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Top 15 Free PDF Readers You Will Regret to Miss

With PDF files becoming the most prominently used file type, software like PDF viewers has also been developed on a larger scale in order for you to conveniently manage your PDF files. Moreover, it is occasionally required to maximize the security of your documents from tampering or infiltration online and they are the real deals to rely on. But to find the best PDF reader to suit on the boundless internet, you may be forced to use those inconsistent and incomplete tools that are sometimes costly and do not deliver the quality you desire.

Fortunately, you are now one step away from the edge of searching for a PDF viewer application for you to use for free and achieve an admirable standard for reading PDF files as here is the list of PDF readers that best suit your Windows or Mac desktops both online and offline:

Top 10 Free PDF Reader Online and Offline

1. UPDF

Starting first in the line is the UPDF which is considered the perfect software that suffices every quality you need in working with PDF through the simplest basis. The show's over with this software for it is engineered as an all-rounder application for PDFs as this is loaded with every feature you can find on the preceding list of other PDF readers below.

pdf reader

Versatility at its finest form in a single standalone application, you can do beyond reading or viewing your PDF files with the UPDF as it can provide you the easiest navigation and less complicated instructions to edit, annotate, and organize the contents of your document as well being able to make changes of each page.

This is to make sure you stay ahead of your objective of saving time as this supports converting PDF to other prominent file types such as .docx, .xls, .ppt, etc. All of these include an advanced OCR feature equipped with an elegant interface built in the UPDF.

While this is made available to Windows 10, the best part is you are yet to savor smarter features like shareable documents, an even lighter app size, built-in support feature, and other customer desires since the UPDF values your suggestions for better improvement.

Pros:

  • It is designed with the simplest and most user-friendly interface, making it extremely simple to use.
  • It is free premium software that you can use for free for true.
  • You do not need anything at all to maximize your experience.
  • The PDF reading experience is excellent and you can open a large document fast.
  • You can edit the texts and images in the PDF document easily.

2. Adobe Reader for Windows 10

Next is the powerful Adobe Reader for Windows 10 which is integrated with Adobe's advanced signature trademarks such as different reading modes, text highlighting, adding notes, filling forms, digital signatures, adding stamps, etc. which are all optional yet handy for most user's experience on managing PDF files. This app from Adobe also has a tabbed interface, allowing you to open several PDF files at the same time.

So if you are the type of user that will not settle for less, you do not just want to "read" PDF files, while desiring more additional capabilities, Adobe Acrobat Reader is the best option. Priced at $14.99/month, it is also the finest PDF reader for processing huge files that some lightweight apps cannot handle.

adobe pdf reader

Pros:

  • Requires an expensive price to access most features
  • Can not edit the format or any existing text on the trial version.

Cons:

  • Offers high-end features for signing PDF files
  • Can convert to every file format with the highest quality
  • Can work collaboratively with multiple users
  • Can support sync on other Adobe software

3. Nitro PDF Reader

Nitro Reader is known for achieving a nice blend of usability and complex capabilities. The platform features an easy-to-use design, but it also includes a number of capabilities for creating, reviewing, securing, and sharing PDF files. All you have to do to make new PDFs is drag and drop your documents into the reader. Then you may customize the colors, font embedding, and orientation of your PDF document.

The nitro reader consists of a review window that assists you in editing, commenting, and responding to criticism when reviewing a document. Nitro Reader utilizes QuickSign to password-protect and sign your PDF files for security. Sharing documents is also straightforward and safe; the PDFs you make with Nitro Reader are compatible with practically every other PDF reader, so you can share them with anybody. Nitro Reader may be your best option if you're a heavy PDF user. You can buy the pro version at a one-time price of $179.99.

nitro pdf reader

Pros:

  • Cost-effective for the pricing
  • Fast and convenient PDF management

Cons:

  • Limited some features on the free version including limited PDF conversions, edits, etc.
  • Errors on OCR feature

4. Xodo PDF Reader & Editor

If you are looking for a feather-light tool that does more than just a single function to read PDFs, then try the Xodo PDF reader & editor which is a PDF reader, annotator, and editor all-in-one.

