Bug 394620 - Annotations don't work in other PDF readers.
Summary: Annotations don't work in other PDF readers.
Status: RESOLVED DUPLICATE of bug 383651
Alias: None
Product: okular
Classification: Applications
Component: PDF backend (show other bugs)
Version: unspecified
Platform: Other Linux
: NOR normal
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: Okular developers
Depends on:
Reported: 2018-05-23 15:53 UTC by Kevin Burton
Modified: 2022-07-23 10:59 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

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Description Kevin Burton 2018-05-23 15:53:05 UTC
Annotations are not working in other PDF readers.

There seems to have been a bug open for this before.


And changed to 'invalid' .  I strongly disagree with the resolution in this bug.

Here are the steps to reproduce:

1. start with a fresh PDF
2. add annotations (highlights, notes, etc).
3. save the PDF
4. re-open the PDF in Okular to show that they are still present.
5. open the PDF in various other readers.  About half of them fail. 

The important ones seem to fail too. Note that they work with all the other apps. I can use Preview (the mac OS PDF viewer), Adobe Acrobat, PDF.js, Foxit Reader, etc all interchangeably and the annotations work.  

Okular is the one that exhibits this behavior consistently.

Here's Okular showing three annotations:


(sorry it's a little small)

Here is Foxit Reader (only two shown):


Here is the output from PDF.js (no annotations visible)


If you don't have 3rd party PDF software installed you can easily use PDF.js to verify:


I think the argument here is that 'appearance streams' in PDF are optional as part of the spec.

However, what's happening is that this is the dejure vs defacto specs.

The annotations are pointless if the user can't see them.

One of these, the 'note' annotations, is completely invisible. I can't see it so I can't click on it to read the note.  

I agree with you that by dejure standards the appearance streams are optional.  However, by defacto standards they are *not* because all other PDF editors are using appearance streams.  

Invisible appearance streams might be good for machine readable annotations but not for humans.  I have no idea where on the page to click for my annotations.
Comment 1 Kevin Burton 2018-05-23 16:03:21 UTC
There's an OLD bug for poppler to provide these as default.  But it looks like the bug was never fixed.

I guess the solution is to pressure poppler?

Comment 2 Nate Graham 2018-05-23 16:46:52 UTC

*** This bug has been marked as a duplicate of bug 383651 ***