MuPDF is a bundle of PDF tools which includes a simple viewer and an extremely impressive console-based PDF toolkit.

The viewer is lightweight and extremely basic. Launch it, choose your document and it appears in an entirely UI-free window. Browse through it as usual and close the window when you're done.

The program supports a lot of keyboard shortcuts beyond the usual arrow keys, PgUp and PgDn. You can zoom in and out, rotate pages, step 10 pages forward or back at once, go to specific page numbers or bookmarks, run simple searches and more. There's no GUI for this, not even a right-click menu, but if you prefer to use hotkeys it might appeal.

MuPDF also comes with mutool.exe, a command-line utility which options to convert PDF files, clean them up, merge selected pages from multiple documents into one, extract PDF resources, take a low-level look at a PDF's innards (great for checking possibly-malicious documents) and more.

This is all console-based, and takes some experimentation to learn and use. Entering mutool displays your main options, for instance; entering mutool merge gives you more details on the merge command, and so on.

Here's a very simple example.

mutool extract test.pdf 3-5

This extracts all PDF resources - images, fonts etc - from pages 3-5 of the file test.pdf, and saves them to the current folder.

To get just a little more complex, try this.

mutool draw -o p%d.png -r 300 test.pdf

This command takes test.pdf as its input, converts each page to PNG with a resolution of 300dpi, saving the image with the file naming scheme we've described (p1.png, p2.png).

You can probably already guess how to tweak this. Replace 300 with 150 (or whatever) to change the resolution, or maybe replace the PNG with some other supported extension to save your image in that format.

List of changes in MuPDF 1.16

- WebAssembly build target and examples.
- Improved forms API in both C and Java bindings.
- Improved forms JavaScript support.
- Create appearance streams for more form field types.
- Fixed many bugs in ICC color management.
- Fixed many memory leaks in error cleanup.
- Fixed bugs in pdfwrite output.
- Improved text extraction from LaTeX documents with math symbols.
- Improved trace device formatting.
- Support CBZ and CBT files larger than 2Gb.
- Show table of contents for FB2 and XHTML documents.
- Show embedded raster images in SVG and XHTML documents.
- Show FB2 cover page.
- Add option to save PDF files without encryption.
- Add inhibit-spaces option to stext device to turn off missing space detection.
- Simplified fz_try/fz_always/fz_catch macros.


MuPDF includes an extremely versatile console-based toolkit which could replace an entire library of GUI PDF software. The viewer is much more basic, but if you prefer hotkeys to GUI navigation then it might appeal.