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DjVu is a web-centric format and software platform for distributing documents and images. DjVu can advantageously replace PDF, PS, TIFF, JPEG, and GIF for distributing scanned documents, digital documents, or high-resolution pictures. DjVu content downloads faster, displays and renders faster, looks nicer on a screen, and consume less client resources than competing formats. DjVu images display instantly and can be smoothly zoomed and panned with no lengthy re-rendering. DjVu is used by hundreds of academic, commercial, governmental, and non-commercial web sites around the world.

DjVuLibre is an open source (GPL'ed) implementation of DjVu, including viewers, browser plugins, decoders, simple encoders, and utilities.

Download the Latest Version

DjVuLibre includes a standalone viewer, a browser plug-in (for Mozilla, Firefox, Konqueror, Netscape, Galeon, and Opera), and command line tools (decoders, encoders, utilities). DjVuLibre works under Unix with X11.

Native plugins for MS Windows and Mac OS X are freely available from LizardTech Inc.. The new portable viewer djview4 is available as a separate package.

Latest Release:
  • version
  • released 2012-05-08.
  • Check out the full download page for previous versions.
Source Packages
Source TAR.GZdjvulibre-
Binary Packages
Fedora/RedhatAvailable from Fedora.
SuseAvailable from OpenSuse.
DebianAvailable from Debian (apt-get!)
UbuntuAvailable from Ubuntu (apt-get!)
SGI Irix 6.5 (mips)djvulibre-3.5.5-irix6.5-mips.tar.gz
Solaris 6 (sparc)djvulibre-3.5.5-solaris6-sparc.tar.gz
Cygwin (x86)djvulibre-3.5.17-1.tar.bz2
OS/2 (x86)Available on Hobbes
Windows (x86)Available on Sourceforge
MacOS (x86,ppc)Available on Sourceforge
Related Projects
DjView4 An improved DjVu viewer for (unix, windows, mac).
JavaDjVu A Java class for viewing DjVu files without plugin.
DjvuDigital A Ghostscript based tool for converting PS or PDF files into DjVu files.
See for more DjVu software.

What is DjVu?

DjVu (pronounced "déjà vu") a set of compression technologies, a file format, and a software platform for the delivery over the Web of digital documents, scanned documents, and high resolution images.

DjVu documents download and display extremely quickly, and look exactly the same on all platforms with no compatibility problems due to fonts, colors, etc. DjVu can be seen as a superior alternative to PDF and PostScript for digital documents, to TIFF (and PDF) for scanned bitonal documents, to JPEG and JPEG2000 for photographs and pictures, and to GIF for large palettized images. DjVu is the only Web format that is practical for distributing high-resolution scanned documents in color. No other format comes close.

Typical DjVu file sizes are as follows:

  • bitonal scanned documents: 5 to 30KB per page at 300dpi (3 to 10 times smaller than PDF or TIFF)
  • color scanned documents: 30 to 100KB per page at 300dpi (5 to 10 times smaller than JPEG).
  • photos: 2 times smaller than JPEG, about the same as JPEG-2000, but the decoder/renderer is progressive and has minimal memory requirements.
  • palettized images: 2 times smaller than GIF (up to 10 times if it's mostly text).
  • digital (non scanned) documents: between 1 and 3 times smaller than PDF or gzipped PS (depending on the amount of pictures), but rendering, page flipping, zooming, panning are incomparably faster, and the image quality on screen desplays is much better (antialiased text, etc).
More importantly, all DjVu images render very quickly and can be smoothly zoomed and panned. Pages of a document can be turned instantly, with no annoying delay.

DjVu is used by hundreds of academic, commercial, governmental, and non-commercial web sites around the world to distribute scanned documents, digital documents, and high-resolution photos.

A short technical description of DjVu is available here.

Demos, and general information about DjVu can be found at, or at

DjVu was originally developped at AT&T Labs-Research. In March 2000, AT&T sold DjVu to LizardTech Inc. who now distributes Windows/CE/Mac plug-ins, and commercial encoders.

DjVuLibre is an open source implementation of DjVu. See the credits/history page for more details.

What's inside DjVu?

A short technical description of DjVu is available here. In short, DjVu is a multipage document format that can use a number of different coder/decoders (codecs) to compress the individual chunks that compose an images or a page. In fact, DjVu is really four compression techniques wrapped into one format:

  • DjVuPhoto (aka IW44): A progressive, wavelet-based lossy compression format for continuous-tone images (i.e. photos and pictures).
  • DjVuBitonal (aka JB2): A lossless or lossy compression technique for bitonal (black & white) or palettized images that is particularly effective on images with repeated shapes (such as documents images where the same character appears many times in the document).
  • DjVuDocument: A technique for scanned color document that separates images into a foreground layer that contains the text and line drawings, and a background layer that contains the pictures and background textures. The foreground is encoded with DjVuBitonal and the Background with DjVuPhoto.
  • BZZ: A general-purpose data compression technique similar to bzip2. Bzz is used to compress searchable text layers and other metadata in DjVu documents.
DjVu can be seen as nicely complementing PNG and MNG (which, unlike DjVu are lossless formats) in the areas of document image compression and lossy photo compression. DjVuPhoto is a bit older, but similar in spirit to JPEG-2000. It is on a par with JPEG-2000 in terms of image quality and file size, but it compares favorably in terms of rendering time and memory requirements. DjVuBitonal is better than MMR/GroupIV (used by PDF, TIFF, and most fax machines) by about a factor of 3 to 10. It is also better than the emerging standard JBIG2 by about 20%.

What is DjVuLibre?

In an effort to promote DjVu as a Web standard, LizardTech's management was enlightened enough to release the reference implementation of DjVu under the GNU GPL in October 2000. DjVuLibre (pronounced like the French "déjà vu libre", which means free DjVu), is an enhanced version of that code maintained by the original inventors of DjVu. It is compatible with version 3.5 of LizardTech's DjVu software suite.

DjVuLibre includes:

Windows and Mac versions of the viewer/plug-in, free Windows compressors, and high-end commercial compressors and OCR engines are available from LizardTech Inc.. The compressors provided here are slower, produce larger files (sometimes with lower image quality) than the commercial compressors, but they do the job.

For those who like quick solutions without having to install software, a variety of free web-based conversion services are also available, including Any2DjVu and Bib2Web.

DjVu Libre