Light and easy

If you're seeking an alternative PDF reader, this tiny application provides most of the features you're likely to need.

To put it gently, Adobe Reader is a real pain in the hindquarters. It's monstrously large, slow to load, and includes many features most users will hardly ever need. Foxit PDF Reader 3.0 kills the bloat and throws in some useful features, such as multimedia support and content-sharing options, while still allowing you to quickly access your PDFs.

The interface mimics Adobe's, so you won't have to change your reading habits. In our test, the text readability was similar. The small program starts surprisingly fast compared with Adobe. You might need to fiddle a bit to get it to work with your Internet browser, but you can find help on Foxit's support forums. It's a nice touch that it opens PDFs from the Internet in their own Foxit window, instead of sucking resources from within the browser.

Foxit's biggest flaw in the old version was hogging memory and that has been corrected. Recent updates include fixing the hyperlink problem, multimedia support, printing highlighted-only sections, and tabbed PDF browsing, so you can read multiple PDFs simultaneously and with ease. Overall, unless you're tied to Adobe we strongly recommend this freeware competitor.

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