Annotate your PDF files on OpenBSD

       176 words, 1 minutes

On my journey to leave macOS, I regularly look to mimic some of the features I use. Namely, annotating (or signing) PDF files is a really simple task using Preview. I couldn’t do it on OpenBSD using Zathura, Xpdf etc. But there is a software in the ports that can achieve this: Xournal.

Xournal is “an application for notetaking, sketching, keeping a journal using a stylus ”. And now that my touchscreen is calibrated, highlighting can even be done with the fingers :)

To install the software, simply use the package manager:

# pkg_add xournal

Open the PDF document and start annotating it. The highlighter can spotlight text zones. The text tool allows adding text with your preferred font settings. The pen allows drawing on the PDF ; or sign it if that’s your goal.

Once finished, the job can be saved as a Xournal file (.xoj) or exported to a read-only PDF. Note that I had to use the “Legacy PDF Export” option to get a proper PDF that Zathura could display.

And that’s all.