- With a sophisticated PDF reader, you can do a lot more than just open and read PDFs.
- The finest PDF readers for Windows and Mac enable you to annotate, highlight, and even sign PDFs. Some of them can also be used to fill out PDF forms and convert PDF files into other formats.
- This blog will help you choose the best free pdf reader for your PC.
It’s been more than 25 years that PDF files have been around, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. As PDFs are the most popular format for presentations and document sharing, they are heavily used in schools and offices. No wonder PDF readers are the most commonly used applications and part of every desktop and laptop.
If you are a student, busiSupposess professional, or just somebody who needs to interact with PDFs frequently, you can take advantage o. In that case, all these features by using a quality PDF reader. The rise in the popularity of the PDF format has led to an increase in demand for PDF readers.
Today, we are going to discuss the best free PDF readers for Windows and macOS.
12 Best Free Pdf Readers for Mac and Windows
Today there are many PDF readers for both Mac and Windows. Some of them are free, while others require a subscription. The features they offer are also very different. So it can be confusing to decide which one you should use.
Here, we have compiled a list of the best free PDF readers that offer all the features you need and more. To help you choose the best PDF reader, we have listed them in two sections. The first section contains the best free PDF readers for Macs. The second section contains the best free PDFincludes for Windows.
Note that many of the PDF readers listed work on both platforms, but their features may vary slightly. Finally, you’ll find my personal favorite PDF reader at the end. Without further ado, let us get started with the list!
6 Best Free PDF Readers for Mac
These are the best free pdf readers for macOS.
- Adobe Acrobat Reader
- PDF Reader Premium
- Apple Preview
- Skim PDF
- Soda PDF
- Kdan PDF Reader
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Not surprisingly, Adobe Acrobat Reader is our first choice for Mac and Windows because it’s free, widely compatible with other software, and offers all the features you want in a PDF reader. Not only is it great for reading PDFs, but it’s also extremely powerful when it comes to editing, printing, and commenting on PDFs.
With this free software, you can not only open and view PDFs but also edit them, sign them, fill out forms, protect them and highlight important information. Adobe Reader is indispensable for anyone who needs to work with PDFs on a regular basis.
PDF Reader Premium
If you work with PDFs frequently for your job, consider downloading PDF Reader Premium. With over 50 million downloads, it is one of the most widely used PDF readers for Apple devices.
It lets you view your PDFs in multiple tabs at once, add image-based annotations and sticky notes to them, organize files using tags, add signatures to form fields within saved PDFs, and transfer PDFs via various cloud services.
It’s a good choice for anyone who wants to do more with their PDFs than just read them.
If you’re looking for a simple PDF reader that comes pre-installed on every Mac, then you should use Preview. While it doesn’t offer as many features as some of the other PDF readers on this list, it’s still a good choice for quickly viewing or printing PDFs.
Preview lets you open PDFs, view multiple pages at once, fill out forms, and add annotations. You can also reduce the file size of a PDF, split it into multiple PDFs, or combine multiple PDFs into one.
It’s a good choice for those who don’t need advanced features and just want a program to open quickly.
Skim is a free and open-source PDF editor that allows you to read not only scientific articles in PDF format but also eBooks. Its most useful features include full-screen mode, the ability to export notes as text, compatibility with Spotlight for searching text directly from the program, and the ability to add and update notes. Skim also allows displaying highlights and using built-in transitions when viewing a PDF file.
The program was originally developed for academic use, so it’s a good choice if you need to read and annotate scientific papers. However, its features make it useful for anyone who needs to read PDFs.
Soda PDF is a great program for viewing detailed documents like online comics, magazines, and catalogs. You can even edit and create new PDFs from scratch!
Soda PDF is a great way to manage your PDFs on the Mac. With the built-in software, you can easily convert files and add freehand writing, text boxes, sticky notes, hyperlinks, and annotations.
By providing free PDF tools on its websites, such as converters, splitters, and compressors, as well as document signers and security features, Soda PDF creates not only demand for its online PDF platform but also sales. If you want to free up some space on your computer’s hard drive, you can use these online tools instead of a downloadable PDF reader.
Kdan PDF Reader
It is a versatile PDF management tool that allows you to view, edit, convert and annotate PDF files. It can be downloaded directly from the Mac App Store. Kdan PDF Reader is one of the most powerful and popular PDF management tools for Apple computers.
The software facilitates PDF editing by adding freehand writing, text boxes, sticky notes, hyperlinks, and annotations. You can tag and color code important documents so they do not get mixed up. And with the Import History feature, you can keep track of all your saved files.
Kdan PDF Reader is a good choice for anyone who wants to do more with their PDFs than just read them.
6 Best Free PDF Readers for Windows
These are the best free pdf readers for windows.
- Nitro PDF Reader
- PDF-XChange Editor
- Foxit PDF
- Slim PDF
Nitro Reader is a widely used productivity and office software program. We prefer this free PDF document reader because it offers a perfect balance between ease of use and features rather than being cluttered with unused add-ons. Besides, its sleek interface looks like other Microsoft Office applications.
Nitro Reader is not like other PDF readers. Not only does it have all the basic features, but it also has QuickSign – a feature that makes digitally signing documents as quick and easy as can be. Moreover, you have the option to secure your documents so that they can only be opened by those who have received a digital certificate from you. Thus, if you are looking for a PDF reader for Windows that is effective and has an attractive UI, choose Nitro Reader.
