Foxit Reader

image I just finished recommending this software to Trevor who was complaining about Acrobat Reader being big and slow, and I realized I should mention it here too.

Foxit Reader is a free, lightweight PDF reader for Windows and Linux. It comes in somewhere around the 4MB mark on disk once installed (compared to Acrobat Reader’s 87MB), and the copy I have running right now with its own 90-page, user manual open has a 10MB working set in RAM (6MB private). It starts in a second and renders and prints PDFs very well (unlike, say, xpdf). Until version 2.0 it didn’t have a browser plugin, but I consider that a feature — I want PDFs to open in their own program. (Apparently 2.0 does include a plugin, although there’s a bit of a bug in the installer that requires some extra steps to get it to work with Firefox.)

They also offer a Pro Pack ($39) which offers PDF annotation without a watermark and a “Save as text” option.

And they don’t stop at reading PDFs — if you’re the sort that needs Acrobat instead of just Reader, there’s also PDF Creator ($35), which provides a virtual printer that lets you print from anything into a PDF file, and PDF Editor ($99) which lets you modify PDF files directly. I don’t use any of those although Creator is tempting now that I’m reading about it.

But Reader is their shining star. PDFs are so much less hassle when they’re fast.

One response to “Foxit Reader”

  1. I used to have some sort of seekrit internal Adobe Acrobat Pro that was super incredibly fast (even the Firefox plugin opened in the blink of an eye) – but then Acrobat 8 was released and now I once again dread opening PDFs =/