FoxIt PDF Reader

At some point in our computing lives we will almost certainly stumble across a PDF (Portable Document File).These are extremely useful for transmitting a document, including any associated diagrams or pictures, in one single file which should look identical to the original on any compatible computer or mobile device.The fact that practically any modern day machine can use these files, coupled with the maintenance of the original appearance, has made this format extremely popular.

The possible applications are fairly obvious.For example, most modern day hardware and software doesn’t come with a printed manual but rather an electronic copy stored in PDF format on an accompanying CD.In the office, we send invoice copies in PDF format via e-mail as you can be sure that the recipient will view the document exactly as intended.Transmitting a complex document in an alternative format such as .doc would mean that the recipient would be unlikely to see things exactly as you intended, unless they had access to all the embedded pictures and fonts which are often unique to your particular machine.

The format was invented by Adobe back in 1993 and all that is required to read files in this format is the free Adobe Acrobat reader that can be downloaded from this software has become extremely bloated in recent years and can often cause your computer to crash or hang even when performing the most basic of operations.Therefore this week I’m going to tell you about an alternative reader which is an essential download for practically every person reading this article; even if you haven’t yet come in contact with a PDF file, you will soon.

The FoxIt PDF Reader is an alternative to the Adobe Acrobat reader that most computer users will have already installed on to their PC at some point.Whilst both pieces of software essentially do the same thing, FoxIt is just 2.1mb to download; approximately one tenth of the 25mb that’s required for Acrobat. The smaller application size means that when you open a PDF file it is on your screen almost instantly, whereas in some dire situations I was left waiting literally minutes when I tried to open some PDF’s embedded in e-mails when using the bloated Adobe offering.

As well as simply reading PDF files the software also allows you to annotate PDF files so that you can make notes, highlight text or draw graphics before saving or printing the changes.When saving you also have the option to save the entire document as a standard text file; this would be useful should you wish to import the content into an application such as Word for editing.

FoxIt reader is can be downloaded from and alongside the Windows versions are also variants suitable for Mobile Devices or Linux machines.The software doesn’t include any spyware or adware and pays for itself simply by increasing awareness of the FoxIt brand as they do charge for various add-ons, as well as the more powerful PDF applications that they provide.Do look out on the site for handy other free offerings such as the Outlook PDF preview handler which allows you to view the contents of a PDF file from within Outlook without having to open it first.

I am always amazed that a small company on a shoestring budget can often do a better job on a piece of software than the original ‘pioneers’.The average man on the street will most likely find FoxIt a better piece of software than the Adobe offering; this is despite the latter having inventing the format, benefiting from years of experience and not to mention an almost endless budget.


About the Author – Chris Holgate works for Refresh Cartridges.  They are a UK based company who specialise in the supply of high quality printer cartridges.