PDF-XChange Editor is a PDF reader for Windows 10 that has been redesigned and shortened. It opens quickly and provides a basic experience for tasks like reading, printing, annotating, and saving images as text from a PDF file.
Before this software was named PDF-XChange Viewer, the only editing feature available for free was very basic. You also get features like OCR and digital signature with this program. Although it has many useful features, some people might feel that the UI is too cluttered because there are so many options. Maybe a redesign in the future could solve this problem.
The free version of PDF-XChange Editor provides over 60% of the features available in the paid version.
Foxit Reader is not only a PDF reader, but you can also create, edit and annotate PDF files. It’s also compatible with multiple platforms and has plugins for Microsoft Office products. Thus, it is an incredibly versatile tool that anyone who frequently deals with PDFs should have at hand.
This program is a collection of tools that will let you create, verify, sign, modify and print PDF files. It is free to use, but the premium version offers you some additional benefits. The free version covers all the essentials unless you need special functions.
MuPDF is a free and open-source software framework written in C that implements a PDF, XPS, and EPUB parsing and rendering engine. It is mainly used to render pages in bitmaps but can also be used for other functions such as search, table of contents listing, and hyperlinks.
It is a standalone program and does not require any external dependencies such as a web browser or PDF reader. It also lets you convert PDF files to other formats, such as HTML, SVG, and CBZ.
Sumatra PDF is a good choice for reading PDFs if you don’t need advanced features like annotations, document signatures, and form filling. Sumatra offers numerous viewing modes, such as single page, book mode, presentation mode, and keyboard shortcuts that make navigating any PDF file easy.
You can use it to read multiple file formats such as PDF, CHM, DjVu, XPS, ePub, MOBI, CBZ, and CBR. Sumatra also offers a plugin for Firefox that lets you open PDFs directly in the browser.
Slim PDF is one of the smallest PDF readers available, taking up only 15 MB of space on your PC. Despite its small size, this free PDF reader has many advanced features, such as printing, searching, zooming, and rotating PDF files.
For PC users, this PDF reader is easy to use and has been recently updated with a dark mode option and a new design UI. With this free software, you can focus only on reading, viewing, and printing your PDF files.
Despite its size and lack of features, it loads quickly and doesn’t take up much space on your computer. Besides, it lacks common keyboard shortcuts, so you’ll have to get used to navigating if you switch from another PDF reader.
Microsoft Edge Browser – the Default PDF Reader
If you have Windows 10 or higher, then you already have Microsoft Edge as your default browser and default PDF reader. In our opinion, it is a powerful software because it includes both a browser and a PDF reader. It opens PDF files really fast and without delay.
The website UI is also very clear and user-friendly. I have been using it for a long time and I am very satisfied with it. Although it does not offer extensive features, it is still able to handle all your PDF needs, such as reading, printing, and signing. It is an easy-to-use PDF reader that comes pre-installed with important features like searching documents, zooming, and bookmarking.
One of the best things about Microsoft Edge is that it can open PDFs in separate tabs, so you can easily switch between them while working on other tabs. Microsoft Edge is our personal favorite PDF reader, and we would recommend it to anyone.
Did This Help You Find Your Best Free PDF Reader?
We looked at 12 different PDF readers that are available for free. They all have their own unique features, but my personal favorite is the Microsoft Edge browser. It comes pre-installed on Windows 10 and has a clean and user-friendly UI.
If you are looking for advanced features, you should use Nitro Reader or PDF XChange Editor. However, if you are just looking for a simple PDF reader that is lightweight and fast, then Slim PDF or Sumatra PDF are good choices.
Do you have a favorite PDF reader that is not on this list? Let us know in the comments below.
FAQs About Best Free PDF Reader
There are many PDF readers available, and the best one for students depends on their specific needs. Some features that might be important for students are the ability to annotate PDFs, fill out PDF forms, and touch screen support. Some popular PDF readers that offer these features are Adobe Reader, Foxit Reader, and Nitro Reader.
Downloading a PDF reader is the first step to reading PDF files with Windows 10. Microsoft Edge, the default program, can open PDFs but offers only a few features. A reader designed specifically for viewing PDFs is the best option. You can download many PDF readers online for free, including Adobe Acrobat.
The Office 365 component Microsoft Word is a PDF editor that you can use to edit PDF files. You don't need to buy or set up any other extensions. In Office 365, Word acts as a PDF editor that you can use to edit PDF files.
Adobe Reader is the most popular PDF reader, but many users find it sluggish. An alternative is Foxit Reader, which is faster and offers more features. However, there are many other PDF readers out there, and which one is best for you depends on your specific needs. Try a few different ones to see which one you prefer.
Foxit's annual plans are cheaper than Adobe's. For example, Foxit PhantomPDF (or Foxit PDF Reader) annual plan costs $79.99, while Adobe Acrobat Pro is available for $179.88 and Adobe Acrobat Standard for $159.99 per year.
Adobe Reader offers more features than Foxit, such as the ability to annotate PDF files and fill out PDF forms. However, Foxit is a lighter program that could be faster and easier to use. For users who only need basic PDF viewing capabilities, Foxit might be the less expensive choice.
There are several free alternatives to Adobe Reader. And the best Adobe Reader alternative is SumatraPDF which is both free and open source. Other popular free alternatives to Adobe Reader include Foxit Reader, SlimPDF, MuPDF and more.
Yes, the Foxit PDF reader is free to download and use, but some of the features are locked behind the paywall, making it a freemium service. But most of the basic PDF reading features are free to use, making it one of the popular alternatives to Adobe Reader.