This is considered the quickest PDF viewer and has user-friendly navigation to highlight and underline text, write straight on a PDF, read and annotate MS Office Word, PowerPoint, and Excel files, then save as PDF, share real-time annotations on PDFs with others, sign documents and fill out PDF forms, make notes on PDFs that aren't filled in.

It is also integrated with a file organizer as well as full PDF capability, including normal PDF annotations, and compatibility with Adobe Acrobat® and other PDF readers. It also has an extended version for google chrome for more convenient access.

best pdf reader

Pros:

  • Can do more than just view PDF files but also edit, and annotate other file formats
  • Can share PDF files to multiple devices(phones, desktops)

Cons:

  • Have software issues resulting in crashing and lagging
  • May sometimes have bugs while editing/viewing PDFs.

5. PDF XChange Viewer

If you are still using a PDF reader for Windows 7 or earlier versions of Windows, the PDF-XChange viewer will guarantee you will not be left behind in your PDF experience. The successor to the renowned PDF-Xchange Viewer, PDF-XChange Editor is a free PDF editor with its design having been completely revamped, making it more user-friendly.

Aside from that, PDF-XChange Viewer has all of the same features as its predecessor, including text highlighting, selection, and strikeout capabilities. Stamps and commenting tools let you keep track of changes in documents - features that aren't always available in free PDF viewers.

pdf xchange viewer

Pros:

  • Cost-efficient
  • Compatible with earlier version of Windows(XP,7,8)

Cons:

  • Messy interface(too many icons)
  • Not ideal for beginners

6. ABBYY FineReader

Known to be the leading software in terms of Optical Character Recognition(OCR) quality is the Abbyy Finereader. Its interface is designed simple and intuitive, but you can dive down to a wealth of features and choices.

The main menu is divided into three sections: one for opening and converting current files, another for producing new documents from your scanner, and a third for document comparison. As I'll describe, each area contains in-depth features.

Purchasable one-time with a flat price of $129, what greatly sets this software apart from the others is its OCR proofreading tools that let you clear up OCR errors faster, more conveniently, and more correctly than anything else.

abbyy finereader

Pros:

  • Flexible OCR Settings
  • Can perform higher quality edits

Cons:

  • Have accuracy issues on converting files to other formats.
  • Expensive pricing

7. Microsoft PDF Reader

Microsoft may have released a faster browser for Windows which is the Microsoft Edge but they also included an extension for seamlessly managing your PDF files on the spot- the Microsoft PDF reader. The built-in PDF reader in Microsoft Edge allows you to open local PDF files, online PDF files, and PDF files embedded in web pages.

These files can be annotated with a pen and can also be highlighted. This PDF reader provides users with a single program that can handle both web pages and PDF documents. The Microsoft Edge PDF reader is a safe and dependable program that works on both Windows and also Mac OS X.

With Microsoft's advancement and smart developments, you may now access a range of viewing settings, annotate PDFs with a digital pen, add digital signatures, utilize Windows Ink, and listen to a machine reading your document, in addition to fillable fields, orientation tools, and sticky notes.

microsoft pdf reader

Pros:

  • Fast and simple interface.
  • Have a "read-aloud" feature.
  • Can draw and highlight PDFs.

Cons:

  • Not an independent app, only a browser extension
  • Cannot edit PDF files.

8. Sumatra PDF Reader

Next is the Sumatra PDF reader which is a free and lightweight PDF reader that you can download and install on your Windows PC. SumatraPDF, which is licensed under the GPLv3 license, also supports formats other than PDF, such as EPUB, MOBI, FB2, CHM, XPS, and DjVu.

As previously said, this free and best PDF reader is extremely lightweight, with a 64-bit installation that is just approximately 5MB in size. For users looking for advanced features, unfortunately, sophisticated capabilities such as annotations, document signing, and form filling are missing.

