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Summary:

Those wily cats at Foxit Software are at it again according to Business Hacks: the free Foxit Reader for Windows hit version 3 and it offers more compelling reasons to dump Adobe Reader. Foxit is far lighter in terms of its footprint and required resources than […]

Foxitreader

Those wily cats at Foxit Software are at it again according to Business Hacks: the free Foxit Reader for Windows hit version 3 and it offers more compelling reasons to dump Adobe Reader. Foxit is far lighter in terms of its footprint and required resources than Adobe’s ubiquitous Reader application. For starters, Foxit Reader 3.0 is a 3.68MB installation package, while Adobe’s latest Reader package is north of 20MB. If you’re not careful, Adobe will default to an installation that includes Adobe AIR and that brings your install download up to 33.5MB. Of course, both product installs will expand since they’re compressed, but having used each product on notebooks and netbooks with minimal memory, I can vouch for Foxit’s "less is more" approach.

Here’s a listing of the main basic and enhanced features for Foxit’s PDF reader:

  • Enticing Multimedia Design
    Now userscan not only play multimedia in Foxit Reader, but also are empowered toadd, edit or delete multimedia files with the incredible Movie Tool andSound Tool.
  • Attachment Panel
    Lists all the attached files in the PDF document, and provides a numberof common options that helps users manage the attachments, such asopening, deleting and adding description to the attachments. Users canalso change the security settings when opening an attachment in thispanel.
  • Thumbnail Panel
    Shows thumbnail images for each PDF page and allows users to quicklyview relevant portions of a PDF file. Now users can navigate throughPDFs with page thumbnails.
  • Layout Panel
    Lists PDF layers in the document, allows users to control  the display of some certain content areas.
  • Metric Unit Support
    Within the preferences dialog box it gives users the option to set theunit of page dimension in either metric system or imperial system.
  • Auto-scrolling with Middle Mouse Button
    In the Hand Tool reading mode, users can perform auto-scrolling byholding the middle mouse button/wheel mouse button down.
  • Awe-Inspiring Foxit OnDemand Content  Management
    This new add-on enables users to organize, share and collaborate ondocuments and forms online. Users can upload from Foxit Reader or senddocuments with ease. Advanced features include workflow driven documentsharing, revisions of documents, CollabRoom for group collaboration.
  • Firefox Support
    With Firefox Plugin, users can view and work with PDF files  loaded in Foxit Reader with Firefox web browser.
  • Improved Select Text Tool
    Not only used forselecting text, but also enables users to add most types ofannotations, including highlight, strikeout, underline, squiggly,replacement, etc.
  • Enhanced Print Setup
    Supports printing separate pages or a range of pages by entering 1, 3,7-10 or whatever in the Pages text box within the Print dialog box.
  • Better Annotation Control
    Allows users to align and center multiple annotations on PDF pages,including Notes, Drawing Markups and Typewriter Comments.
  • Advanced Toolbar Control
    Completely rearranges the toolbar layout and allows users to  easily customize the tools that appear in Foxit Reader.
  • Better Permission Control
    Disables and grays out some UI elements when users are not allowed toperform the corresponding operations on the protected PDF document.
  • Improved Upgrade Mode
    Foxit Updater Preferences dialog box allows the user to configure theupdate settings. Foxit Reader supports the ability to check for updatesautomatically on a weekly or monthly basis.
  • Improved Popup Note
    A popup note turns transparent when it is open but not selected. Userscan also cut, copy or paste text in the new popup note.
  • Enhanced Shortcut Keys Input
    Press F11 to enter or exit the full screen mode. Use  keyboard shortcuts to fill PDF forms easily.
  • Transferrable preferences Settings
    Foxit Reader creates an INI file to save user’s preferences settings sothat it can be easily kept and transferred. Users can keep their ownsettings and don’t have to configure them when Foxit Reader is updatedor moved.

Note that this application is for Windows ME on up to and including Vista. It also adds PDF support within Firefox, so you can view PDFs right in the browser. Mac users should take note of PDFKit, a Firefox plug-in that also offers basic PDF viewing in the browser. 

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  1. No reason needed. I find Acrobat a slow pig. The reader has gotten good over the years, but still far far too slow for the majority of people.

  2. I’m a FoxIt Reader user too, and I like it very much. Thanks to FoxIt software for bringing a real alternative.

  3. PDF-Xchange Viewer is a (free) excellent alternative from a long time and the one i use since 2 years. Notes, drawing, and ability to export PDF pages to graphic files (in multiple formats)… are some of many qualities.

  4. Another vote for PDF-Xchange viewer. Foxit is not bad, and I will take it over Acrobat any day, but I consider Xchange viewer more polished with more features. Maybe it’s slightly slower than Foxit, but not nearly noticeable. It renders better and toolbars don’t get jumbled as in Foxit.

  5. I’d love to only have only Foxit installed too, but what do you do when you get to sites that’ll only display forms when you have Adobe installed,(usually government: tax, visa applications etc). Seems crazy to have both Foxit *AND* Adobe installed, to cope with that eventuality.

  6. And don’t forget that Foxit still has their PDF viewer for PocketPC in development!

    They just released another beta update a couple of months ago. And it’s a great way to read ebooks on a small screen. They have versions that support WM2003 and up and a whole slew of language packs for international support (but not Japanese yet..).

    The betas are free and don’t seem to have any termination date on them (I used one version for over a year and a half). Go to the downloads page and scroll down to Mobile Versions.
    http://www.foxitsoftware.com/downloads/index.php

    Adobe’s last update for their PPC reader was… 2003, I think.

  7. I do like Foxit as a light pdf reader, but there are some problems with it. The biggest is the fact that I use pdf Annotator with my tablets to mark up pdf files. Although my highlights and annotations look fine on the screen in Foxit, if I print them, the highlighting will cover the text and make it unreadable. This does not occur in Adobe Reader.

    Also, to get any of the truely great capabilities in Foxit you either need the pro edition, or agree to install some “crapware”. Again, I love it on my netbook and UMPC to browse pdf files, but can’t get rid of Adobe Reader…yet!

  8. I like Foxit and PDF-Xchange because they are lean, but Adobe Reader is the only one of the bunch that recognizes the correct page number when I type it in to scroll to that page. Why is that?

  9. I have to disagree with jkontherun for once. Last I tried, Foxit’s rendering was very poor. And the new version does not advertize correct rendering. Speed and resources have some importance, but these are secondary to getting the rendering right.

    Adobe Reader is good these days (last two versions), for a computer that is capable of running XP or Vista, Adobe Reader is not taxing. It also supports all pdf features unlike Foxit.

  10. Foxit Reader is my default PDF viewer, but there are occasions when I need to switch over to Adobe Reader. But I’ve removed all the latter’s startup and System Tray crapola, which I don’t want bogging down my PC. Seriously, Adobe, what’s up with all that?!

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