[DjVu Zone]
  DjVu Zone
  What's New
  What is DjVu
  Digital Libraries
  DjVu on the Web
  DjVu Companies
  Technical Papers
  Search DjVu Zone
[Get the Plug-in]
[get the plug-in]

-Product Photos
-Scientific Preprints
-Scientific Articles
-History of Science
-University Libraries
Art, Literature, Special Collections, Libraries
-Ancient Manuscripts and Prints
-Art and Paintings
-Photographic Collections
-Historical Manuscripts, Biographical Archives
-Genealogical Records
-Ancient Maps, Land Registries
-Corporate Reports
-Financial Records
-Other Corporate Applications
-Land Registry
-Legal Records

There are countless potential or actual applications of DjVu. This page lists a few of them.


For a small business, building a website with a full online catalog can be excruciatingly complicated, and exceedingly expensive. DjVu is the solution: if the catalog is available on paper, it can be put on the web with almost no effort. Here are a few examples: the Sharper Image catalog, the Hobby Lobby catalog for model airplane enthusiasts, and the Franklin Electronics catalog.


DjVu is used by several content providers to deliver books electronically. DjVu is the only game in town for scanned books (from paper or from microfilms). Even if the book is available in digital form, DjVu is the best format for screen display. File sizes compare favorably with PDF, particularly if the pages contain a significant amount of colors, pictures, formulae, drawings, and other non-textual objects (as in college textbooks for instance). Web designers will appreciate the compactness and autoinstall feature of the plug-in, as well as its total integration with the Web's navigation paradigm. A lovely example of an Ebook using DjVu is Wisconsin Sea Grant's online edition of the 1,053 page Fishes of Wisconsin by George C. Becker. The entire text has undergone OCR and is searchable using the DjVu Plug-in's "Find" function.


Auction customers appreciate the ability to inspect closely the items for sale. With its progressive rendering, and its seamless zooming and panning capabilities, DjVu is the answer. For example, TeleTrade.com uses DjVu to show coins, diamonds, baseball cards, and other items, with unmatched image quality. Such photos are produced with DjVu's "photo mode", based on the mathematical theory of Wavelets. This state-of-the-art photographic image compression produces files that are about 1/2 the size of JPEG for comparable quality, with the additional advantage of being progressive and zoomable.

Product Photos

E-shopping can sometimes be frustrating. Product photos are often no bigger than a postage stamp. Photos that fill the screen take forever to download. Yet, sometimes showing the required level of detail would require an image larger than the screen. DjVu can do it all. The progressive decoding ensures that images will appear quickly, and the zooming and panning capabilities ensure that all the details will be visible.

The multipage capability even allows to quickly switch between multiple views of the object.

Unlike FlashPix, DjVu does not require a server roundtrip for each panning or zooming. The whole image is right there in your PC, ready to be displayed.

Scientific Preprints

Scientists, students and scholars often put up some of their publications on their web page. The format of choice is often compressed PostScript produced from word processors such as TeX, LaTex, Lyx, and Klyx. Unfortunately, PostScript (even compressed) is somewhat inconvenient for screen viewing for the following reasons:
  • the whole document must be downloaded before being viewed
  • rendering of PS is rather slow
  • PS viewers sometimes have trouble displaying some types of files.
  • current PS viewers are inefficient for color pictures.
  • PS file sizes can be impractically large when images are embedded in the document
  • there is no usable browser plug-in for PS.
  • scanned images cannot be converted to PS in any practical way
DjVu solves all these problems, which is why an increasingly large number of researchers, academics, and students, use it to publish their work. Not surprisingly, some of the inventors of DjVu are among them (see for example Yann LeCun's publication page and on Leon Bottou's publications page).

The DjVu compressor for Unix is free for such uses. It can accept PostScript (and PDF) files as input.

Other good examples can be found at the publication archive of the Liquid Crystal Institute at Kent State University. The site contains both scanned and digitally produced documents and most of them are offered in multipage DjVu and PDF. For example, this scanned article is 193KB in Djvu and 861KB in PDF.