The application includes a number of keyboard shortcuts you can master to aid navigation and improve your reading experience. Sumatra also includes quick previewing of LaTeX documents, as well as the support to combine Sumatra with a variety of text editors.

sumatra pdf reader

Pros:

  • Only consumes a small portion of storage
  • Simple yet comprehensible interface
  • Supports eBook formats

Cons:

  • Only limited to viewing PDF files, no editing
  • Does not have advanced features such as highlighting, signing, form creations, etc.

9. Foxit Reader

Foxit Reader is a well-known name in the field of document readers, much as Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. Foxit, on the other hand, is far lighter than Adobe's PDF reader. Foxit also unveiled its new online ConnectedPDF Document Management System not long ago.

Its Text Viewer option eliminates complicated formatting and presents the file in a basic Notepad-like style. By allowing you to work online and share your PDF with others, the collaboration capabilities enhance your PDF experience even more.

The full version of the Foxit Reader is a sophisticated program for reading PDF files as well as arranging loads of documents for pleasurable work which can be bought at only $89 one time.

foxit reader

Pros:

  • Integrated with cloud-based tools
  • Can work collaboratively with multiple users
  • Designed for quality editing and printing

Cons:

  • Takes up quite resources and system processes

10. Google PDF Viewer

Next in line is a dependent tool that mainly serves as an extension for the browser google chrome, the google PDF viewer. You will certainly not have such problems in accessing this application as long as you have your browser up and running so PDF files downloaded will easily be read through on a lightweight and fast basis.

As it only operates on a local level, bypassing the server, you can view PDF, DOC, XLS, and PPT files straight in your web browser using this free utility. To start reading PDF files, you do not need to install any additional software to get the job done.

The files or PDFs you upload are not saved or shared but can also be conveniently accessed on cloud-based platforms and other supported formats such as dropbox, one drive, etc.

google pdf viewer

Pros:

  • Read PDF files fast
  • Convenient for most users

Cons:

  • May lack the necessary features you need such as editing the actual PDF.
  • Not an independent application, only a browser extension

Tip: How to Enable and Disable the Chrome PDF Viewer

You can enable the Chrome PDF reader extension at any moment as you desire by following these simple steps, whether you're using Chrome on Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS, or any other major operating system:

  • 1. First on your PC, use the Google Chrome web browser. This should be in the Windows Start menu's All Apps section. Meanwhile, this extension can be found in the Applications folder for macOS.
  • 2. Next, click the three vertical dots in the top right corner of the Chrome browser. You should pick Settings from the drop-down menu that appears.
  • 3. Scroll down to the bottom of the vertical menu on the left and click on Advanced. You'll be taken to a submenu, where you'll select Privacy and Security.
  • 4. Select Site settings or Content settings from the drop-down menu that appears. Your browser will determine this.
  • 5 Scroll to the bottom of the Permissions choices lists and choose PDF documents.
  • 6. Slide the switch to the OFF position. That means you cannot download PDF files but can automatically open them in the Chrome browser.

To disable the Chrome PDF Viewer is to simply Slide the switch to the ON toggle otherwise.


11. Soda PDF Online

The Soda PDF online is the software solution that provides you with all of the essential tools you will need to have complete control over any file, especially PDFs. Edit text and pages, convert to and from Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as combine different file types, produce PDFs from hundreds of file formats, and much more.

Using its powerful, easy-to-use productivity boosters, you can make any work linked to your papers as easy as possible. You can even add sticker notes and comments right to any PDF document to make it a collaborative place. With one easy solution, the soda PDF online, you can create fillable forms, eliminate retyping images with OCR, and have e-Sign contracts.

best pdf reader

12. Adobe Reader Online

This adobe reader online from Adobe poses pretty much the same advanced features of the desktop version though you can access it by skipping the unnecessary system features to run, buying you enough time to work on other stuff online. The sign, track, and transmit built-in feature is one of Adobe's greatest features and is integrated into this online version of the software.

