I am looking for a free tool (Windows/Linux) which can display a PDF and show the coordinates under the mouse pointer in millimeter (or inch/etc just what the settings are) based on the PDF coordinate system. It would be nice if it comes with a zoom function for extra precision.

Background is that I want to check (pdflatex) placement of objects in the PDF output.

I found this StackOverflow thread however the answers are not free tools (Illustrator) or pixel based solutions (GIMP), etc.

  • Would you accept a grid overlay on your image made with ghostscript?
    – joojaa
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 6:19
  • Yes how to do it? So PDF in, add vertical/horizontal lines on specific locations (in mm) and output PDF so I can check objects are within the lines. How to do this? I don't want a full grid because if want to check on mm I need to grid every mm and then I get too much lines..
    – robert
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 6:28
  • I am interpretting this as no then. Have you read this. many pdf viewers have a protractor tool that can achieve much the same.
    – joojaa
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 7:14

2 Answers 2


Since version 3.0 you can do that with Sumatra PDF.

Just tested it. Works great. Changelog said:

added a document measurement UI. Press 'm' to start. Keep pressing 'm' to change measurement units

You'll find the UI appearing in a box on the top left. Units are mm, in, pt.

Have fun meassuring.


Adobe Acrobat does this.....

enter image description here

And Acrobat also has a Loupe Tool....

enter image description here

And you can use both at the same time....

enter image description here

Screen shots from Acrobat Pro X, but I can't imagine they've removed these features from newer versions (I just don't like the newer versions).

Acrobat isn't free.. and I don't know if Reader has these features. But you did tag the question with Acrobat, not Reader.

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