as thumbnails, and there’s an outline tab where you can browse by page numbers and by context. You can search content in the files by text, select and copy text and images, zoom in and out, invert luminance (night mode), and choose from three layout modes of the documents in this DjVu reader.

Step 1. Click the “Open” button to browse for the DjVu file to be opened on your PC in Windows Explorer. Alternatively, you can simply drop the file into this DjVu reader’s window.

DjVuLibre DjView Step 1

Step 2. Your DjVu file is opened in DjVuLibre DjView.

DjVuLibre DjView Step 2

2. AlfaReader – lightweight and fast eBook reader

Quick review:  This DjVu reader is has a 7-days free trial with an option of a paid version. If you need to open multiple eBook formats, AlfaReader is a nice solution. It supports PDF, EPUB, MOBI, FB2, CBZ, CBR, DJVU, TXT, MP3, MB4 formats, has zooming features with automatic bookmarks saving and the intuitive hotkey use. You can also use this DjVu reader as an audiobook player if you wish.

Step 1. Drag and drop your file or multiple files to this reader.

AlfaReader Step 1

Step 2. Enjoy your content in DjVu file format.

AlfaReader Step 2

3. WinDjView – DjVu viewer supporting multiple export formats

Quick review: This free DjVu reader is really tiny in its size – just 3.3MB. For comfortable reading, the program offers zoom in and out options, and customization of the pages’ layout along with their rotation. Users can add bookmarks, select and search for text, export pages as PNG, BMP, GIF, TIFF and JPEG files, and use hotkeys.

Step 1. To open a DjVu file in WinDjView, drag and drop your file into the window of the program, or click the “Open” button to browse for a file using Windows Explorer.

WinDjView: Add DjVu file

Step 2. The file is successfully opened in WinDjView.

WinDjView: Open DjVu file

4. STDU Viewer – advanced DjVu reader

Quick review: STDU DjVu reader is a freeware that supports opening such formats as DjVu, PDF, TIFF, TXT, CBZ, CBR, BMP, JPG, JPEG, GIF, PNG, PSD, EMF, WMF, XPS and TCR. With the compact size of just 4MB, the program offers plenty of advanced features for viewing files: navigation through the content, adding and navigating through bookmarks, searching and highlighting the text, customizing the layout and rotating pages, zooming in and out, and selecting text and images.

Step 1. Press the “Open” button to select a DjVu file to open using Windows Explorer or turn to the drag and drop mechanism.

STDU Viewer: Add DjVu file

Step 2. The DjVu is opened and ready to be read in STDU Viewer.

STDU Viewer: Open DjVu file

5. Okular – multiplatform DjVu reader

Quick review: Okular is a universal reader that opens multiple eBook formats such as ODT, Epub, DjVu, and others. This simple intuitive software has a sidebar with thumbnails of your uploaded files, and annotations or bookmarks to them. Zoom your pages in and out, add bookmarks, use Trim View to trim margins or trim to selection to make your reading process more comfortable.

Step 1. Find “File” in the left upper corner and click your DjVu to open it in Okular.

Okular eBook Reader Step 1

Step 2. Once it’s uploaded, you can read your content in Okular DjVu viewer

Okular eBook Reader Step 2

6. Sumatra PDF – free and well-known DjVu reader

Quick review: Sumatra is a free DjVu viewer that works with the following formats: DjVu, PDF, CBZ, CBR, ePub, Mobi, CHM and XPS. The size of the program is a bit less than 11MB. The program supports using hotkeys, zooming in and out, searching within the opened documents, pages rotation, selecting and copying the files’ parts, and adding pages to Favorites. Some layout settings are available as well.

Step 1. To open the DjVu file with Sumatra PDF, click the “Open a document…” button to browse for the file on your PC in Windows Explorer. The use of the drag and drop mechanism is available, too.

Sumatra PDF: Add DjVu file

Step 2. The DjVu file is opened and is ready to be read.

Sumatra PDF: Open DjVu file

7. Evince – cross-platform DjVu reader

Quick review: This free cross-platform DjVu file reader supports DjVu, PDF, TIFF, DVI, and PostScript documents but takes almost 76MB of your computer space. It supports pages rotation, inverted colors mode (night mode), zooming in and out, and navigation by page numbers. Full screen and presentation modes are also available.

Step 1.  Click the “File” button to open the File menu options of the program.

Evince: Open file menu

Step 2. Press the “Open…” button to open the DjVu file by selecting it with the help of Windows Explorer. You can also drag and drop the file to the DjVu reader’s window.

Evince: Add DjVu file

Step 3. The DjVu file is successfully opened in Evince.

Evince: Open DjVu file

Now you know several easy ways of how to open DjVu files. The only remaining thing left is to simply select the best DjVu reader for your needs. If you’re a fan of eBooks in general and you also have ePub files, take a look at our review of the best ePub readers for Windows.

One thought on “How to Open DjVu Files on your PC

  1. Hi. Thank you for this comprehensive discussion of DjVu readers. Actually, DjVuLibre itself is not a reader, but a suite of utilities for making, modifying, and viewing DjVu files. The suite includes the reader created by the original developers, called DjView4, which is the first reader in your article. The 27 MB is for the whole suite.
    In my experience, which includes adding annotations to a DjVu file using command lines in DjVuLibre, the only viewer to accurately show the annotations is this original DjVu viewer, DjView4. Most of the other viewers either do not display the annotations, or get some of them wrong.
    One reason the other viewers are not seen as a problem is that most DjVu files do not contain annotations. As stated, annotations have to be added separately and have to be accurately positioned, often with appropriate coordinates.
    It is really amazing how little the DjVu format is used, considering it actually was the preferred format to showcase on DVDs the archived pages of three well-known publications: The Rolling Stone Magazine, Playboy, and The New Yorker Magazine.
    FoxIt Technologies, a company involved with PDFs, apparently purchased the rights to use DjVu-based compression techniques to make small file size PDFs.
    There is a project involving minidjvu-mod that is being used to generate DjVus whose file sizes are up to 10 times smaller than previous versions of DjVus, thanks to making the encoder search more deeply within pages to find similar characters that were not previously accessible. These newly accessible characters allow for further compression.
    DjVu also offers about a 50% better compression of images than standard JPGs do. So for instance given the same source image file, a derived JPG at 800 KB would be the equivalent of the corresponding DjVu file at 400 KB. There is a program called MiniDjVu Plus that can create a photo album of DjVu images from a folder of images.
    This is not to say that DjVu needs to replace PDF, but it is a format that still has interesting possibilities. Its OCR layer is remarkably customizable, and because the DjVu text pages represent bitmap images rather than movable type, there really is no DjVu editor available along the lines of a PDF-style editor. So this makes DjVu a potentially more secure format, especially for archival storage. And it is cross-platform.
    Thanks again for your well-written article.

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