5 pdf reader for free (adobe, foxit and more) with features

5 pdf reader for free (adobe, foxit and more) with features

Interesting facts about pdf

Before presenting the list of top PDF readers, following is the basic information that you might not know even if you have been reading or using pdf for a long time.

  • The pdf stands for portable document format.
  • By portable, it meant to be independent of hardware, software, and operating systems. A pdf file should be opened in any hardware or any operating system.
  • The first version of the pdf was introduced in 1993 by Adobe.
  • At that time, you had to have adobe suite to read or write pdf files. The pdf standards were maintained by adobe.
  • In 2008, after adobe 1.7 reference, it became ISO 32000:1:2008 standard.
  • Currently, there are many vendors including adobe who provide software to read, write or edit pdf files. Generally pdf readers are free of cost. However to write pdf file or edit you need to buy from vendor or software manufacturer.
  • As pdf is platform independent, probably it is the most known document format worldwide.
  • The same pdf file can be seen in windows operating system, MAC, Linux or in a desktop, laptop or smart phones etc.
  • These days, a lot of vendors are providing pdf software to read, write or edit pdf files. If you have to choose which one to use it may need some research work and comparison of features. As for reading pdf, you can test free software, however, to write pdf you may have to buy (free options are also available though).

Following is the list of top pdf readers that we researched and found feature rich and most trusted. With each vendor, the link to download pdf reader from their respective website is also given.

Adobe reader

Adobe reader, formerly called acrobat reader is in our top of the list due to its popularity and being pioneers. The brand, Adobe is so much associated to pdf files that for many pdf users the name .pdf is taken as the synonym of Adobe. For most of the online users, the adobe reader is built-in with the browser software. For example, if you receive an email in Google’s gmail with a pdf file. If you open the file, it will be opened in a browser window without needing to download and install in your local computer from adobe.

The adobe reader is comparatively slower than other competitors but with a lot of features.

Adobe reader’s features

adobe acorbat reader

A few salient features include:

  • Read pdf files in read mode, full-screen mode etc.
  • A commenting feature is available with acrobat reader.
  • You can use pdf forms in files. The forms even can include sign option before sending.
  • The e-signature facility is also available.
  • The adobe reader will read any flash animations or even 3D CAD work in pdf that other pdf readers may not able to read.

Download adobe reader

The adobe acrobat reader is available for windows, Linux, and MAC OS. You can also download adobe reader app for smartphones:

You can download the previous version of acrobat reader as well from the following link:

(The adobe reader versions include XI, X, 9, 8, 7 and others.)

Foxit reader

Foxit reader is the second choice as the reader for pdf files. Although, the Foxit is quite light weight than acrobat reader. Also, it takes fewer resources than the acrobat, however, it does not support rich features like flash animations or CAD work etc.

foxit reader pdf

Most of the pdf viewers does not use flash or CAD work, in that case, Foxit can be a preferable choice. The Foxit reader is free of cost that can be downloaded from official website.

Foxit reader features

Following are a few basic features of Foxit reader:

  • The user interface is quite cleaner just like Microsoft office 2013.
  • You can open multiple pdf files in a tabular style that allows to switch from one pdf tab to other quite quickly.
  • It takes lesser system resources, so it is fast in performance.
  • You can easily manage bookmarks in pdf documents.
  • Text searching is cleaner.

For full features list, go to the following link: http://www.foxitsoftware.com/Secure_PDF_Reader/

A negative point about Foxit is, it contains Adware when you install it by default. You can disable or not include that Adware at the time of installation, though.

Foxit reader download

The Foxit reader is available for Windows different version (32 and 64 bit), Linux, Pocket PC and smart phones.

Go to this link to download Foxit’s appropriate version: http://foxitsoftware.com/downloads/

pdf-xchange reader

The pdf-xchange is a pdf reader which is windows based that not only allows to read pdf files but also allows users to use the extended functionality of bought version for free. The pdf-xchange viewer is smaller in size and faster in execution with plenty of features as listed below:

pdf-xchange main features

pdf xchange pdf

Following are a few pdf xchange features:

  • You can extract/copy text from a pdf file.
  • The search within pdf document is faster, perhaps than many in the market.
  • Annotations and comments can be added.
  • Custom stamps from the image file or pdf file.

You can use pdf-xchange to scan directly in pdf format

The full features list can be seen here: http://www.tracker-software.com/product/pdf-xchange-viewer

To download pdf-xchange viewer go to this link: http://www.tracker-software.com/product/pdf-xchange-viewer

To see previous versions: http://www.tracker-software.com/version/pdf-xchange-viewer/

Nitro pdf

Nitro is perhaps the only option among free pdf readers that also allows to create pdf from more than three hundred plus types of files. The creation process is quite simple that you can drag a file in nitro pdf icon and that will convert it into a pdf file.

nitro pdf

When you install Nitro pdf, it also installs nitro pdf creator to the available list of printers. That means if you are using any application that has printing option you can select Nitro pdf creator option to print to pdf.

Nitro pdf reader features

Major features of Nitro pdf are:

A tabular view for multiple pdf files. This feature enables you to open many pdf files at the same time and simply select from tab the one that you need to open. It is just like in modern browsers e.g. Chrome, Firefox etc.

  • Nice search facility within pdf documents.
  • Zoom In and zoom out by keyboard shortcuts.
  • You can view pdf documents in full-screen view as well.
  • Enabling to add sticky notes in your documents anywhere that you can hide easily.
  • The form features enables you to fill and save the form’s data.
  • Simply scan a signature into your image and start signing pdf files whenever it is required by using Nitro pdf reader.
  • Password protected pdf files.

And many more.

Download nitro pdf

You need to sign up in order to download free Nitro pdf by filling the name and email fields.

To download from official website, go to this link: https://www.gonitro.com/pdf-reader

PDF24 reader – An online pdf reader review

All above-listed pdf readers are for windows, Linux, MAC or other operating systems. While acrobat reader also enabled to install pdf reader for android or iOS (smartphones). For all those, you need to download a software and install it in your system

The PDF24 is an online pdf reader that enables you to view pdf files without installing any software in your computer or smart device. Most probably, you have already installed JVM that pdf24 needs in order to run the pdf files, as such it is based at Java platform.

Not only pdf24 will show files from the computer but you can specify a URL where pdf file is hosted in pdf24 reader online.

Simply go to http://en.pdf24.org/reader and start viewing pdf files online.

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