Good examples closer to home are the DjVu file format specifications, and various technical papers available from the DjVu digital library

Scientific Articles

Scientific societies, Scientific publishers and libraries around the world are scrambling to convert the archives of their journals and conference proceedings into a web-ready form. No technology can approach the performance of DjVu for this application.
The entire archive of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA, a branch of the American Institute of Physics), from 1929 to 1986 is available to ASA members on CDROM in DjVu. A few examples are available at the ASA web site.
What better example to demonstrate DjVu than the original 1948 article that founded the field of Information Theory. Without this seminal paper by AT&T Labs Scientist Claude Shannon, data compression would not be what it is today. The whole article compressed with DjVu v2.0 is 1.4MB. The same documents compressed with the experimental DjVu v3.0 compressor is only 1.0MB, even though it contains the searchable text (plug-in 3.0 required).

History of Science

Details of the history of science and technology sometimes hide in notebooks and archives that are not easily accessible to scholars. Here are a few examples from the AT&T archives that demonstrate of how DjVu could bring historical material to scholars and schoolchildren alike:
More documents from the AT&T archives are available here.

University Libraries

DjVu offers university libraries a great opportunity to create efficient "document servers", repositories of their digital holdings that originated in various formats, such as Postscript, that were not designed to be web-friendly. A brilliant example of this is KLUEDO, the document server of the Universitätsbibliotek Kaiserslautern. KLUEDO has made all its documents available in DjVu, including Ph.D. and Master's theses, technical reports, and external publications. Since KLUEDO also includes documents in Postscript and PDF, it provides an excellent means of comparing these formats with DjVu, and seeing firsthand the latter's many advantages. The KLUEDO site includes a special page titled Neues Dataiformat DjVu that explains why DjVu was chosen.

Art, Literature, Special Collections, Libraries
Ancient Manuscripts and Prints

Early manuscripts and prints are DjVu's "killer app". DjVu is the only image compression technology that can bring these documents to the web in their full splendor. Fragile documents from special collections that are normally kept away from the public can now be distributed over the Internet. Here are a few examples.

Art and Paintings

DjVu's continuous-tone image compression technology, based on the mathematical theory of Wavelet, can compress continuous-tone images such as painting better than JPEG can. DjVu Files are generally 50 to 70% the size of JPEG with the same signal to noise ratio. The advantage is particularly interesting at high compression ratios. The progressivity, zooming, and panning also makes the user experience much more enjoyable. No foreground/background separation is performed on this kind of images.

  • This panoramic picture from the Library of Congress was highly compressed to obtain an 80KB DjVu image
    The same image was compressed into an 80KB JPEG image to demonstrate the difference in quality at high compression ratios.
  • These nice paintings by Brueghel and van Gogh are used for a lecture at the University of Washington.

Photographic Collections

Photo collections can take advantage of the reduced file size, progressivity, zooming and panning features of DjVu. With progressivity, there is no need to compromise the quality of the image by reducing the resolution. The more the user is interested in the picture, the longer he or she is going to look at it, and the better the image will get. Once the image is there, it has high enough resolution to be printed.
  • The Spencer Research Library at the University of Kansas has a panoramic photo that shows the advantage of seamless panning.
  • This photo collection of a turbulent medical school student in the 1920's demonstrate how to pictures with high enough resolution to be printed can be distributed on the web. Here is the student surrounded by his buddies from med school. Even in the 20's they had sit-ins in med schools that seemed to last long. He was also an amateur musician.

Historical Manuscripts, Biographical Archives

Historians, scholars, and anybody with an interest in History and biographical research will appreciate DjVu's unique ability to bring original documents to the web at high resolution with all the colors and details necessary for serious analyses. Librarians will appreciate the fact that bringing these archives to the web no longer requires expensive manual translation to a text-based format. Here are a few examples.

Genealogical Records

Genealogical societies and genealogy enthusiasts can use DjVu to publish their family archives. Here are a few examples.
  • Mr. Jules Roduwart, a master saddle maker, was sent to Egypt by the French government in 1830. Here is his passport.
  • He was born in France, but was a German citizen. He wanted to become a French citizen, but ran into problems given the political climate in the 1870's. So he got help from his friend Jules Ferry, mayor of the 9th Arrondissement of Paris (and who later founded the French public school system). Here is a letter from Jules Ferry to Jules Roduwart.
  • When Jules finally became a French citizen in 1874, he received this certificate of naturalization from the French government.
Some genealogical societies already use DjVu to publish documents on their web site. For example, the Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe has a few maps and various documents in DjVu format.

One day, local governments around the world will digitize their records and will convert them to DjVu. Researching our family roots will no longer require a trip to the local government archive in the country of our ancestors. A simple search on the Internet will do it.

