If you do not wish to depend on Adobe’s Acrobat Reader DC to open and read your PDF files, Foxit Reader is a nice alternative to it. This free utility comes with a wealth of highlighting, annotation, signing, sharing, and protecting features, and offers a tab-based interface that allows you to work on various PDF files simultaneously.
In terms of visual design, I find its look-and-feel much more appealing than the new Acrobat Reader DC design. It is more in line with the ribbon-based Office tools that we’ve been using for a few years now, and tools and features seem to follow some logic here. In terms of PDF viewing, the quality is just as amazing, and it includes certain reading options that you won’t find in its major competitor, such as a text viewer, the option to see pages in reverse order, a reflow-text option, and a Night Mode that reverse the colors of the standard black-on-white layout. Besides, on a different menu, you will find a useful Loupe feature that will zoom in your text for a more convenient viewing and a more comfortable reading experience for those with some visual impairment.
Everything else is there – the digital signature, the stamps, the highlighting, the annotations, the notes, the option to insert images and text, of adding bookmarks to the file, adding clipart and callouts, text boxes, etc. Except for editing the existing text and the original layout, you can do all kind of modifications on your PDF files, just as you would do with Acrobat Reader DC.
But probably the program’s main asset is ConnectedPDF. This add-on will allow you to benefit from various cloud-based services that the program offers, also for free. These include secure access to documents, usage tracking of your PDF files, collaborative work, etc. In parallel, Foxit Reader offers you the possibility to share your PDFs to common social and sharing sites (Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc.) directly from the program’s menu.
Foxit Reader is a completely free tool with no strings attached – if you wish to perform deeper edits in the content of a PDF file, Foxit has also tools for that, for a fee. Given the high quality of its free introductory tool, I wouldn’t hesitate to explore Foxit’s commercial PDF-related tools before making a final purchase decision.
- Share your PDFs online directly from the program
- Includes CoonectedPDF to work in the cloud
- Annotate and comment your PDFs
- Zoom in the text for a more convenient reading
- Sign and protect your PDF files
- Does not allow for text editing