The 7 Best PDF Readers for Windows In 2022.
Choosing the right PDF for Windows that suits all your needs is not such a difficult task. There are many options with varying degrees of usefulness. As for the basic requirements for reading PDF files, modern web browsers are often all that is needed. They already do what most free PDF readers can do.
However, for those who are looking for a PDF with advanced features that can perform certain tasks such as annotations, digital signature, form filling, etc., knowing the options available can go a long way.
Particularly for Windows 10, a very popular operating system, there are quite a few PDF readers to choose from. That’s why we decided to make our personal list of which 7 PDF readers for Windows are the best free PDF readers in 2019 and 2020.
The 7 Best PDF Readers For Windows
Depending on what your PDF needs, this list may seem confusing because the options are listed in a particular order. So instead we decided to compile a list of the best free PDF readers where you can choose from 7 which one is best for you.
Perhaps the most powerful program on this list has to be Adobe Acrobat Reader. It is also one of the most popular PDF software options for both basic and advanced features. This particular program is recommended for all PDF related tasks as it is not uncommon to come across a PDF file that requires an advanced PDF reader.
Adobe Acrobat Reader may seem like a bloated product, especially when compared to others on this list, but that’s because it’s the only product that has a solution for everything PDF related. This is the most useful software on the list that finds solutions to your PDF needs where other PDFs can fail.
There are various reading modes, highlighting text, the ability to add notes and fill out forms, the ability to use digital signatures, stamps, and much more. When working with multiple PDFs, Adobe supports a tabbed view that allows you to open and read those PDFs at the same time. The craziest thing about all this is that the basic version of this product is completely free.
When using one of the other free PDF readers, you may notice that large files may not be fully processed. Adobe Acrobat Reader does not have this issue. Regardless of the file size, it will be easily compiled and processed, giving you a readable PDF every time.
If you need something lighter, PDF-XChange Lite is a free PDF reader alternative for Windows 10. PDF-XChange’s trademark has been completely redesigned and simplified, replacing “Viewer” with “Editor” in the name since the original didn’t offer basic editing features for free.
With changes, it now provides an appropriately named lightweight interface and features to read, print, annotate, save images and text, etc. all in a PDF file. This, in addition to the developers’ claim that the free version will come with over 60% of what you get from the paid version, makes PDF-XChange Lite a great entry into the PDF Reader category.
SumatraPDF is another entry on the light front. It is an open source PDF reader software available for Windows operating systems from Windows 10 all the way up to XP.
Naturally, anything marked as open source means a product that is free and open to the public, yet still customizable for download. SumatraPDF is licensed under the GPLv3 and supports not only PDF but also EPUB, MOBI, FB2, CHM, XPS and DjVu.
Of course, SumatraPDF, while providing excellent reading, suffers from a lack of features. It’s a lite after all. It does not contain annotations, signing documents and filling out forms, which some may consider a violation of the terms of the transaction. However, if you need light, SumatraPDF comes as a 64-bit installer that is no larger than 5MB.
If you are looking for a software with all the basic features and functions you could wish for from a PDF reader, look no further than Javelin. At the very least, Javelin will let you handle all your daily activities with ease thanks to its ultra-clean interface and various screen viewing features such as full, side by side, continuous, etc.
It’s a fairly light 2MB product, especially when compared to programs like Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. In addition to the basic functions, Javelin can help you view DRM-protected PDF files, that is, files that require decryption keys to open.
Other than Adobe, one of the more well-known names in the office software world is Nitro Reader. If you’re looking for a free PDF reader that tries to find the perfect balance between usability and features on offer, this is the one for you.
You will not find an overabundance of unnecessary features that you are unlikely to use. Instead, Nitro Reader offers a more serious PDF reading style with its slick interface that mimics similar applications straight from the Microsoft Office suite.
Besides the basic features, Nitro Reader comes with its own QuickSign digital signature feature, which makes it easy to digitally sign documents. It also keeps individual documents secure by ensuring that only those who have received a digital certificate from you can open the file.
It Reader is reliable and free, which creates a double whammy of much-needed potential for most people in the PDF reader market. Foxit, like Adobe and Nitro, is a globally recognized brand in the world of document reading software and is comparatively lighter than both.
Foxit’s official website is well designed and easy to navigate, offering a secure download without the need to install additional malware like Adobe usually does. They also introduced the ConnectedPDF online document management system and it does not try to download additional malware onto your computer.
However, during the installation process, it tries to install a 14-day trial version of the Foxit PhantomPDF editor, so take a look at that.
With Update 8.0, Foxit also introduced the new ConnectedPDF online document management system to keep your PDF documents online secure and private. This is useful when collaborating online and helps keep your documents organized.
Foxit is an advanced free PDF reader with all the essential features you could ever want. You can also get rid of all the frills and bloat that a standard PDF viewer provides by using the Foxit Text Viewer mode. This will remove all the complex formatting and allow you to view the document in a simpler, Notepad-like way.
This entry on the list of the best PDF readers for 2019 and beyond brings with it a fresh new interface and all the standard features. Expert PDF Reader is a free PDF reader for Windows that you can download and use to view PDF files.
The list of included features includes the ability to add notes, highlight text, create a text box, and even create and manage custom stamps. Unlike some but similar to others on this list, the free software comes with the signature feature enabled.
There is a premium version of Expert PDF Reader Professional, the latest version of which includes new features to support and save PDF files for a long period of time.
In addition, it offers new file size optimization options and an OCR (Optical Character Recognition) feature that makes it easy to scan images that would otherwise be difficult.
Self-proclaimed “the world’s smallest desktop PDF reader”, SlimPDF is another lightweight reader on this list. With a download size of just 1.43 MB, it’s very hard to argue against this claim. This makes it ideal for those with an older model of computer that may have trouble running more complex and heavy PDF readers.
This particular software is one of the best free PDF readers that you can use whether you are using newer versions of Windows (10, 8.1, 7) or older ones (XP). Load times are fast and the process is smooth. It may not have the glitz and glamour of Adobe Acrobat, but it offers simplicity and is focused primarily on reading, viewing, and printing PDF files.
This product does not support many of the most popular keyboard shortcuts you can find in other readers. To keep the crown of the lightest PDF reader, it has had to make sacrifices, and it can be seen as being rather meager. Word-by-word highlighting is one of the standard features you might expect out of the box, but the reader itself is quite portable and just works after all.
The 7 Best PDF Readers for Windows In 2022
The 7 Best PDF Readers for Windows In 2022