Featured Freeware: Foxit Reader

Possessing a much smaller resource footprint than better-known competitors, Foxit Reader is a lightweight alternative PDF reader that makes PDFs a sensible document format instead of the victims of bloatware.

Adobe Reader is monstrously large, slow to load, and includes many features most users will hardly ever need. Foxit PDF Reader pares down its PDF-reading code and comes up with some neat features, like annotation tools, to give you a PDF reader that's far more appropriate for the average PDF user.

PDFs open from the Internet in their own Foxit window, instead of sucking browser resources, and the interface mimics Adobe's so you won't have to change your reading habits. In our test, the text readability wasn't much inferior to Acrobat's. The 1.6MB program starts surprisingly fast. Foxit's biggest flaw in the old version was hogging memory and that has been corrected. We did find it incredibly irritating that URL hyperlinks were unclickable, and that some features were secretly blocked in the freeware copy.

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