What is a DJVU File? and How to Open Same?


Diverse file formats have evolved for diverse demands and preferences in digital documents. DJVU files, albeit less widespread than PDFs and Word documents, have their own benefits and uses. In this detailed post, we’ll discuss what is a DJVU file, files’ history, features, how to read and convert them, and their usefulness in the digital age.

Understanding What is DJVU Files?

DJVU is a computer file format for storing scanned documents, especially those including text, line drawings, and photographs. “DJVU” comes from “déjà vu,” French for “already seen.” The format’s name reflects its purpose of compressing and storing scanned contents efficiently to make them more manageable. In 1996, AT&T Labs launched the first DJVU format. It was intended to improve the efficiency of scanned papers, which have enormous file sizes owing to their complex graphics and content.

What are the Key Features of DJVU Files?

DJVU files have various advantages feature over other document formats:


A highlight of DJVU is its efficient compression mechanism. Despite retaining picture quality, it may drastically decrease scanned document file sizes. This compression uses picture stacking and background masking.

Layered Structure

DJVU files are layered like PNG. Layering permits selective content rendering. Users may show text or photos independently as needed.

Text Extraction

DJVU files are designed to enable easy text extraction. This is especially useful for documents that need to be searched or indexed.

Support for Mixed Content

DJVU is well-suited for documents that contain a mix of items such as text, line drawings, and images. It can efficiently handle these diverse content types.

Open Format

DJVU is an open format, which means it’s not tied to proprietary software or licensing fees. This openness has contributed to its adoption in various applications.

How to Open DJVU Files?

Opening a DJVU file is straightforward if you have the right software. Several programs and online tools are available for this purpose. Here are some options:

Sumatra PDF

Sumatra PDF is a lightweight and open-source PDF, eBook, and comic book reader that also supports DJVU files. You can download and install Sumatra PDF on your computer, and it will allow you to view DJVU files with ease.


DocsPal converts and views DJVU files online. Upload your DJVU file to DocsPal to see it. DocsPal also converts DJVU to PDF, EPUB, and MOBI.

DjVu Viewer

Different Windows and Mac DJVU viewers are available. These readers give the greatest DJVU file handling experience with text selection and document search.

Converting DJVU Files

DJVU files are efficient for storage and reading, but you may need to convert them to PDF for compatibility. Many software make DJVU file conversion straightforward.

Online Converters

Many internet applications can convert DJVU files to PDF or other formats. DjVu to PDF Converter is a free web utility. Upload your DJVU file to create a PDF.

Desktop Software

Desktop software may be useful if you routinely convert DJVU files. Popular eBook management application Calibre can convert DJVU to various formats.

Printer Drivers

Virtual printer drivers like PDF printers can “print” DJVU files to PDFs. Save a DJVU document as a PDF on your PC using this procedure.

What are the Use Cases of DJVU Files?

After explaining DJVU files and how to read or convert them, let’s look at some of their strengths:

Archiving Scanned Documents

DJVU files are great for storing scanned documents. Their clever compression keeps these papers small while keeping high-quality graphics and content. This makes them ideal for digitizing libraries, archives, and historical documents.

eBooks and eReaders

DJVU files can create eReader-compatible eBooks. The layered nature of DJVU files permits selective rendering, making them ideal for complicated eBook layouts.

Technical Manuals and Documentation

DJVU files are useful for producing and disseminating technical documentation including text, diagrams, and photographs. Searching these papers is easier with their text extraction.

Comic Books and Graphic Novels

Image and text compatibility makes DJVU perfect for comics and graphic novels. High-quality images and text may be read without sacrificing file size.

DJVU vs. Other Formats

Let’s compare DJVU to other common document formats to understand it:


The DJVU compresses better than PDF on average. DJVU files are smaller, making them better for storing and distributing scanned documents.

Layered Structure

PDF and DJVU allow layered structures, however DJVU is more efficient. Complex document rendering is quicker and smoother.

Extracting Text

Text extraction is possible in both formats, although DJVU is better for scanned documents.


PDF is owned by Adobe, therefore licensing and compatibility concerns may arise. DJVU is open.

While DJVU is open, PDF is controlled by Adobe, which may cause license and compatibility concerns.



DJVU beats TIFF. Most TIFF files are too huge to store and distribute scanned materials.

Layered Structure

While TIFF lacks selective rendering, DJVU’s layered structure is more flexible and economical.


TIFF is mostly an image format without text extraction. DJVU, however, is built for text extraction.


DJVU is better for scanned documents than TIFF because to its compression and text extraction.


The DJVU file format is optimized for storing and displaying scanned documents comprising text, line drawings, and photographs. Powerful compression, a layered structure, and text extraction make it useful for storing historical records, producing eBooks, and managing technical instructions. Although DJVU is less popular than PDF, it nevertheless has a place in a digital world with several document formats.

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