Foxit Reader 1
This photo gallery is also available as a post in the Five Apps Blog.
The Portable Document Format (PDF) is one of the most oft-used document types in business. Not only are they a more universal solution to creating well-designed documents, they can also be interactive and secure. So PDFs are a no-brainer for businesses looking for a professional-looking document.
When it comes to viewing those documents, most users believe there to be only one solution - Adobe Reader. However, in many instances, that solution is far and away from the best. It's bulky, slow, and is known to cause issues. To that end, why not use a more lightweight viewer for PDF documents? They exist and many of them are quite good.
I have come up with what I believe are the five best small footprint PDF viewers that you can use to easily replace Adobe Reader. Let's see which ones made the list.
The Five Apps
1. Foxit Reader
Foxit Reader is, hands down, one of the best alternative PDF viewers for the Windows platform. It's fast, lightweight, has tons of features, and it is free.
Image credit to Jack Wallen for TechRepublic.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for Techrepublic and Linux.com. As an avid promoter/user of the Linux OS, Jack tries to convert as many users to open source as possible. His current favorite flavor of Linux is Bodhi Linux (a melding of Ubuntu and Enlightenment). When Jack isn't writing about Linux he is hard at work on his other writing career -- writing about zombies, various killers, super heroes, and just about everything else he can manipulate between the folds of reality. You can find Jack's books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Outnumbered in his house one male to two females and three humans to six felines, Jack maintains his sanity by riding his mountain bike and working on his next books. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website Get Jack'd.
I use PDF-XChange Viewer, I have tried Adobe, Nitro, Foxit and a few other PDF readers, but PDF-XChange Viewer is by far the best. It allows you to open PDF files that other PDF readers can't open for some reason. I was so pleased with the free version that I purchased the "Professional Edition". It's money well spent. This from the software publisher's website: The No.1 rated BEST PDF Reader - as voted by Life Hacker Readers by a 2-1 margin for the 2nd year in a row! Those wishing to View/Modify or perform simple editing and even OCR Image based PDF files on their Windows PC's now have a FREE pdf reader alternative to the Adobe Reader! The PDF-XChange Viewer is smaller, faster and more feature rich than any other FREE PDF Reader/ PDF Viewer/ PDF Editor available. This free pdf viewer download also allows users to try the extended functionality offered by the PDF-XChange Viewer 'PRO' in evaluation mode - for free. No PDF reader or Viewer offers more features than PDF-XChange - or does so without compromising performance and quality, checkout the feature list below and save $100's in unnecessary expenditure on your PDF software today. Also included are the very powerful PDF-XChange Shell Extensions and iFilter. http://www.tracker-software.com/product/pdf-xchange-viewer
Foxit is nice, but there seems to be one aggravating feature - if there is more than 1 file open, I get an advertizement on the document tab bar. Is there anyway to get rid of this?
Before the introduction of Adobe Audience X, there were a number of explanations to use a alternative for Adobe's PDF readerâit was slowly to fill and vulnerable. This motivated a bungalow market of different PDF audiences such as Foxit Audience and Nuance PDF Audience. While Foxit was actually a tad quicker in my examining than Adobe Audience, the real reason to get this alternative is if your sources are seriously restricted, as it requires up significantly less storage and hard drive space than the Adobe choice. To that, Foxit contributes a attractive interface, the capability to discuss PDFs straight to Facebook or myspace or Tweets, and a number of papers markup resources.
I used Foxit for many years as the Adobe one was so slow to load. However recently Adobe has got much faster to load and I noticed some text quality issues on Foxit, especially when printing out so now I'm back on Adobe.
Over the years, I've used Nitro and Sumatra, and although good alternatives to Adobe (I don't even have that installed on my PCs), the best alternative I've found is PDF-XChange Viewer. It provides functionality to add comments, highlight text, add and format text boxes, and use the Typewriter function to complete PDF forms. It also includes a "Snapshot Tool" that lets you select a portion of, or an entire page, and then paste into another program, i.e. Word. I've run the program under Vista and Win7, on a variety of PCs, and it has always worked like a champ. I recommend it to my family, friends, and colleagues as a much better, quicker, and more robust alternative to Adobe. And you just can't beat the price ... FREE.
Ditto "I hate clicking 10 times to read techrepublic articles" Also left out my favorite on Windows: Tracker Software's PDF-XChange.
Seems to me, that the term "free", when used to describe Foxit is not entirely true. I do believe that there is a yearly fee (not free) required to get updates.You don't pay the fee...you don't get updates! This fee is mention in section 5 of Foxit reader terms. Of course, this fee may be minimal compared to the really great features of this reader, but all in all I don't really see that one should use the word "Free" without adding a side note that fees are required for updates.
I'll second Caladan's preference. There's a free version of Nitro that is feature rich and it rocks. And the premium version is way more capable and better in almost every way than Acrobat Pro...
I have one ebill I get from my power company that I pay with a secure form in the PDF, and Foxit doesn't support it, so I have to open it in Acrobat Reader. Although, that same bill, I can't print from Acrobat, so I have to print it from Foxit. Foxit for everything else.
With the newer Firefox comes with built-in PDF viewer I've become less relying on other non-Adobe PDF viewers. After all Firefox is the most used software in my PC. However if I had to name one standalone PDF viewer of my choice I'd say Nitro or PDF-XChange (I have Nitro installed for additional features not found in the Firefox's built-in viewer). I used to use Foxit and Sumatra but after some time I got disappointed with them.
Nitro seems to be left out a lot. You'd think it was a bad product, but it isn't. I use to use Foxit, but found Nitro much nicer. Now I'm using Windows 8 so I don't need a PDF reader because one if built in.
I use Nitro as I can add text to forms and add a digital signature. Adobe Reader is indeed bulky, clumsy, unreliable and Adobe should be embarrassed to even put it on the market. Their Flash player is equally weak and disappointing.
I agree that Adobe reader is a pain....but why is it so bulky and slow? What is Adobe putting in it that we would be missing by switching to a different application?
I too like PDF X-Change. I've been using it for several years and have recommended it to my customers that are experiencing issues with Adobe Reader X.
I find this program suits my needs to a Tee. Fast loading and as many features as I require, such as the ability to fill in forms, typrewriter tool etc. Program also has fast search built in.
Nitro does everything I need PDF for, especially editing, converting from excel/word, etc., and filling out forms. It's extremely fast, robust, has great support and it's FREE!
"This photo gallery is also available as a post in the Five Apps Blog". If you click this link one time, you can read the whole article without any more clicks.
This entire "article" could have been wrapped up in 5 very short lines by listing the product names and the platform. Nothing else of importance or interest was provided.
I hate it too, and I hate trying to find the "This photo gallery is also available as a post in the xyz blog" link.
It's not just ten clicks. It's adjusting the window size and text size, and waiting for pages to load. I am a moderate speed reader. But not when reading these silly click-heavy "slide shows."
Super annoying!!!!!!!!! I never read there articles unless its something I am I really interested in. So, in fact it is lower the hits.
If you'll read the first line below the first slide, you'll see a comment that this is available as a post and it gives a hyperlink to the article. When they do that, the article many times gives a link back to the slide show.
Then put the article here and give people a link to that stinking carousel if they're all that mouse-happy.
I clicked on it when I created my post several days ago and clicked on it again. Just click on "5 Apps Blog" that's in Blue.
If you had read the first lines of the first page of this article, instead of musing, you could have found what you desire just one mouse click away.