As you might expect, Adobe’s free Acrobat PDF reader is
the definitive tool for reading Adobe’s own PDF format. However, it’s
certainly not the only tool, nor is it neccessarily the best.
One of the frequent complaints about Acrobat Reader is that it can
be quite slow to load as it loads and processes modules that 99% of
users never need to read a simple PDF file.
Now there is a choice. Foxit
Reader offers users a very fast and free alternative to reading PDF files.
In addition to its speed, Foxit is also a much smaller download, at
nearly 1/10th the size of the Adobe Acrobat reader.
There are a couple of small caveats…
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The Foxit company is, of course, a business. Offering Foxit Reader
for free is an incentive for you to visit their site, become familiar
with their products and hopefully purchase some of the other products
they offer that are not free. The choice, of course, is yours, but I’m
discussing specifically the free Foxit Reader which is a simple
download that doesn’t require any of your information.
Reader is fine alternative to
Once installed, you need to check the updates because many of the updates are
actually trial versions of some of Foxit’s add-ons and are
not free. Check the updates carefully before selecting which you want to
Since Adobe can be said to “own” the PDF format, occasionally there
will be newer features or incompatibilities. The most recent version of
Foxit Reader (2.3, at this writing), resolved all the incompatibilities
that I’ve run into, but the potential still exists. Foxit seems to be
relatively quick to track and update Foxit Reader to accommodate any
But the bottom line is that Foxit
Reader is a fine alternative to
Adobe Reader for 99% of the PDF documents out there. It’s nice to have
a document snap right up on the display, rather than waiting while
Adobe Reader cycles through its loading sequence.