PDF or Portable Document Format is a file format developed by Adobe in 1993 to present documents, including text formatting and images, in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems. Nowadays, there are many documents shared in PDF format. And to open such PDF documents we need relevant software to open and view it, whether on the computer or on mobile phones. In this post, we shall see the best free PDF Software for your Windows computer.
Nowadays, we can also view PDF documents on web browsers as most web browsers comes with in-built PDF reader. So, may be you don’t need to install any additional software if you just need to view a PDF document on your computer. However, if you need additional features like digital signature, form filling, annotation, etc. then it may be better to install appropriate PDF reader on your computer. There are plenty of options out there for PDF software on Windows OS.
List of Best Free PDF Software for Your Windows Computer
1) Adobe Reader
If we talk about PDF software, we cannot ignore Adobe, the creator of PDF document format. Adobe Reader is a free PDF reader which is available for Windows, Mac OS and Android. It comes with easy to use with a decent and friendly user interface. Apart from PDF viewing, it provides different reading modes, text highlighting, comments, annotations, etc. Adobe Reader cannot be used to edit existing PDF document.
Please note that Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat are two different software. Both can be used to view, print, comment, and search through documents with ease, but the Acrobat is the more advanced version of the Reader with the ability to create and edit existing documents.
Basic differences between Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat:
1) View, comment and print: Adobe Reader, Adobe Acrobat
2) Edit PDF text and images: Adobe Acrobat only.
3) Scan: Adobe Acrobat only.
4) Sign, Track and Send: Adobe Acrobat only.
5) Convert PDFs (into file types like Word, PowerPoint and Excel): Adobe Acrobat only.
Available for: Windows, Mac OS, Android
Price: Adobe Reader is Free; Acrobat Standard DC: $155.88/yr Acrobat Pro DC: $179.88/yr
Download: Adobe Reader Here.
2)Foxit PDF Reader
Another free PDF software that you may enjoy using is Foxit PDF Reader. With Foxit PDF Reader also, you cannot edit existing PDF document as it is only a PDF reader. However, it comes with many useful features and smaller file size than Adobe Reader. You can Read and Print PDF, comment, annotate, form fill, and sign PDF across desktop, mobile, and web. If you are looking for Adobe alternative for PDF reader packed with features, then look no further than Foxit PDF Reader.
Foxit PDF Reader also comes with its own virtual PDF printer with which you can convert documents such as Microsoft Word Document to PDF using its printer. The printer is shown in the dialog box when you hit the print command. Just select the Foxit Reader PDF Printer and generate PDF output.
Foxit’s PDF products include Foxit PDF Reader, Foxit PDF Editor, and Foxit Sign.
Available for: Windows, Mac OS, Android
Price: Free (Foxit PDF Editor is paid version)
Download: Foxit PDF Reader
Sumatra PDF is a free PDF, eBook (ePub, Mobi), XPS, DjVu, CHM, Comic Book (CBZ and CBR) reader for Windows. One of the pros about Sumatra PDF is that the file size is small and it also has portable version. It starts up very fast. Simplicity of the user interface has been given high priority. It support multiple languages as well.
Available for: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7
Download: Sumatra PDF
4) Javelin PDF Reader
Javelin PDF is a free PDF Reader which provide all the core functionality needed for viewing standard PDF files and PDF files encrypted. It is lightweight as it has just 2MB download size. It supports internal and external hyperlinks, contents/navigation trees, a range of page display formats, plus document text searching, annotation and markup. The overall interface is simple and clean. You can choose reading modes like full screen, continuous, side by side, etc.
Available for: Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Android
Download: Javelin PDF
5) Web Browsers – Chrome, Firefox, Edge
If you only need to view and read PDF documents then you don’t need to install any additional software on your computer. Because most browsers now comes with PDF reader functionality. You can open PDF documents with any browser such as Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge etc. Just right click on the PDF and do ‘Open With’ and then select the browser of your choice. The PDF document will open in the browser and you can read from it. But if you need to add comments, annotate, etc. then you may need PDF readers with those features. So you would need to install relevant PDF reader software for that. You can explore any of the PDF readers we have listed above.
There are more PDF readers software available which you can look up on the internet and download. However, for most users with most basic needs just to view PDF documents on the computer, the above list should suffice. As stated above, Adobe PDF reader is the ultimate choice when it comes to PDF software. If you want free PDF reader with a little more extra features, then Foxit PDF Reader is a great choice too.
# Free PDF Reader software for Windows PC
# Best PDF readers for Windows PC