Five Free Alternatives For Adobe Reader

We all know that Adobe Reader has been a standard reader for reading PDF document. But there are a few PDF readers other than Adobe reader that does the job very well. The difficulty we exprience in the Adobe PDF reader is the time it takes to load and render the pages. Some of the readers that we have reviewed below loads quickly and also provide very nice features that are not supported by Adobe itself.


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Lets take a look at five free alternatives to Adobe PDF reader and briefly summarize the features.

1. Perfect PDF Reader 5

Perfect PDF Reader, Soft Xpansion is a good alternative for Adobe Reader, it has also some additional functions. The main value added feature is that you can export pages from PDF file as the images (BMP, GIF, JPEG, PNG, Metafile) with different resolution.

Here is the list of features:

  • open, read, display any PDF file
  • print PDF documents
  • export PDF as plain text
  • export PDF by the page as images (not available in Adobe Reader!)
  • great number of navigation and display modes, zoom
  • rotate pages
  • send PDF file via email
  • extract text and images
  • clipboard
  • search function with appropriate options
  • fill, save and send PDF forms (not available in Adobe Reader!)
  • digital signatures


You can download Perfect PDF Reader 5 from here.

2. Sumatra PDF

Sumatra PDF is a slim, free, open-source PDF viewer. It is not known for its number of features or abilities but for its speed. PDF pages are loaded instantly and it provides a huge number of keyboard shortcuts. Sumatra PDF is good for portable drives.


You an download Sumatra PDF here and  it is distributed under GPLv3 license.

3. PDF-XChange Viewer

PDF-XChange Viewer by Softonic is another powerful PDF reader that is smaller, faster and more feature-rich than other available readers. It is very quick when it opens large PDF files and smoothly refreshes the pages as you scroll.

Here are some of the key features available in the PDF-XChange Viewer:

  • Add comments and annotations to any PDF file
  • Markup pages with text and objects
  • Type directly on any PDF page
  • Export PDF pages or entire files to BMP, JPEG, TIFF, PNG and more
  • Extract text from a PDF page or file
  • Make your navigation of large PDF files both simple and enjoyable with the Loupe and Pan tools


You can download here and try it for free.

4. Haihaisoft PDF Reader

Haihaisoft PDF Reader by is a very small size, free PDF document Reader and Printer. The size is only 1.7 MB and it launches extremely fast with rich feature set. Here are the key features:

  • Reads all Adobe PDF documents
  • Small Sized : The download size of Haihaisoft Reader is only 1.8 MB which is a fraction of Adobe Reader
  • Launches very quickly
  • High security and privacy: Haihaisoft PDF Reader doesn’t connect to the Internet in the background for updating
  • Read protected document: It supports protected PDF document by DRM-X platform. With DRM-X platform everyone can easily set different rights permissions and securely share your document.


You can download here and try.

5. Cool PDF Reader

Cool PDF Reader is the world’s smallest PDF viewer/reader  to view, print, and convert PDF files to TXT, BMP, JPG, GIF, PNG, WMF, EMF, EPS. It is only 655 kB to download and doesn’t need lengthy installation, just download, unzip, and run.
Key features include:
– View and Print PDF
– Convert PDF to BMP, JPG, GIF, PNG, WMF, EMF, EPS
– Extract PDF to TXT
– Support PDF files of all versions
– Work with 68+ different languages
– Zoom in and zoom out
– Rotate page displays
– Slide show PDF document with full screen.


You can download it here and install in just few seconds.


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  5. Patrick Leclezio says:

    I tried PDF XChange Viewer because I need the commenting and annotating functionality. The program itself seems good, but some notes/comments disappear when the file is opened in Adobe Reader. So there are some critical compatibility issues, which make it useless for my purposes.

  6. Lasher says:

    Isn’t PDF a closed standard? Is there actually an alternative to the .pdf itself not just it’s reader? I may be wrong in concluding it is a closed standard but I am sure it is at least propriety to Adobe and am interested in knowing if there is a free ‘as in speech’ not ‘beer’ alternative.

  7. Anonymous says:

    PDF-XChange Viewer is really excellent alternative to Adobe with handy and fully functional Menu. Even Free Version includes most of features, among new read/edit bookmarks, ifilter search for a group of books (searches text from pages, document info (title, authors, subject), comments, and bookmarks. It’s really the fastest search today), excellent OCR, for example. All tabs are made useful for quick reading and easy navigation of books in them.
    It has easy-to-set up the display scale, adding in pdf-document different frames, arrows, curves (with setting their color, thickness, style, transparency), measuring the perimeter and area of geometric shapes.  Also I can use portable version to open and edit files on my stick and I can use this Viewer on Clouds.

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