Foxit Reader: A Free, Lightweight Adobe Alternative


If you’ve spent much time with Adobe’s applictions for working with PDFs, you know that they’re not the fastest applications under the sun, and they provide their  share of annoyances when doing updates, and when uninstalling. For a free, alternative application you can turn to, Foxit Reader for Windows is a good choice. (There are also versions for Linux and mobile devices.)

Foxit Reader is much smaller than Adobe Reader, so one of the best things about it is how fast it loads and unloads. It also makes it easy to easy to convert PDF documents to text. The latest version 2.3 of the application, downloadable here, now includes multimedia features for playing the audio and video that sometimes accompany PDFs.

In the release notes for version 2.3 of Foxit Reader, you’ll find an inventory of the new additions. In addition to what has always been a very useful toolbar implementation, version 2.3 lets you open PDFs in multiple, tabbed instances, very much like working with a tabbed browser. There are also collaboration tools for annotating PDFs with text and more.

The multimedia features and collaboration features are good additions, but the reason I use Foxit Reader remains the speed. The application is a fraction of the size of Adobe Reader. I need to get in and out of PDFs frequently, and this application does it much faster than Adobe does.

How do you work with PDFs?

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