Ancient Maps, Land Registries

Maps are particularly difficult to publish in the Web because when the resolution is high enough to make the text readable, the image is generally far too large to fit in the viewing window, and the file far too large to download in reasonable time. Panning and zooming capabilities are a must. That is where DjVu comes in.
  • Courtesy of the Swedish National Land Survey, several beautiful cadastral maps are available in DjVu. In particular, this map is 7600 by 5300 pixels. The original is approximately 120MB. The DjVu image is 400KB, but the chunk with the text and lines is only 137KB and will appear as soon as it gets to your machine.
  • This 1915 map of Yellowstone National Park comes from the US Library of Congress. It is 5900x6900 pixels, occupies 450KB (the original was 121MB), and will not slow your machine to a crawl when you try to display it, unlike its 2.1MB JPEG brother [don't click on the JPEG link unless you have lots of RAM].
  • Maps can relate to historical events, such as this plan of the operations of Gen. Washington in New Jersey. The DjVu image is 147KB.
  • This old map of New Brunswick, NJ comes from the special collections of Rutgers University.
  • The Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe has a few black and white maps in DjVu.

Corporate Reports

This company provides financial corporate reports of UK companies using DjVu. Here is an example of the kind of documents they propose (300dpi grayscale).

DjVu makes possible what PDF couldn't. The following quote from the Corporate Reports website says it all:

Corporate Reports has been providing on-line information on UK listed companies for over three years, and 1999 has seen a large uptake in online sharedealing in the UK, we have also seen huge developments in file compression technology, both these factors have been the catalyst in the reworking and relaunching of the Corporate Reports service to online share dealing clients this year.

Using the new compression technology application 'DjVu' from AT&T enables us to scan in complete documents at high resolution whilst keeping the document file size down to a bare minimum, for example a traditional 60 page A4 document stored as a PDF would take up around 4MB of file space the same document scanned and stored as a 'DjVu' file will take up less than 800k.


Despite the growing importance of web-based forms, paper-based forms are still widely used in the corporate world. A good example is medical claim forms. This example in particular show the advantage of preserving the color information.
Another good example is this all-too-familiar form which was not scanned but generated directly from PDF.

Financial Records

This bill of lading shows the power of DjVu for keeping records of financial transactions that would otherwise be on paper.

Other Corporate Applications

Companies host many types of documents on their corporate Intranets. Unfortunately, few host legacy documents there. DjVu can change all that. Technical manuals, CAD drawings, financial documents, fax and mail can all be put on the Corporate Intranet with DjVu.

Land Registry

A few Land Registry Administrations around the world are already using DjVu to put up their records (e.g. cadastral maps) on the web, many more a seriously considering the possibility. A few examples are provided, courtesy of the Swedish National Land Survey. For example these beautiful cadastral maps look stunning. In particular this map is 7600 by 5300 pixels. Yet while the uncompressed original was approximately 120MB, the DjVu image is only 400KB. Even better, the text layer pops up on the user's screen as soon as the first 137KB are loaded.

Legal Records

The Cobb county Clerk Superior Court in Georgia uses DjVu to show real property records on the Web. This very nice-looking site includes numerous documents such as legal records of various kinds, floorplans of condominiums and other properties. Document can searched by type, or by various other criteria. This site is an excellent demonstration of how DjVu can be used for public records and for many other applications in governments or in legal professions.


This 1915 map of Yellowstone National Park comes from the US Library of Congress. It is 5900x6900 pixels, occupies 450KB (the original was 121MB), and will not slow your machine to a crawl when you try to display it, unlike its 2.1MB JPEG brother [don't click on the JPEG link unless you have lots of RAM].
Other maps include the the New River National Park in West Virginia.

DjVu Zone Search DjVu Zone Feedback
What's New What is DjVu Tutorial Documentation Digital Libraries DjVu on the Web
DjVu Companies Applications Downloads Benchmarks Technical Papers www.djvu.com

Copyright 1998-2000 AT&T All rights reserved.
DjVu and the LizardTech logo are trademarks of LizardTech Inc.
DjVu, document imaging, image compression, scan, image, document, web,image processing, digital library, electronic commerce, legacy document, plug-in, JPEG, TIFF, PDF
DjVu: The Technology for Scanned Documents on the Web
technology document image compression innovation,
scan high-resolution page color 300 dpi,
fast download of scanned documents, as fast as html,
zcoder, z-coder, binary adaptive arithmetic coding, wavelet, pattern matching.
download, free, non-commercial, plug-in, plugin, compressor, wavelets