Adobe Reader Alternative – Free, Faster, Smaller
The good thing with Adobe Reader is that you can open any PDF document no matter how it is formatted, but the bad thing is it requires a relatively big space on your hard drive. Some people also complain that, though Adobe Reader keeps improving its speed, the loading time is still slow when opening a PDF document. Additionaly, Adobe Reader also consumes computer system resource too much even if you only open a simple-formatted PDF document. Hence, many people are asking what alternative programs that can replace Adobe Reader. Fortunately, there are many free PDF readers out there that have smaller size and faster loading. Some of the PDF viewers offer simplicity and enhanced speed, and some others offer unique abilities. These PDF openers below are the most talked and regarded as the best free Adobe Reader alternatives. So, check them out.
If you look for a free, small-size pdf viewer and can open PDF document much faster than Adobe Reader, then you might fall in love with Foxit Reader. In addition to speed, it also provides a set of interesting features such as PDF annotation tool, support tab viewing if you often open several PDF files at a time, automatic scroll, multimedia support (play, add, edit, delete), OnDemand Content Management for online collaborating, commenting, snapshot, etc. Foxit Reader works on Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista. Both the installer and portable version are available for free download.
If you download this one, then I guess you aren’t interested in those features offered by Foxit Reader and prefer to use something else that focus on the speed and small size. Sumatra PDF Reader is highly focused on the ability to simply view PDF document as fast as it can. If you don’t care about features, not even a sleek interface, and need only a simple PDF viewer that can keep your focus on the document from page to page, then Sumatra PDF Reader might be your top choice. It requires Windows 2000 or newer (XP, Vista). Download the portable version or the installer.
This one offers an enticing user interface design and a pack of useful functions like form filling, ability to embed sticky notes into the document, typewriter tool, object drawing, stamps, convert pdf to images, page rotation, and many others. There are also many things you can configure from its preferences window like the resolution used for the snapshot, text and image rendering, color management, etc. It is said that it works on Windows 2000 and later. Like the other two mentioned above, you can download the portable, which has a smaller size, or the installer.
It has a ribbon interface like the one you see at Microsoft Office 2007. Though it can open PDF faster, and it also has a nice package of capabilities inside, you may think twice to download it if size is the thing that concerns you the most. Some of the features include export pdf as image with different resolution, text and image extraction, digital signatures, ability to fill, save and send PDF forms, and send pdf file via email.
Cannot leave Adobe Reader but want to make it smaller? Adobe Reader Lite is an unofficial Adobe Reader version which has been optimized by removing the unwanted features.
Online PDF Reader
Open pdf online is the alternative if you don’t want to use any desktop pdf viewer or when you use a public accessible computer that doesn’t have a pdf reader installed. If you have Gmail account, you can send the pdf file to your own email. Once the file is sent, open the message and click the “View” link. The file will be opened in Google Docs. Or, you can simply visit PdfMeNot. This free online PDF viewer lets you open pdf file either from an URL or from your hard drive.
I’m pretty sure there are other free Adobe Reader alternative out there. If you’ve found another reader that is worth to be mentioned here, feel free to mention it in the comment.