We bring you a small list with nine free PDF file readers so that you can open the documents on your computer and have some basic or advanced functions to manage them as a team or edit them. All the alternatives that we offer you are completely free, although some have a paid version for which they reserve their most advanced functions. This will depend on what you need them for.
The idea is that you always have a choice, for that we are going to talk about tools that you already have, others very powerful and versatile, some freeware, and others extremely light to be used on any computer. Some allow you to sign documents, open several in different tabs, or leave comments for the rest of the team.
Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and other browsers
Before starting with the list, it is only fair to remind yourself that your browser may already have a built-in PDF reader. Of course, the main players in the sector such as Chrome, Edge, or Firefox do have it. This means that for basic functions such as reading or printing, you will not need to install specific third-party applications.
This support has been around for a few years now, and browsers will open PDF files as if they were the web. Its functions will be only the basic ones to read them and little else. If you did not know this and your browser does not open the files, you will have to go to the operating system settings to mark your browser as its default reader.
Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
Adobe has this free tool with which you can handle large PDF files, and it has features like tabbed view for multiple documents and compatibility with cloud storage services. If you already have an Adobe account, you can use your cloud, although it also works with services like Dropbox, OneDrive, or Box.
Adobe reserves most of the advanced PDF editing features for Adobe Acrobat Pro, but this free version offers some such as being able to sign documents with text, handwritten signature on the spot, or adding an image where you have the signature scanned. You will not have any problem reading the documents either, as well as adding annotations, comments, or the possibility of having the documents read to you.
- Link: Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
If you want an alternative to Adobe, perhaps less known, but with a freeware license to offer you all the functions without having to pay anything, Foxit Reader is a very interesting one. Its negative point is that it may consume too many resources, something that could be a problem if you have an old computer, but it has enough options to be one of the reference alternatives.
- Link: Foxit Reader
Slim PDF Reader
This PDF reader stands out for its speed and extreme lightness since its installer only occupies 1.43 MB. This makes it an ideal option for those less powerful computers that need solutions according to their resources. This also helps everything load faster and documents take less time to open.
The negative side of this application is that it only has basic options. At most, you can search the document or rotate it, but that’s it. There is no way to sign, fill in, comment, or have more than one reading mode. So, what you have is simply a free, lightweight, basic PDF reader.
- Link: Slim PDF Reader
It is a powerful alternative for those who are looking for something minimalist, and it has an installable version and a portable version that does not require installation to be able to carry it on a USB. It does not have any editing options or advanced features, in that it is very similar to Slim PDF, but it is a fast and minimalist tool.
What it does have is support for several tabs with which to open different documents, it has several keyboard shortcuts to streamline processes, and it supports several types of alternative documents, such as ePub for electronic books, Mobi, or the CBZ or CBR comic book formats. This allows you to use it to read various types of content, not just PDFs.
- Link: Sumatra PDF
This is another free PDF reader with some very interesting features such as support for computer touch screens, multiple annotation options, and a ribbon menu very similar to Microsoft Office applications. There is also support for leaving comments in the PDF, which together with the annotations favors teamwork.
But there is also some bad news. For example, the application does not allow you to fill in or sign PDF documents. It also does not have options to search within the text or join documents, since these are reserved for its paid version.
- Link: Nitro PDF Reader
Expert PDF Reader
A lightweight application that can be used on almost any device, even if it doesn’t have much power, but that doesn’t skimp when it comes to offering a large number of tools with an interface similar to that of Microsoft products. It lets you fill out and sign PDF documents, as well as use some of its pre-designed annotation marks like an English Approved stamp.
The application also allows you to leave post-its with comments, and add additional documents. But in its options, there are also some absences, such as not being able to convert different types of files or different reading modes. In return, you can open multiple documents in different tabs.
- Link: Expert PDF Reader
It is an application that has a paid version, so you cannot expect to get the most out of the free one. Despite this, you can create sessions to open several documents from the same folder, zoom in to see everything better, or various options to edit documents and leave annotations.
The application even can customize the user interface elements, creating your taskbars so you can focus on the things you need. However, the negative is that 40% of its functions are paid, so there will be many advanced options that you will not be able to use. But for the basics, it is an interesting alternative.
- Link: PDF-XChange Editor
An application to open and read almost any type of document, not only PDF, but also many other formats such as TXT, Comic Book Archive, PDF, DjVu, MOBI, EPub, various image formats, and many other document formats. In addition, it also allows you to manage several documents at the same time in tabs.
The application allows you to create bookmarks to quickly jump to certain parts of a document, as well as highlights in the text. You can split the screen to have the same document in two places or invert the colors to reduce musical fatigue. Possibly it lacks many advanced options that we have seen in other tools like Nitro or Foxit, but if you need a versatile program you should take it into account.
- Link: STDU Viewer
Stephen is a versatile and enthusiastic content writer with a passion for writing. He has over 8 years of experience in the field of writing. He strives to transform businesses and lives through his writing, and enjoys every minute of it.