Each part of the PDF document may be color-coded and labeled for everyone to sign. It is simple to sort and insert/replace pages in huge documents without having to open numerous documents. It's a little more expensive, but the upgrade is well worth it; editing and converting to PDF is quite useful.

adobe reader online

13. WPS Viewer Online

Another smart application that is notably best in dealing with various documents including PDFs, is the WPS Suite's WPS viewer online. If there is a worthy counter software to Microsoft in terms of document processing, the WPS will not discourage as it is developed with the same number of features as the majority of document readers integrated intuitively into a standalone tool.

You can do basic editing, conversions, and formatting with it and you will appreciate how light it is and how simple it can be used aside from accessing it online on your desktop. The free version of the software itself is enough along with functions that most people can not afford to pay to access the premium ones so this is a wise choice application.

free pdf reader

14. Foxit Reader Online

Foxit has also provided an online version for most users preferring to access their browsers smoothly which is the Foxit Reader online. You can still access the same features found on the desktop version like the application's functionalities such as commenting, scribbling, annotating PDF texts.

While this also supports batch processing, this online tool you can easily access guarantees high-speed processing for every PDF you upload and read while also being able to navigate between tabs.

foxit reader online

15. SmallPDF Reader Online

You might want to try the SmallPDF reader online which may be the only PDF software you'll ever need if you want everything to be done quickly. Although to achieve that expectation, you can buy the full version for $121/month.

There is more to PDFs than merely being able to read them as you may highlight and add text, photographs, objects, and freehand comments to your documents. You may link to 20 more tools to further enhance your PDF experience. Extra pages can be eliminated or files can be combined and separated.

Indeed, you will not have to move between applications anymore because this consists of everything you need! Using this web platform online, you may save time by saving, organizing, and sharing data across several devices.

smallpdf reader

Making the wisest choice: Picking the best PDF Reader for you

We have to agree that there are so many PDF readers to choose from with varying qualities that range from powerful content reading mechanisms of files to absolutely costless yet premium features. There is still no guarantee to subjectively consider what is the best PDF reader.

But as general as it may seem, you can still find that solid option that only you can know on picking the right PDF reader for you by assessing yourself based on your experience whether these qualities made the most out of your time such as:

  • Whether the cost is reasonable for usage.
  • Does it produce a satisfactory result to improve your reading of PDF files?
  • Can you do more with it than just viewing or reading PDF files?
  • Does it make your time worthwhile while navigating its interface?
  • Will it allow me to suggest improvements to the platform for future development?

If in any case, such PDF readers fulfill more than one of the contents mentioned above or even all of it, then it all boils down to choosing the UPDF instead than confusing yourself more with your own self-critique of differentiating the experiences you had in using other software and eventually creating your own standard of preference


Essential Tips to Improve Your PDF Reading Experience

The nature of PDF files is known to be compact and secure considering it is the most used format nowadays. Working and managing your documents is made easier with PDF files as it is expected to be easily convenient to access and can simply communicate ideas.

From a reader's perspective trying to read PDF files, there is not much to do that can let you change the contents of what you are reading on the PDF so it is generally yourself that needs to adjust and make use of tips to make the PDF itself reader-friendly.

It is good to start off with finding the right PDF reading software that suits your needs. Some PDF files may contain complicated content that may be too hard for some PDF readers so it is best to place your preferences wisely on which PDF reader to use.

You also have to utilize certain features integrated into your software such as markup tools that let you do other features on your file, notes to keep you on track, bookmarks to save the most relevant texts found on the pages, and a snipping tool feature that lets you snap a specific part of your PDF to save it for later purposes. While digesting these tips, you can conclude that the PDF reader application plays a critical role to improve your experience in reading files.

While we hope to successfully spare you on your quest to search and choose among the countless options for a good PDF reader, always remember that the standard you set or your preference is a crucial aspect to aid you in deciding which PDF reader best suits you. Your options will always differ depending on your use and requirements and that will summarize how to basically avoid the confusion of finding the right PDF reader application.