If all the stored PDFs were printed out, we'd be tripping over the piles of documents. While you won't find as many PDF tools as PDFs, it sometimes seems like it, especially lightweight freeware designed to make quick work of handling PDFs. PDF-XChange Viewer Portable from Tracker Software is a fine example of the breed. It can view Adobe-compatible PDFs, perform a variety of functions on them, and export PDF data in several file formats. With editing, annotating, searching, and printing capabilities, it's neither too sparse nor too big and unwieldy to be useful. It's totally portable, too, so it runs from any location (such as a USB drive) without having to be installed. That makes it a great choice for home-and-work shuttling since you can use the same tool for both, and even keep it with your files.
PDF-XChange Viewer's user interface is attractive and all business, with a look and feel that combines basic windows apps with some browser-like touches, like tabs, a built-in Web search tool, and a toolbar with sections that can be dragged and swapped via Netscape-like dots. PDF-XChange Viewer has a conventional (and well-stocked) menu bar as well as basic toolbar controls for opening files, but a message in the main window said we could simply double-click the empty field to open a file, so we did. Our document opened normally, and we could zoom in, take snapshots, configure OCR data, and send it via e-mail normally or zipped, all from the toolbar. We opened a variety of PDFs, and the program displayed them crisply; we could also toggle the view into several multidocument display configurations. Some features are only available with the Pro tool, such as the Scan Direct feature, and new documents created with the program bear a DEMO watermark.
Though some of PDF-XChange Viewer's features are limited in the freeware version, we found little to complain about with the program as a PDF viewer, its primary mission. Since it's free, you have nothing to lose by trying it out. If you like PDF-XChange Viewer Portable but need more capabilities, the Pro upgrade is available.