Top 10 PDF Readers other than Adobe Acrobat

By Partho, Gaea News Network
Saturday, August 29, 2009

pdf-readerNo doubt Adobe Acrobat Reader is the numero uno when it comes to PDF readers. However, there’s a second tier of PDF readers with enough features to handle your purpose. Definitely PDF file format is one of the best ways to publish, save and exchange well-formatted documents that can be read on various devices. The resumes, tax forms, user guide, e-books as well as some web pages come in PDF format. All you need is a PDF Reader to view them, and work on them. Well, buying an Adobe Acrobat can burn a hole in your pocket, so if you are looking for alternatives, here’s our list of top 10 PDF Readers.

1. PDF-XChange Viewer

This PDF reader features the ability to fill and save Adobe PDF forms, extract text and images as well as magnify text. You can export PDF pages or documents to BMP, JPEG, TIFF, PNG formats. What stands out is the outstanding image/text clarity. PDF-XChange Viewer edges over most of the other software as it allows PDF annotation without watermarking. What’s more the pages load reasonably fast.


2. Foxit Reader

It’s a lightweight feature-packed PDF reader that offers supports bookmarks, has search capability and loads in flash. Moreover, you it allows you to annotate PDF files. Still more it can print PDFs. Having said all these, I need to add that the image and text clarity is not as good as PDF-XChange and the annotation features leaves validation marks that can only be removed by buying the full version of the reader.


3. eXPert PDF Reader

This free PDF viewer allows you to view and print PDF documents.  It allows modification of any PDF annotation that has been created from eXPert PDF or any other PDF creation software. Existing documents can be modified according to the requirement. It is fast and sinkable .


4. Cool PDF reader

This is fly-weight PDF reader with just 896KB download. It allows you to easily view, print, and convert PDF files to TXT, BMP, JPG, GIF, PNG, WMF, EMF, EPS. However, its not an ideal PDF reader as it fails to open some of the PDF files. Another concern with this PDF reader is that the scrolling though the content is sluggish as it takes time to load the pages.


5. Perfect PDF Reader 5

Although not a bloatware this PDF Reader would occupy a block of disk space that you couldn’t have afforded for such a software. It weighs a 22MB of download size. If you are ready to take up the size, you will be rewarded by a number of unique features. Evidently, you can export PDF’s as plain text or export by the page as images (BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, Metafile) with different resolutions. Other features include the ability to extract text and image, fill, save and extract PDF forms also apply digital signatures and timestamps. It’s a all-purpose PDF reader except that it offers no PDF annotation.


6. Xpdf(Linux)

It is an open source PDF viewer for X Windows System and Motif. Xpdf runs on any Unix like operating system. It has some DRM restrictions for PDF files, which prevents it from copying, printing and converting some PDF files.


7. Evince(Linux)

This is multiple document viewer designed for GNOME desktop environment that also supports PDF viewing. It features a integrated search that displays the number of results found and highlights the results on the page. It offer two page left and right, full-screen and slide-show views. It includes a unique feature of copying scanned images if the PDF includes OCR data.


8. PDFescape

It’s a free online PDF reader, editor, form filler and form designer. With it you can open and edit files online. There are free users from the typical software requirements for using the document file format. It comes without watermarks, without registration. Moreover, you can fill in PDF forms, add text and graphics, add links, and even add new form fields to a PDF file.


9. Sumatra PDF Viewer

Well if you are looking for a PDF reader just to read PDF files then this PDF viewer could be a handy tool. But, certainly it lacks the image clarity and features you get in PDF-XChange.


10. Okular(Linux)

Okular is the document viewer for KDE 4 that also support PDF.  Apart from viewing, Okular features commenting on PDF documents, highlighting and drawing lines, geometric shapes, adding textboxes and stamps. With Okular you can select a part of the document, and save it as text or in an image format. It also allows annotations for PDF.



July 21, 2010: 2:51 am

Is the software TEN PDF READER any good?

November 18, 2009: 4:55 pm

PDF Studio is another good viewer / annotator that is missing in the list. It does support most PDF functions, is cross-platform (java-based) and maintains full compatibility with the PDF format.

October 15, 2009: 5:41 pm

the guys from have a new pdf viewer in flash which is for free. i worry about the language which is german-only, but the viewer is cool and very fast. i found the demo at
and an easy-to-implement tutorial which can be understood by non-german readers ^^ when clicking on ’service’.
i tried with a bigger pdf and this seems to run fluently, too. so this is my new favourite…

September 1, 2009: 7:46 am

Great post.I am using PDF-XChange Viewer now. And foxit reader is also a good choice. I got them from a post about how to convert, create and read pdf.

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