The most famous program for reading the popular PDF format is, of course, Adobe Acrobat - a paid multifunctional application from Adobe Systems. However, there are many free alternatives for working with PDF files.
A Portable Document Format is a common file format for presenting documents containing text, images, hyperlinks, interactive buttons, forms, embedded fonts, and videos, and much more. Choosing the right PDF reader to suit your specific needs can be a little tricky. To prevent this from happening, consider the characteristics of popular PDF readers.
This is free software that has two versions: portable and desktop. The size of its 64-bit installer is only about 6 MB. The program does not have advanced features. It is a simple window that loads very quickly and can display files of different formats: PDF, MOBI, FB2, EPUB, CHM, XPS, DjVu.
The application is available in 69 languages, can work with tabs, supports various keyboard shortcuts, and has several viewing modes. However, there is no way to edit, comment, or sign documents.
The excellent multifunctional editor XChange Editor is a worthy successor to the XChange Viewer. The program allows you to view, create, edit, sign, and comment on PDF documents, and supports optical character recognition (OCR). Here you can leave notes, record and add audio, attach files, and select text.
It has two versions: standard and "Plus". After downloading and installing, the editor can work for free in test mode, allowing you to try all the features of the licensed version. However, the free creation of documents is accompanied by the appearance of a large watermark on them. You can buy a license to unlock professional features and get rid of the ugly watermark on the text.
This is a free personal-use application included with the Nitro Productivity Suite software package. With Nitro, you can fill out forms, and sign documents using the QuickSign feature for digital signing. Here you can also add notes, extract images, and convert PDF to plain text.
Nitro Reader does not come with many unnecessary features that are never used. Its interface is similar to any other application included in the Microsoft office suite.
Foxit Reader is one of the first alternatives to Adobe Reader. The program remains an excellent option among free PDF editors, as it offers many features, including viewing, creating, editing, saving, printing, and exporting/importing PDF files.
The application is characterized by high performance, has a small size, low resource requirements. The Foxit Reader interface contains a large number of editing tabs. They include a number of additional options: text layout, processing of forms, digital signatures, and management of reviews. In 2016, Foxit Reader introduced the new ConnectedPDF system, which allows you to work with cloud services.
STDU Viewer is a free viewer of many different formats: PDF, DjVu, MOBI, EPub, FB2, TXT. The strength of the program is the ability to manage several different documents at once. Here you can open documents on tabs, expand the navigation panel, create bookmarks and selected areas, on the side panel view thumbnails of open documents, and split windows to compare different pages of one file.
STDU Viewer allows you to adjust contrast and brightness, invert colors to reduce eye strain. The viewer has a Russian interface, supports the printing of most print-protected PDF documents, and can work on devices with touch controls.
Evince is a free PDF viewer. Originally developed for the GNOME free desktop environment (Linux OS), it is now available for Windows. The program has a clean interface. Therefore, users have the opportunity to customize the toolbar using search functions or various viewing modes.
Evince supports autoscrolling. This is a convenient feature that allows you to adjust the position of the mouse pointer on the screen when viewing a file automatically. If OCR data is included, it is possible to select and copy text from scanned pages.
Using a working browser
Using a special program built into the browser is another way to read the PDF format. In this case, the files open in the browser tab. If you want to open a locally saved file, you need to drag it into an open browser window.
The only thing that distinguishes documents opened in the browser from a regular web page is a special toolbar located at the top of the page. With its help, it is easy to search through a document, adjust the scale, print, and save the file.