Software solutions by experts

5 Best Free PDF Readers for Windows

Last updated on July 15, 2019
Dora

‘‘View, edit, convert and annotate PDF documents, add a digital signature, fill in forms, and so on’’

Written by Dora

PDF readers allow you to view PDF files, the most recognizable document file format worldwide. We sifted through a hundred of available programs to provide you with the best free PDF reading tools. Below, you can find a list of 5 solutions with such options as viewing, creating, editing, and securing PDF documents.

Rating
Main features
Create, convert, edit, sign & annotate PDFs, cloud service integration
Edit & sign PDFS, take screenshots, text-to-speech tool, cloud integration
Edit, merge, sign & convert PDFs, cloud integration
Access several reading modes, use keyboard shortcuts
Edit, sign & convert PDFs to MS Office, add watermarks, OCR tool
Editing tools
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
Password protection and encryption
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Adds watermarks
No
No
No
No
Yes
Cloud support
Yes
Yes
Yes
No
Yes
Form filling tool
Yes
Yes
No
No
Yes
Collaboration options
Yes
No
Yes
No
Yes
Supported OS
Windows 10/8/7, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS
Windows 10/8/7/XP, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Phone
Windows 10/8/7/Vista
Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP
Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP

It is a free PDF reader that besides viewing PDF documents allows you to generate, share, and protect them. Create PDFs by transcoding MS Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations or scanning a document. Make digital signatures and encrypt PDFs using several security options. Work on the same projects with other users, leave and read comments, and keep track of their activity. It's available for Windows 10/8/7, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS.

  • Comes with editing tools
  • A wide range of annotation and review features
  • Inserts and validates electronic signatures
  • Collaboration tools
  • Extensive language support
  • Lacks OCR capabilities
  • Comes with additional software components
Foxit Reader

It offers several reading modes to view a PDF document free of charge. This reader comes with text highlighting, notes inserting, forms filling, and digital signature options. Grab snapshots of text and images, use the text-to-speech tool and listen to the text being read out loud to you. View and share your PDFs on any platform using the ingratiation of cloud storage services like Dropbox, and Microsoft OneDrive. It's available for Windows 10/8/7/XP, Mac, iOS, Android and Windows Phone.

  • Several reading modes
  • Annotation tools
  • Supports digital signatures
  • Read Out Loud tool
  • Limited in features if compared to the paid edition
  • No OCR functionality
  • Slow at opening large PDF files
Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

Read, edit and share PDFs for free. Create PDF files by dragging and dropping any Microsoft Office documents into the reader and customizing the design of your PDF draft with colors, font embedding, and orientation options. Highlight and underline particular text parts, insert notes, and email PDF files. Protect your documents with a password and create your own digital signatures by scanning them or extracting them from a photo. It's provided for Windows 10/8/7/Vista.

  • Extracts images and text from PDF files
  • Multiple annotation tools
  • Cloud integration
  • Allows scanning your signature to create a digital one
  • Occasionally crashes on large documents
  • No watermarks
Nitro PDF Reader

Read PDF files, as well as several other formats, including XPS, DjVu, CHM, FB2, ePub, Mobi, CBZ, and CBR. The program offers multiple viewing modes, such as Single Page, Facing, Book View, and Presentation. Navigate your documents using keyboard shortcuts, zoom pages in and out, rotate them, search text within your PDFs, and automatically attach PDF documents to your e-mails.

  • Supports a wide range of file formats
  • Comes with several viewing modes
  • Extensive keyboard shortcuts
  • No annotation tools
  • No document signing
  • No form-filling
SumatraPDF

It is another free PDF reader that allows you to create, edit, annotate, and sign PDF documents. Highlight text inside a PDF, insert notes, and attach media files. The solution comes with the Optical Character Recognition tool that allows for scanning printed documents and converting their text into a searchable document. Additionally, you can protect your PDF files with 40/128-bit RC4 and 128/236-bit AES encryption algorithms and digital signatures. Try it on Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP. You can buy the version with the extended functionality for $43.50.

  • Supports sticky notes and bookmarks
  • Inserts photos, audio and video files
  • Comes with the OCR tool
  • Supports PDF fillable forms
  • Can't read fields when creating forms
  • Places a watermark on PDFs generated with the free version
PDF-XChange Editor
Conclusion

We compiled a list of best free PDF viewers and our leader is Foxit Reader. This freeware solution comes with multiple editing and annotation tools, it allows you to collaborate with other people and provides strong cloud services integration.

And which PDF reader is your current favorite? Please share your opinion with us and we will add your choice to our comparison list.

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