PDF means Portable Document Format (PDF) files, and a PDF reader is a windows utility tool designed to read PDF files.
PDFs are agelong document formats that are over two decades and a half old, Probably you have opened a PDF file and you might be familiar with how a PDF reader works, there are several PDF readers in the market today that come with extra utility features such as editing, digital document signing, commenting, annotating, and making small required changes to the documents.
Usually, PDF files have turned out to be the ideal type of document format for transmitting sensitive information on documents such as resumes, academic portfolios, user guides, and more.
You can tell how much difficulty the user is faced with when they have to open a PDF document but not with the appropriate PDF reader app, either on their mobile, Windows, or Mac PC. A PDF allows for easy viewing, reading, modifying, and doing more complicated things with PDFs.
While there are many PDF readers in the market today, it might be a little bit difficult to say which ones are the best, but the idea of this article is to again review the best PDF readers in the market, exact their features, integration possibilities, security, range of capabilities when it comes to repurposing documents and the Operating Systems that they support.
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Best PDF Readers of 2023
Let’s explore the list of the best free PDF readers in the market today considering some salient features as mentioned above.
1. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is one of the most popular PDF readers in the market, it also doubles as one of the oldest, you can use this nifty tool to view, edit, and comment on PDF (Portable Document Format) files.
Anyone can download this PC utility on their Windows, Mac, or Linux Pcs.
We love the fact that Adobe Acrobat Reader DC offers multiple viewing modes, which can help reduce eyestrain while working with PDF documents.
You’d also find interesting the easy-to-use drag-and-drop feature for managing PDFs, which integrates seamlessly with the Adobe Cloud system and also integrates with third-party cloud storage services such as DropBox, OneDrive, Box, and more.
Another useful feature of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is its ability to extract words & images from PDF files, read texts aloud and handle large PDFs and view multiple docs at once.
However, there are also some drawbacks to Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. The export function can be slow, and the free version of the software offers very limited features.
You can’t use Adobe Acrobat Reader on every platform yet, it is only available for certain platforms, including Windows XP, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10, as well as Mac and Linux.
2. PDF-XChange Editor
PDF-XChange Editor is free software and yet one of the most sophisticated PDF readers you can find today, it has the capability to do more than just edit PDF files; you can as well highlight text, append audio and files, add notes, collaborate by sharing PDFs at work, record and do even more.
PDF-XChange Editor also has one of the best GUIs and is one of the fastest PDF readers on the market today.
It empowers you to customize PDFs according to your needs and also has the option to encrypt or password-protect them for added security.
Some of the built-in professional features that made it stand out of this tool include the ability to use edit documents, add digital signatures, and perform OCR-enhanced scanning (Optical Character Recognition), it is very easy to add and place text, and it has a well-organized interface.
It is also great for creating and editing fillable forms and adding comments before sharing files. This PDF editor is available for Windows XP, 7, 8, and 10 and Free.
3. Foxit Reader
Foxit Reader is a tool that allows you to easily read, annotate, fill out forms, and sign PDFs on your desktop, mobile, and web.
It also allows you to collaborate with others by giving them access to the same PDF document and keeping track of their activities in real time.
One of the main benefits of using Foxit is that it is free and allows you to read PDFs from anywhere. It also has the ability to work with existing forms and standard PDF and XFA form filling, as well as being able to customize mass deployments and the setup process.
Foxit can be integrated with popular cloud storage services and enterprise CMS. However, it should be noted that it is only available for Windows and requires a purchase for the Mac version after a free trial.
There is also no Linux version available. Foxit also allows you to create your own PDF from the ground up which makes it an ideal pick for those who would like to use a tool like this to create their own documents.
As touching ease of use, Foxit is fairly easy to get along with, the navigation is pretty simple to comprehend, and performing tasks such as highlighting, commenting, signing, and editing documents are within reach even for a first-time user.
4. Slim PDF
The Slim PDF viewer is up next. Slim PDF is a simple PDF viewer, editor, and interaction tool.
It includes supplemental utilities that make it easier to annotate, highlight, and fill out your document, and split and merge pages.
Slim PDF is a free and open-source PDF reader and document editor that also has multilingual support and the option to secure sensitive files with a password.
There’s a bookmark feature for saving interesting reads, and you can send papers to friends on social media or through email.
Slim PDF’s ability to recognize electronic and digital signatures is a notable feature that facilitates the safe and convenient signing of documents.
The sole drawback of this application is that it sometimes crashes or fails to load specific parts due to building issues of the software, hopefully, the problem was fixed in the latest release.
Slim PDF is only available for Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.
5. Nitro Reader
Nitro Reader is a PDF reader that comes packed with lots of awesome features not found in some other readers on this list, a few of such features include; the ability to zoom in and out, flip pages manually or with the swipe of a finger, bookmark pages for later reading, and the conversion of text to images and even more,
While editing, you can explore the exclusive editing tools made to allow you to spice your documents with annotations, highlight text, and make notes directly on the PDF file so that your document can be a lot easier to read, this can come in handy, especially for students or learners who need to keep a track of their learning.
The nice GUI tells how user-friendly this tool is, also is the ability to combine or edit PDF files, and the capability to open more than one PDF at a time.
More than just editing or reading PDFs, Nitro Reader allows you to do, even more, you can convert PDFs to Excel and PowerPoint formats, and it comes packed with an OCR engine for scanning paper documents, making it easy to work with digital documents.
