Of the myriad array of digital files that we have to work with on a regular basis, PDF documents are probably one of the most (if in fact, not the most) common. From software help manuals and technical documentation to academic textbooks and novels, PDF files are used everywhere.
And that shouldn’t be surprising. After all, PDF files have numerous advantages, such as convenience, compatibility with a wide variety of hardware and software, and the ability to retain their formatting at all times. This is our list of best 10 PDF Readers for Windows:
10Google Chrome, Firefox & Microsoft Edge
The modern versions of web browsers already contain the ability to open and view PDFs. You can do so directly on the web when clicking on a link or clicking on a file in your browser after downloading it. Furthermore, you can set your preferred browser as the method of opening PDFs from your hard drive as well.
To viewing PDFs, the browsers support downloading of online PDFs as well as printing the opened document. Zooming in and out of the document is, of course, supported as well. Some functions are browser specific though:
- Firefox allows full screen and a page overview
- Google Chrome & Firefox also allow the rotation of pages
- Google Chrome possesses a reliable bookmark function
9Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
The go-to version for PDF viewing is, of course, the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Usually, more simple PDF readers or your browser are enough to view a PDF, but some PDFs are more complex. Of course, the reader developed by the developers of the PDF format itself got that covered. PDFs containing fillable forms, complex 3D models or other rich media can be easily handled by Adobe.
This program comes with a plethora of features n addition to the basic zooming and different page views. You can add notes and highlight text passages as well as take snapshots of parts of the page.
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
On the first glance, one might mistake Foxit Reader for a Microsoft Office program. The interface looks strikingly similar which enables Windows users to easily find the vast number of tools available.
Foxit provides the well-known features of the Adobe Acrobat Reader and adds a few extras such as annotating a PDF or form filling. Furthermore, due to its tabbed browsing capability, the program makes it easy to open and work with several PDFs at once. And not only that. You can create connected PDF documents and work on them together with others, start discussions and add comments.
If you want to view your PDFs on the go, Foxit also provides app versions for Android, iOS and Windows phones.
Price: $9.90 per month
Download Foxit Reader
7Nitro PDF Reader
Like the Foxit Reader, Nitro PDF Reader’s design was also strongly influenced by Microsoft Office, helping Windows users to easily find their way around the tools.
Similar to the other, versatile readers.
Nitro allows you to annotate and highlight your PDF as well as adding sticky notes. It also supports e-signing of PDF documents. All of this, of course, in addition to the basic features that Nitro offers, like zooming and different page views.
Price: $5 per month
Download Nitro PDF Reader
SumatraPDF is easy to use, light-weight and open-source PDF reading software. In addition to PDF, however, it also supports other document formats including different e-book formats like ePUB or MOBI. XPS documents (Microsoft’s PDF alternative) and even comic books like CBZ and CBR can be opened.
The program contains only very basic features, like zooming, a search and bookmarks. Furthermore, there is a portable version available that allows you to use SumatraPDF on any computer that does not allow you to install software.
MuPDF is as simple as it could get. This free and light-weight program does exactly what it should.
It allows you to open and view PDFs – and nothing more. Well, of course zooming and jumping between pages using shortcuts is possible, but no extra features distract from the pure reading purpose of the program.
Price: $35 Lifetime
4Expert PDF Reader
Another free and more light-weight PDF reader is Expert PDF Reader.
It allows basic viewing along with a bookmark feature and a page overview. Furthermore, advanced options allow you to sign a PDF document or add additional text. Annotation and highlighting, as well as some other advanced features, are also available.
Price: Starting From $9.95
Download Expert PDF Reader
PDF-XChange Editor comes in two versions – free and paid. The free version already comes with some great features, the most strikingly being an OCR feature that extracts text from scanned pages.
On the first glance, the program may look a bit overloaded, but by disabling and hiding different, not needed toolbars, you can easily clean up the interface.
Price: Free and Pro $9
Download PDF-XChange Editor
2AnDoc PDF Reader
AnDoc PDF Reader is a popular Android app that does exactly what it should: it lets you open and views PDFs.
The free version contains ads, but if this doesn’t bother you, it is a small price to pay for an app that does one job and that reliably.
Furthermore, AnDoc PDF Reader can also open and view DjVu files.
Download AnDoc PDF Reader
Another one of the super-light-weight PDF readers is SlimPDF Reader.
Due to its really small size, the program operates very fast while it still contains the basic features like zooming, rotating and searching inside the PDF document.
Download SlimPDF Reader