Sumatra PDF is a PDF, ePub, MOBI, CHM, XPS, DjVu, CBZ, CBR reader for Windows

Cannot see comments added from Adobe Reader

Hi all,

before going into my issue I would like to express my gratitude for having such a light, portable and easy to use tool for free.

This is the first issue I encounter while using it -I usually view PDF outputs from Affinity Publisher, which is my publishing software of choice. However a person on my team recently used Adobe Reader to annotate/comment said PDF, and I can’t actually view these comments, I can only see the little textbox icon. From there I can copy the comment text (from the context menu on RMB), so it’s not all lost. Still it could be more user friendly and display the comment directly on top of the document, or on the side.
Since I’m not sure whether that’s just not implemented or a bug, I refrained from using the bug report form for now. Here is a screen capture. I can give the PDF in question to someone who can investigate (I’d rather not make it public).

I am using 3.2 64bit on Windows 10.

Thank you !


edit I tried in PDF-XChange Editor and comments display fine, although I have to double-click on the icon to display them in full

SumatraPDF does not open a secondary full comments window like Acrobat / eXchange or some other viewers. But like Edge or eXchange the comment is shown in the tooltip when you hover. However there was a bug in version 3.2 where that was not working, so I suspect you would be better off using a pre-release (where you can add your own comments)

Earlier versions had a 5 second default but latest versions that should now be the maximum 32 seconds (enough to read a short comment as they were intended) For a comment containing a novel, as you point out you can right click and copy

Thanks for the info, probably the same bug. Are pre-releases stable enough ? I don’t want to risk compromising a file.

I’m not sure what you mean by 5s, 32s. Is that the time during which the comment is displayed ? Why a timer at all ? unless I misunderstood what this is about.


Pre-release can on occasion have fresh issues but normally resolve more than they introduce. Usually only the experimental features are the ones that could affect existing file, using normal reading features should be safe enough. Personally I also use 3.1.2 for some tasks as it is still the MOST stable current build.

Pre-release versions have additional experimental features, like editing comments, that can trip you up if you don’t watch out for known or fresh problems, so always best to backup a file before file saving or editing / e.g. changing comment colors in pre-release.

The display timer is a limiting feature of using MS Windows tooltips for display of comment contents. To avoid the timer would require a complete rewrite or alternative to that simplest of display methods.

I understand. This seems like an absurd limitation. Maybe a dedicated space for displaying comments such as a sidebar would work better. Anyway, I will use the previous release for the time being, or another software if I really need to display & edit comments. Thanks for your help !