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The best FREE PDF Readers for Windows

by Felix Omondi
free pdf reader

In today’s increasingly digital world, a student’s textbook often comes in PDF formats. It is also a great way for presenting your business documents. Whatever your use for PDF might be, here is a list of the top free PDF readers for Windows right now.

Before we jump into the list, let us take a look at what makes a good PDF reader; as subjective as it may be. Personally, I think a good PDF reader is one that let you not just open documents but has extra features. Such as the ability to convert the PDF document to other formats, gives you the ability to tweak the text, and split them into various individual pages. That said, the following PDF readers for Windows do score highly on the mentioned fronts:

Foxit Reader

This PDF reader ousted Adobe Reader as the best reader for most people. If you have used it, it is simple to see why. Its interface borrows a lot from Microsoft Office with the design of the ribbon at the top allowing to instinctively know where to find a wide array of pdf reader

It also operates like your typical browser with a tabbed view of multiple PDF files side-by-side. Foxit also enable you to fill out forms and do some annotations on PDF. Unfortunately, the ubiquity of PDF format has made it increasingly the target for malware and virus developers. Luckily, Foxit Reader gives you Safe Reading mode, which gives you protection from harmful internal links and JavaScript integration. You can also download add-ons to Foxit and be able to convert PDF files to other formats (and vice versa).

You can download the free Foxit Reader at this link.

Nitro PDF Reader

Nitro PDF Reader (too) borrows the top ribbon style you find in Microsoft Office apps. While it also have the other top features one would want in a PDF reader like viewing, annotations, highlighting and converting text to PDF (and vice versa).

Nitro PDF Reader takes it a notch higher by availing sticky notes. You can also extract images from the PDF document in one clean sweep. You can also digitally sign your electronic documents using your custom e-signature.

You can download Nitro PDF Reader here.

PDF-Xchange Editor

It comes in two versions; the freemium and the premium. On the freemium you get a wide-enough array of features liked tracked comments and ability to extract or insert pdf reader

The freemium version also gives you a killer feature, the Optical Character Recognition (OCR). Using this feature, you can scan a printed document and have it converted into searchable format saved as a PDF document.

Pro Tip: When you are installing this app, it is recommended you select the ‘Custom’ option instead of the ‘Complete’ option. Then you can uncheck the features you don’t need; they will be presented to you in an expandable tree format when you click the ‘+’ sign to see the hidden features.

Download the PDF-Xchange Editor here.

SlimPDF Reader

If you are looking for slim applications; the type that don’t hog up resources in your computer. SlimPDF Reader is what you are looking for, with just 1.43MB space requirement when installed; hardly a dent in your drive space. It is by all measures the smallest (occupies least space) PDF reader in this pdf reader

Naturally, you don’t expect very much from a PDF Reader that is this frill-free; that is not a bad thing sometimes. There are occasions when you just want to read the PDF document, and this app has some of the simplest navigation features of any app, and it is lightning fast.

This is the PDF reader for the individual looking for a bloat-free PDF reader. Nonetheless, it still has support features for functions such as print, rotate, and search. The biggest shortcoming it has is that it cannot display two pages side-by-side by spreading.

You can download the SlimPDF Reader at this link.

Icecream eBook Reader

As the name already suggests, this application is meant for viewing EPUB and MOBI document. However, it also doubles up as a great (and free) PDF reader.

Typical of an eBook reader, this app will encourage you to organize all your book (and PDF documents) into a library sorted out into various categories and fully searchable. You can also use it to open just one individual PDF document.

It also comes with various viewing mode including the eye-friendly night mode. You can also make bookmarks and notes that you can access on the fly at the Contents pane. It also converts Word documents and eBooks to PDF format and vice versa.

To download the Icecream eBook Reader click here.

In case you are using another PDF reader that you fill should be on this list (may be at the top of this list), please feel free to share with us in the comments section below. Remember, sharing is caring!

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