Foxit Reader

Foxit Reader 10.0

Free
A free alternative to Adobe's Acrobat Reader
Opens your PDF documents, displays their content and sets bookmarks, adds comments, validates signatures and embeds text-to-speech support. The tool also includes security features, such as the ability to automatically stop JavaScripts from executing their code or to prevent URLs from being accessed directly from the PDF.

Unlike Adobe Acrobat Reader – the mother of all PDF reading tools – Foxit Reader does not simply let you open and read your PDF files, or highlight certain words or paragraphs, add text on top of the existing one or insert annotations. Foxit Reader also lets you create new PDF files from scratch, from Office files, and by scanning your paper documents into PDF files.

This free PDF reading tool comes in a nicely crafted interface with customizable toolbars and with support for Windows touch-screen devices. Its clear view and elegant design allow you to view your PDF files neatly and comfortably. When reading your files, you can also ask the program to display thumbnails of all pages on the left-hand side of the screen, view any existing bookmarks, and zoom in and out the pages for a more convenient viewing experience.

The program’s sharing and connection capabilities (ConnectedPDF) allow you to define which users can access, read, and modify your PDF files. You are provided with useful information about who and when your documents were opened and/or modified, thus granting a secure reviewing environment for you and your company. ConnectedPDF comes in various flavors to cover the needs of all IT security standards, from the more flexible ones to the more demanding.

Foxit Reader comes also with interesting protection features, with full integration with Microsoft AIP to encrypt and decrypt Microsoft Active Directory. You can sign your documents electronically with this tool, as well as add and verify any digital signature, not only to make sure that the status of that signature is correct but also to know if any further modifications have taken place after applying an eSignature to the file. An extra security feature will let you know immediately if the PDF document is attempting to running an external command, letting you terminate the execution or allow it.

Surely, there are features present in other PDF readers, such as the one mentioned above, that are not present in this free utility (such as the accessibility section), but it does offer other functionality that not even the more sophisticated competitors can match. If you enjoy using off-the-beaten-track programs with barely the same functionality everyone else uses and then some exclusive features, you may want to download and try Foxit Reader.

Francisco Martínez
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • Create blank PDFs and convert from Office files
  • Scan documents and save them as PDF
  • Share PDF files for peer reviews
  • Highlight text and insert media files
  • Sign PDFs electronically

Cons

  • Does not include OCR capabilities
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