Another free PDF reader

runs on Windows
screenshot of Sumatra PDF

Adobe's Acrobat Reader is a free download. It lets you open, read, and print PDF files. Who could ask for anything more? How about anything less.

Sumatra PDF is a free PDF reader, just like the Adobe tool, but it's designed specifically to be small It's only one file, and installing it doesn't mess with your system. In fact, you can stick it on a USB drive and go on your way, since installing it doesn't write anything to the Registry. While it doesn't have all the bells and whistles of the Adobe tool, you can still get done most of what you need to do: open PDFs, scroll by line or page, zoom in and out, show bookmarks, and even copy text to the clipboard. If you really want to tweak this app, there are a bunch of command-line arguments you can supply as well, to re-open a file to a specific page or tweak the display.

A Windows application, Sumatra PDF runs under Win2000 and later.

Download Sumatra PDF

2 Responses to “Another free PDF reader”

  1. Just another voice says:

    Sumatra PDF Reader is also more secure than Adobe or Foxit; it’s stood up well to the recent exploits uncovered by security researchers, such as Didier Stevens.

  2. An echo of a voice says:

    I’ve been using it for a while. It is generally good but it can be very slow rendering some pages. This is usually only an issue for pages generated with a page layout tool [e-magazines, for instance]. One particularly bad ad I encountered took 45 seconds to render [FoxIt took 20 seconds].

    It hasn’t become my “default” viewer yet, but if it continues to improve I expect it will.