Editors' Note: The Download Now link will download a small installer file to your desktop. Remain online and double-click the installer to proceed with the actual download.
Soda 3D Reader is Lulu Software's answer to Adobe Reader. While it may not be the most powerful Adobe alternative out there, it does have some nice features and unique 3D functionality that make it worth a look.
The program's interface is clean and inviting, with ribbon-style navigation that should be familiar to Microsoft Office 2010 users. The tabs at the top act as your main menu, with submenus that open up beneath them as you click. And along the left, there's a page preview pane, if you choose to enable it. The program's controls are intuitive, and overall it performs impressively, as it opens up and zips around PDF files fairly quickly.
When you're viewing PDF files, Soda has you covered. It does the basics like zoom, full-screen, continuous view, and multiple-page view very well. But its biggest selling point is obviously its unique 3D View option. This patent-pending technology presents PDF files like a book, allowing you to grab and manipulate a page just as you might in the physical world. While this may not be a particularly useful feature, it does add some visual flavor to what might otherwise be a drab PDF file. Plus, when viewing digital comic books (Soda can open CBR and CBZ files as well), this 3D view makes for a uniquely immersive experience.
But Soda 3D Reader doesn't stop at viewing PDF files, it also creates them. Just hit the Create PDF tab at the top, and you'll see a row of buttons that lets you create from a variety of file types, including Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Plus, it can plug into your browsers and Microsoft Office so you can create directly from those programs.
Unfortunately, Soda cannot edit or otherwise annotate PDF files. Clicking on any of these tools brings up an upgrade window, prompting you to step up to one of Soda's premium paid options. This puts Soda 3D Reader at a significant disadvantage when compared with some other free readers out there, namely Nitro.
Overall, we think Soda 3D Reader is a solid offering that's a great alternative to Adobe Reader. It's fast and easy to use, plus it has a nifty 3D View and can create PDF files. However, it cannot edit or annotate PDF files, which could be a deal-breaker for many.
New with version 5.0: New Design; Annotations tools included: Highlight, Underline, Strikethrough; possibility to open a PDF from a URL; Save Page Rotation feature; Right to left reading mode; Full Screen mode option at start up; Bookmarks : Open a document at the last page read... Soda PDF 3D Reader will change the way you look at PDF documents! With this absolutely free application you can open and read any PDF file in 3D and flip the pages just like a real book using our patent pending 3D technology. Browse through e-books, magazines, catalogues and even comic books (.cbr and .cbz) in amazing 3D. Create PDF documents quickly and easily from over 300 file formats including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and any application that prints. SodaÃ????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â® PDF 3D Reader integrates into your web browser allowing you to view PDF files online and create PDFs instantly from any HTML page and with the MicrosoftTM Office plugin, you can create PDFs in just one click. SodaÃ????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â® PDF 3D Reader is 100% compatible with all PDF files and its powerful tools make it easy to open, view, create and print PDF documents.
Key Features: Open, view and print PDF files. View any PDF file in 3D without transformation of the file. Create PDF from Word, Excel and 300+ formats (registration required). Review PDFs using annotation tools. Read digital comic book files in 3D (.cbr and .cbz). Browse catalogs, e-books, magazines on your PC. Search Text and snapshot features. Use customizable viewing options, including Full Screen.
What's new in this version:
Version 5.0.6: New Design; Annotations tools included: Highlight, Underline, Strikethrough; possibility to open a PDF from a URL; Save Page Rotation feature; Right to left reading mode; Full Screen mode option at start up; Bookmarks : Open a document at the last page read; and more...