If you have ever spent some time looking for old books on archive.org, you already know that they provide almost all the scanned books in the DJVU file format. This DJVU format is used to store scanned images of documents together at a very high compression. Entire books, magazines and newspapers have been scanned into a single DJVU file. Because of the high compression, these files are usually smaller than their PDF counterparts. And because of the internal file structure, they are also faster to load and read compared to the PDF files created using the same scans.
So everything is great with DJVU files, but how do you view them on Windows? For viewing DJVU files on Windows, we have to install an open-source software called WinDjView. During the installation, it associates itself with the DJVU files. After that all you have to do is double-click on the DJVU file and they will be opened instantly in WinDjView.
The user interface of WinDjView is very similar to any PDF viewer application. The thumbnails of various pages are displayed on the left side so that you can quickly jump to any of these pages. The pages can be viewed in various zoom – fit width, fit height, fit page, view 100% and so on. You can search for text in the file, jump to any page number and switch to the full screen mode.
WinDjView also allows exporting the content of the DJVU files into different other formats. We can pull the “File” menu and export the entire file into a plain text file. We can also right-click on any page and choose to export that page into an image file. We can export it to various image file formats such as JPEG, GIF, BMP or PNG.
Compared to PDF readers, we found WinDjView to be very lightweight and very highly responsive. It took no time in rendering the pages and loading the files. We could open multiple DJVU files in various tabs and switch back and forth very easily.
You can download WinDjView from https://windjview.sourceforge.io/en.