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Developer(s) Denis Auroux et al.
Initial release January 2, 2006 (2006-01-02) [1]
Stable release 0.4.5 / 2009-10-02; 3 months ago[2]
Written in C
Operating system Linux, Unix-like
Type Note-taking application
License GPL v2

Xournal is a notetaking application similar to Windows Journal, Jarnal and Gournal, written for Linux.

Xournal was designed to be a better-performing program than Jarnal. However, unlike the Java-based alternative, Xournal has no collaboration facilities and is not binary portable to other platforms. Being a native program it runs considerably faster and also has support for the high subpixel resolution provided by the XInput system of X11, and by most Graphics Tablets and Tablet PC displays. It can also be used on platforms without Java support, such as the Maemo 4 (OS2008) platform running on the Nokia N800 and Nokia N810 Internet Tablets[3] and the Maemo 5 platform running on the Nokia N900 smartphone[4].

Xournal saves in an XML-based format (similar to SVG) which is then compressed with gzip. The Xournal todo list currently lists support for the Jarnal file format under its objectives. Being an existing open format based on compressed SVGs, this move would allow users to easily export their notes into external editors such as GIMP, Inkscape and Adobe Photoshop.

Unlike Windows Journal, Xournal lacks the capability to automatically perform OCR on handwritten text, thus precluding the existence of features such as searching a handwritten document for text.


PDF annotation

Xournal supports annotation of PDF files through the Poppler library; PDF files, much like paper styles, are loaded as an immutable background image.


  • A "Pen" with optional sensitivity to pressure data from the tablet driver, operating at five different preset thickness levels
  • "Eraser" which can either delete everything in its radius of operation (potentially breaking strokes up), act as a white pen ("whiteout") mode or delete the whole length of any continuous stroke in the affected area
  • "Highlighter", which acts as a semitransparent pen
  • Text tool, allowing insertion of basic blocks of character-based text
  • Shape recognizer, which can be enabled alongside with the pen to automatically detect circles, lines and polygons when they are drawn and replace them with a clean version

Additionally, strokes and blocks of text can be selected, moved and copied using a rectangular selection tool.

External links


  1. ^ "Xournal user manual". Retrieved 2009-10-29.  
  2. ^ "Xournal website". Retrieved 2009-10-29.  
  3. ^ "Xournal for OS2008".  
  4. ^ "Xournal for Maemo 5".  


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