Non Adobe pdf readers

Adobe reader has been the favorite pdf reader for sometime now. That's mainly because its free! But nowadays there are many free pdf readers which can actually work out better for you.

I personally did not like Adobe reader because its a heavy application and it comes with a  lot of additional services. Its kind of resource hungry and even adds a browser plug in which was seriously slowing down my browsing speed! Its a bit too much just to read a pdf isn't it?! That's when i decided to look for other pdf readers. There are so many open source free pdf readers which are a lot lighter and better. First i would go through  some of the open source pdf readers and later some of the freewares.


This is a simple document viewer. It can view multiple document formats like pdf, postscript, djvu, tiff, dvi and many others. 

It provides search, thumbnail view and page indexing features.This is an open source tool.

Foxit Reader

This one is my favorite reader. Its fast, simple and comes with some very handy features. Its a proprietary/freeware software. 

Search feature is efficient. There is an option to convert the pdf to text file. You can open multiple PDFs in tabs. Previously the app had some bugs but the newer version seems to have rectified almost all! The latest version is 4.3 and its available for both Windows ad Linux operating systems.

Image source : wikipedia

Its an open source pdf  viewer. The xpdf project also includes includes a PDF text extractor, PDF-to-PostScript converter, and various other utilities.Xpdf runs under the X Window System on UNIX, VMS, and OS/2. The non-X components (pdftops, pdftotext, etc.) also run on Win32 systems and should run on pretty much any system with a decent C++ compiler.

Source :
PDF-XChange Viewer

Is a simple free pdf reader for Windows OS. Its fast to load and rich of features.

Apart from basic reader it provides editing capabilities. Yes.. now you can edit your pdf for free! It allows you to export your pdf to BMP, JPEG, TIFF or PNG format.

Cool PDF reader

This is the smallest pdf viewer/reader available right now with a size of just 650KB. And because of that it loads the fastest!

It lets you view, print and convert PDFs to other formats.

The shareware version allows to convert pdf to and exe file so that it can viewed in any system without having installed any pdf reader.

Sumatra PDF viewer

Another light weight pdf reader with size just around 1-2MB.

It has a simple design. No over crowded keys and functionalities. It simply performs the view opeartion.

Source code of this tools is available. Its Portable out of box.

If you dont want to have a dedicated application for pdf viewing you can also use Google chrome browser to view it. It comes with some basic functionalities and can be helpful.

Apart from these there is always the Adobe reader. Its the complete package with all the features implemented perfectly. But why download a 30-40MB application when the same functionality is provided by applications which are KBs in size?!  

Please leave a comment so that know if this post is helpful or not. Also mention if any changes is required. It could help others :)
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QBSue said...

PDF Studio from Qoppa Software is a low cost application that offers viewing and much more. jPDFViewer is the viewing component that can be integrated into your application, applet, or workflow.

Adithya said...

Thanx for the info!

Anonymous said...

I like PDF-XChange Viewer. In my opinion this is the best Viewer today. Full of really useful features, easy to use, fast -- and it produces great PDFs with faithful rendering of text and graphics. The new version has some new nice features (as you can change colour, fonts or main background according to your style and mood, you can close even a single opened tab without closing the Viewer itself, you can also open/close pop-ups grouping them by colour, XFA-forms...). Many thanks for its support.

Adithya said...

Ya andresid.. Its a tool worth trying out..

john kindle said...

"It's pretty inevitable that the digital book
wins the battle of the paper book, a little
as Kleenex has won the battle against
the handkerchief "

Gigoachef said...

As far as I know, only Evince, Xpdf and Sumatra are really open source. The others are freeware, but their code is proprietary. My personal experience is that Foxit was a lovely little software (even though it's not open source) but over time has become a mammoth like Acrobat Reader. Sumatra is a lot better / lighter and completely open.

Amit said...


Anonymous said...


Amber Salm said...

Yes adobe takes a lot of space in memory because of which it is not liked by many people. I am also looking for a light solution and you have suggested so many options. Thank you.
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Thomas Anderson said...

Thanks for share post of Adobe pdf readers. it's a great post.
download windows free software

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