Adobe & Foxit PDF Readers vs. The Underdogs in the PDF World


  1. Do all the contenders render documents identically? Assuming Adobe Acrobat Reader to be the frame of reference – how do they stack up in terms of quality of rendering?

  2. @Sparx
    Almost the same. The rendering of PDFs has vastly improved through the versions of these alternate PDF readers.

  3. What you say about say about Foxit is true…to a point. However, if you download the “ZIP” version, there is NO, I REPEAT, NO toolbar. How hard is that??? Foxit reigns supreme.

  4. I am using PDF-XChange Viewer for about a year and I find it a very good alternative to Adobe reader.

  5. Foxit 4 has an excellent PDF to text converter built in. Just chose *.txt as the file format in a “save as…” dialog. Contrary to Adobe reader, foxit conversion maintains the text layout.

  6. @OldElmerFudd
    That, I’ve always believed, is the true metric of how good a product is 🙂

  7. FoxIt Reader does *not* compulsorily install the toolbar. If you read the installation dialog boxes carefully, you will see that if you hit ‘Decline’ when they present the toolbar, the Reader will continue installing without the toolbar.

  8. @Paul Gorski
    The zip version is a portable edition, which works without install, and so misses the setup et al. There are portable versions of few other readers available as well.

    @Koshy John
    Thanks for pointing that out. Indeed you are correct, but too bad it misses the eyes and the computing logic. A ‘Decline’ shouldn’t proceed a process.

    Here’s the install screen for the benefit of others:

  9. SlimPDF Reader is a lightest program, just 1.43 MB but it has all features like Adobe Reader and also runs much faster.

  10. In fact, Adobe has #@?!z/èd all of us off and there’s much need for an alternative.
    IMHO though the comparison should be done on relatively demanding and easily comparable document, such as a nice Diagram or a Flow-Chart. And there you will realize that the new NitroPDF is NOT even comparable to Foxit in terms of reliability both on the creation side and the viewer one.
    Just have a look at those lines of your diagram that were so thin in Word and turned out as thick as chop-sticks when you create/view your brand new pdf output with Nitro.
    Nitro has indeed a gorgeous UI which does not unfortunately add anything to the quality of this software. We have to say that this is a Beta version and I think that we’ll have to give the guys some time to refine it somehow.
    On the side of PDF-XChange Viewer I would say that it does not add anything valuable to Foxit performance and in fact what you see is not exactly what you get with fonts and lines tending to be more blurry.
    All in all I would say that today the PERFECT PAIR is:
    – FOXIT READER, by far the lightest and fastest free reader with a few interesting editing features (select “DECLINE” when installing)
    – PDF CREATOR ( – definitely DECLINE the Second License offer during the installation as it refers to a useless and intrusive Bar you don’t want at all; moreover beware of the much advertised “PDF Creator” which which is everywhere including the top of this page and is a 512 kb installer by the name of FoxTab PDF Converter that you definetely want to avoid) which seamlessly integrates among your printers with really worth results.
    Get these two winners and just forget the absurdly and uselessly cumbersome, slow and intrusive Adobe stuff!

  11. 786 Hi, I’m from the Future (2015, to be exact) and I must report that Foxit is still bloated. It was just sucking 680MB for three, count them, three pdfs which, when combined, don’t add up to more than 15MB. You read that correctly: 680MB.

    Foxit continues to suck, and the developers continue to do nothing about it.
    Thank you for this information; I came here looking for an alternative and you have delivered.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2 + 3 =