Zathura - A lightweight Vi-like document reader

February 14, 2019

Zathura is a lightweight Vi-like document reader with a minimal user interface. It supports different file formats via plugins. Support is currently available for PDF (via poppler and MuPDF), PostScript, DjVu and EPUB.

It supports most features you expect from a document reader like fitting documents to the width (s) and height (a), searching (/), hinting links (f), inverting colours aka “recolor” (Ctrl+r), view pages side-by-side (d) and more.

And as you might expect, since it’s a Vi-like application you use keys like j, k, Ctrl+f, Ctrl+b, and G for navigation and + and - for zooming in and out, and so on.

There’s a fair amount of features and settings for it. I suggest you look it up using the manual pages; $ man zathura.

And this is my fairly light config with a few changes:

$ cat ~/.config/zathura/zathurarc

# Font
set font "xos4terminus 22"

# Automatically adjust the document to full width
set adjust-open width

# Set the title to the filename
set window-title-basename true

# Larger scoll steps with j/k
set scroll-step 50

# Adjusting the document
map [normal] E adjust_window best-fit
map [fullscreen] E adjust_window best-fit
map [normal] e adjust_window width
map [fullscreen] e adjust_window width

# Toggling the inverted colours
map <C-i> recolor

I’m not sure why, but I have to use the font size 22 to get the size 12 in the bar. Unfortunately I get the actual font size 22 in a few other places like when I’m using hints. :/ Please let me know if you know how to solve it!


Zathura and the plugins should be available in most official repositories. They’re at least available for Gentoo Linux, Arch Linux and Debian[1] with the same names:

zathura-cb Comicbook support
zathura-djvu DjVu support
zathura-pdf-mupdf EPUB, PDF and XPS support based on MuPDF[1]
zathura-pdf-poppler PDF support based on Poppler
zathura-ps PostScript support
  1. It looks like Debian is not interested (?) in supporting the plugin for MuPDF. There’s a ticket here from 2013 if you want to check it out.


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