If you’re a business owner, student, or just someone who has to work on their computer, chances are you’ve had to deal with PDFs from time to time – and we don’t just mean reading them. You may have also found yourself looking for the best free PDF reader of the year and been frustrated by the results, which tend to fill up your hard drive with paid software you don’t need or can’t afford. Don’t worry!
If you need to edit or sign PDFs, Adobe Acrobat is definitely worth checking out. Many free viewers don’t offer that functionality and can’t perform some of Acrobat’s more advanced functions. While editing tools are limited (you can rotate, crop, and add annotations), it does allow you to fill in forms, so if you frequently use government applications—or any app that includes a form field that needs to be completed by hand—Acrobat is a worthwhile tool. Another plus: It’s fast; in most cases we were able to open our test document in less than 10 seconds.
And because it’s from Adobe, your files will automatically play nice with other Acrobat-compatible software programs like Photoshop and Illustrator. The downside? The desktop version requires a subscription fee after 30 days. However, if you’re looking for an all-inclusive solution, you can get Acrobat Pro DC on either Windows or Mac for $199.99 per year ($29.99/month).
That’s not much more expensive than many of its competitors, but it may require some extra budgeting depending on how often you’ll use it. Overall though, it’s one of our favorite options—and one we’d highly recommend checking out before making your final decision about which PDF reader to download next year.
I love SumatraPDF. Why? Because it is a free, lightweight and robust software that I can use to view .pdf files on my laptop or netbook computer. What makes SumatraPDF even better is that there are no advertisements as you use it, so no annoying pop-ups (which some competitors do have). The program itself doesn’t take up much space and it supports lots of features. Here are just a few: spell checker, TOC navigation tool and live word / character count. Even better, you can select which encoding method to use when opening your pdf file: UTF-8 / Unicode, Mac Roman, EUC-JP or Shift_JIS.
There’s also a quick menu where you can access recent documents and edit tools like find/replace text, copy text or print. And don’t worry if you’re not sure how to install SumatraPDF; they’ve got plenty of help articles here. You’ll be using it in no time! If you need another reason why I love SumatraPDF then let me mention its ability to convert any file into multiple formats.
For example, if someone sends me an MS Word document (.docx) but I only want their comments in plain text (.txt), then all I need to do is click Convert from within the application window and voila—I get what I want without having to email them back asking for something different!
The Best Free PDF Reader for 2022. Pdf-XChange Viewer is a free and user-friendly document viewer designed to open any document type you throw at it, including ebooks, Office files and of course, pdfs. The one drawback with Pdf-Xchange is that you’re limited to opening your files from within their application; there’s no standalone version or plugin available. However, if you want to get comfortable before committing to a premium option, Pdf-XChange Viewer is a great choice in free pdf reader software.
You can even download and install additional plugins that add features like OCR scanning (to turn images into text) and password protection (to prevent anyone else from reading your file). You may also want to try FoxitReader, which claims to be the fastest full featured PDF Reader out there. In our experience, FoxitReader did indeed load faster than other options—and it’s totally free as well.
Plus, we found its tools simple enough for users who aren’t tech savvy but powerful enough for those who are interested in more advanced features like redaction or annotation. If all you need is a quick way to read PDFs on your computer without having to deal with slow load times or complicated interfaces, FoxitReader could be exactly what you need.
When looking for a free PDF reader, it can be hard to know exactly what you’re looking for. If you don’t have anything fancy in mind and just want something that allows you to read and edit your documents, then PDF-XChange Viewer may be what you need. The thing we liked about it most is that it doesn’t try too hard; if all you want is a functional app that can handle a variety of file formats, then here it is.
You won’t find any extra features or flashiness with PDF-XChange Viewer, but it does get down to business quickly and easily. We also like how its interface is simple yet well laid out—it makes using its tools easy. Plus, while some other apps are available on both PC and Mac (as well as Linux), others are only available on one platform or another—not so with PDF-XChange Viewer.
That said, there were some drawbacks: for example, we had trouble getting it to work on Windows 10 computers running Edge browsers. But overall? This was a good pick for anyone who wants an easy way to view their files from home or at work.