A Minimalist but Powerful PDF Reader: Xodo

Xodo comes with every tool and feature I need:

  • Annotation tools (pen, underline, highlight, comments), that work great with the Surface Pen,
  • Basic page editing: reorder, delete or add pages to a PDF. No heavy editing tools, though. If you need to edit the content of a page, or use an OCR on it, it can’t,
  • It has a Modern UI,
  • It fully respects Windows 10’s dark theme,
  • It’s lightweight and fast,
  • It can be used in a true full screen mode,
  • It’s totally free: no ads, no in-app purchases, nada!

Just get if from the Microsoft Store.

One thing that has always bothered me though, is the screen real estate wasted by tabs and the menu bar. But there is something, I’ve just discovered: you can hide it!

Side by side Xodo with and without its UISo more space available for content, and a cleaner UI. What’s not to like?

To obtain that, click the “…” menu in the top right corner. Select Unpin Command Bar and you’re done.

Of course, the Pen will still be automatically recognized when you start writing or drawing on a PDF, no need to use the toolbar. And the most common annotation tools are accessible trhough the contextual menu:

Close up on the pop up menu containing the annotation toolsThe whole gang of them remaining accessible through its dedicated toolbar:

Close up of the Annotation toolbar, listing all available tools You can also right-click or tap anywhere on the PDF to have the main menu bar and tabs pop back up.

All of Xodo’s display options:

Close up of the Display menu: single or double page, Cover or reflow, Vertical scrolling, Color Mode, thumbanisl or Full Screen

Here, the same PDF displayed in full screen, with two pages side by side:

DecorativeOh, I almost forgot the icing on the cake:

A close up view using Night Mode (text being light grey of ver very dark background) and showing the annotation tools over a text selection.

Xodo also sports a Night Mode! Cool, right?

Even if Xodo doesn’t come with advanced editing tools if like me you’re only looking for basic but well-thought tools, it’s far better than most paid alternatives. And because the app is free, it really is the best bargain money can buy 😉

2 thoughts on “A Minimalist but Powerful PDF Reader: Xodo”

  1. Really a good tool, I love its eye-friendly night mode, it inverted the color of the images because most of them are backgrounded as white, thought it cause some readability issues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *