This is a guest post by James Adams. If you want to guest post on this blog, just drop me a message using the Contact page.
The PDF is the standard format for document sharing everywhere. When Adobe created Acrobat, it swept the world because of its ease of use. Nearly every user installed Adobe Reader onto their computers so they could read these files. Times have changed, and Adobe Reader’s installation can take up to 100+ megs with the add-ons and toolbars that it attempts to install. Here are ten alternatives to Adobe Reader.
1. Sumatra PDF [Windows] This is a one file PDF reader which values simplicity over everything else. This is a bare bones reader which has navigation tools to get around your PDF quickly and easily. This reader was designed to run off of a USB drive with a single file.
2. PDF Hammer [Web Based] PDF Hammer allows you to merge multiple files, edit the order of your PDF documents and password protect your PDF files. You can set the document information and create metadata in your files.
3. Cool PDF Reader [Windows] This light-weight reader is speedy. You can convert your PDF to EPS, GIF, JPG, BMP and more. Extract your PDFs to TXT files for easy editing. This is a no-nonsense solution for PDFs.
4. eXPert PDF Reader [Windows] eXPert Reader is a bloat-free PDF reader which lets you view and print your PDfs. You can also modify comments or outlines and insert rubber stamps. It is skinnable and fast.
5. Foxit Reader [Windows, Linux, Mobile] Foxit Reader is a very light solution to the bloated Adobe Reader. You can add comments to PDF documents, run spell checking, convert your PDFs into text files and much more. You also have the ability to edit your bookmarks and search in the PDFs.
6. PDF-XChange Viewer [Windows] With the XChange Viewer, you can add custom stamps. You can export your files to the PNG, TIF, BMP formats. You can also add annotations to your PDF files. You also have the ability to type on any PDF page.
7. Nitro Reader [Windows] Nitro Reader lets you rotate your PDF files, find text in the document and view your documents full screen. You can switch between PDFs at any time with Nitro’s tabbed viewing. You can read your PDFs in email.
8. Skim [Mac OS X] With Skim, you can view, edit, annotate, and crop your PDFs. This powerful PDF reader for Mac also lets you save your passwords with Keychain and export your PDFs as text files. You can apply bookmarks and read your files full screen.
9. Preview [Mac OS X] Mac users with OS X do not need to get more software for their PDF files. Preview allows you to view, print and edit PDFs. You can annotate, combine and add images to your PDFs.
10. Gnostice PDF Reader [Windows, Mac OS X, Linux] Export PDFs into many image formats. You also have the ability to rotate, zoom and page fit your PDFs. It is designed to be small and fit on a USB drive for portability. The program doesn’t require any registration.
There are numerous smaller and more efficient alternatives to Adobe Reader. You can choose a very basic reader like Cool PDF Reader or Sumatra, a more robust solution like Foxit Reader or PDF-XChange Reader, or something in between like the Gnostice PDF Reader. Your PDF reading is no longer limited to Adobe products.
About the author: James Adams is a staff writer at a print cartridge store based in the UK. James analyses new and old hardware such as the HP 300XL ink cartridge and also writes posts on their design blog, the Creative Cloud, about the arts and technology.