Some more impressive features of Nito reader are customizing the toolbar for quick access, converting other file types to PDF, accessing shared files quickly with your team and colleagues, and exporting pages to different image files.
The only downside of this tool is the fact that it only has a paid version and does not have a tool to edit the text of the document. It is compatible with Windows XP, 7, 8, and 10.
6. PDF Reader Premium
Over 50 million people have downloaded PDF Reader Pro, making it the most popular reader out there. DFPreader Pro has all the capabilities to read and edit (there are not many good PDF utilities with such capabilities.
PDF files may be made, viewed, edited, annotated, secured, and converted using this editor. The sleek, uncluttered layout is great for getting more done.
If you’re looking for a replacement for Adobe Acrobat, you might need to consider ending your search with PDF Reader Pro. Its impressive features include the ability to read PDFs in several tabs, add photos and sticky notes as annotations, tag documents for easier retrieval, digitally sign PDFs, fill out and save PDF forms, and save and share PDFs via a number of cloud services.
To get the most out of your PDFs, we recommend PDF Reader Premium for anybody who uses them often in their professional life due to its convenient sharing and collaboration capabilities.
When several people in a team need to work on the same document, we highly suggest this application due to its convenient sharing and collaboration capabilities.
This program is compatible with iOS, Windows, and Linux devices. PDF Reader Premium not only allows you to edit and sign PDFs but also easily exports them to other document formats such as docx and JPG image format.
PDF Reader PRO or Premium has a lot of features that in some cases you might not be needing all, if you just require the document reading feature and the most basic aspects, you may not need the PRO features at all (despite the fact that they are made very simply and are incredibly simple to use).
7. Javelin PDF Reader
Javelin PDF Reader is a lightweight PDF reader that allows its users to view and annotate PDFs. Its Unique are its Sheer speed, oversimplified, and clutter-free User Interface (UI).
You can tell at installation that the Javelin PDF reader is lightning fast and has a streamlined UI, the downloadable file size is just 2MB, and has lacked no extra feature that can further make the usage complex. If you need a PDF reader for speedy reading and note-taking, Javelin is a good option.
Javelin PDF Reader can open and print both unencrypted and password-protected PDFs, as well as allow you to make notes and bookmark pages.
Although not as feature-rich as Adobe, Javelin is a good choice if you only need to read and make notes on PDFs fast. When it comes to protecting its users’ personal information, the Javelin PDF reader software excels in both speed and stealth.
Many other screen-viewing options, such as side-by-side, full, and continuous, are at your disposal. You may read files protected by digital rights management (DRM) with Javelin.
Also packs a file encryption feature; a security measure that ensures no one else may access your private data without your knowledge and approval. You may control who can print your files and prevent them from being copied or shared with others by using encryption.
In addition, the files may be made unviewable after a certain amount of time has passed, adding another degree of protection for sensitive data.
Javelin PDF reader is available for Mac and Windows PC, and there’s a premium version with an extra layer of protection for highly confidential documents. This is helpful if you are dealing with sensitive information, whether it be personal or business-related.
8. Web browsers
The fastest ways to view any PDF files is to use the built-in reader in most modern browsers. Most web browsers come equipped with their own PDF readers, which means that you may view PDF files without having to download a separate application.
You may open a PDF file that has already been saved up on your computer by dragging it into an open tab on your browser or by clicking on the link that is associated with the PDF file. In most cases, you may also execute the majority of typical activities, such as downloading content, modifying the font size, or printing.
9. Google Drive
For people who like to edit their documents on the go and have access to it across platforms, a cloud solution such as Google Docs has become their go-to document editor. Interestingly, Google Drive has a built-in solution for opening PDFs.
It is wonderfully useful that users can open PDF documents directly from Google Drive in the comfort of their web browser without having to install a third-party PDF tool such as Adobe Acrobat Reader and the others that have been previously considered on this page. The integrated PDF reader on Google drive has basic similar functions to that of most web browsers like Chrome and Firefox.
The main downside is that it can only be accessible online, while this is an advantage on one side, it also doubles as a shortcoming on another side, but once a PDF has been downloaded successfully, it may be accessed without an internet connection using the browser PDF reader or manually uploading to Google.
Google Drive lets you convert and store your documents in the cloud, and you can tell it is by the most convenient way to do things. Documents, presentations, and spreadsheets may all be transformed into PDFs and uploaded to the platform for easy viewing.
Google Drive is the ideal choice for you if you just need to do basic activities such as reading documents or converting files into that format.
Google Drive PDF viewer is popular for being and free for everyone who has or willing to have a Google account. Also, with Google Drive, document sharing is much simpler, you can view your PDFs from any device with Google Drive and seamlessly share them with your team.
Google Drive lacks any sophisticated editing feature, so if you’re looking for something more sophisticated for your editing needs, you may want to look elsewhere. or consider any of the above PDF reader alternatives. If you’re looking for a simple solution to access and organize PDFs inside your Google Apps, this is a fantastic choice to consider.
10. Haihaisoft Reader
Haihaisoft Reader is a fast and feature-rich PDF reader and printer with a small download size. It offers standard functions such as presentation mode, full screen, rotation, zoom, and search. It is also capable of reading PDF documents protected by the DRM-X platform. The software is available for Windows, Mac, Android, and iPhone/iPad.
One of the key advantages of Haihaisoft Reader is its speed – it launches instantly and saves time for the user. It is also highly secure and respects the privacy of its users, never connecting to the internet without permission and not connecting in the background for updates. The software is available in multiple languages.