Bookmarks for Evince

Ideas by Johannes Buchner for an implementation

Note: When I write PDF, I usually mean all file formats by evince.

Note: A position in a pdf can mean the page or scrolling position (e.g. %), whatever seems good to implement

Note: The icon for bookmarking used here is just a placeholder.

You might also be interested in the mailing list thread: Comments go there please!

Use Cases


I want to mix history and bookmarks use cases together. Talking about some weird back/forward button issues. People jumping around by using links and recording that into a history (breadcrumbs). What do people without links/indexed pdfs do? or ps documents? When do you register a jump-point beside link-clicking? is also related to the back/forward buttons. It is only remotely related to this. Bryan says he doesn't want bookmarks standalone. As annotations they would be ok.

The main focus of the discussions seem to be in-document navigation of PDFs with links (e.g. jumping from TOC to page 431 and possibilities of getting back (and forward too) ). This is what I would call breadcrumbs (e.g. dokuwiki collects a trace where you were). It is noted in the discussion that navigation is not comparable to web browsers or file browsers.

For collecting your favorite (or most often used) pdfs, Paperbox was suggested.


I want to provide bookmarks for within files (the page) and bookmarks for another file and a page in there. I will refer to them as local and global bookmarks.

Global bookmark

  • Always visible.
  • Refers to a certain pdf and a certain position.
  • Should be stored in gconf

Local bookmark

  • Visible when the document is open
  • Refer to certain position in the pdf. Which pdf this concerns is stored or linked.
  • Can be made a global bookmark.
  1. One could either store this in gconf too (with a boolean "local")
  2. or make it a annotation in the PDF file.

UI Representation

Previous work

One mockup by clarkbw can be found here: It is unclear if such user-interface elements can be made.

This bug attachment has a jump menu next within the document frame.


Here are a view variants of my idea for presentation:

Variant A (Start)


  • A bookmarking button is added (like browsers have).
  • Only if there are bookmarks, a bookmark toolbar is presented.
  • The toolbar shows global bookmarks (bold) and local bookmarks. (not visible in screenshot)

Each button has the following as right-click-menu:


Variant B

  • The local bookmarks are in the document frame.
  • Global bookmarks stay on top, in the bookmarks bar

Variant C

  • A bookmark button in the main toolbar is not needed here.
  • The global bookmarks have a bar.
  • The local bookmarks have a bar in the document frame.
  • both bars have a add-button
  • Bookmarks don't need a context menu here, the could be removed with a shift-click or so.

Bookmarks in Sidebar

In IRC, we talked about not adding a toolbar and putting the list in the sidebar instead.

Optionally, the Go menu could be filled with the global bookmarks:


Right-clicking on the page should supply a bookmark-option.


Apps/Evince/Bookmarks (last edited 2013-08-08 22:52:24 by WilliamJonMcCann)