5 Best PDF Readers For Windows 10

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This article talks about 5 best PDF readers for Windows 10. There’s no shortage of PDF reader software out there, with each offering a whole bunch of features. Consequently, choosing the one to use with your Windows 10 system can be a little hard to decide.

But not to worry, as that’s what this article is all about. The PDF readers discussed here view/read all kinds of PDF files, ranging from the basic textual ones to those that are graphically intensive. In addition to that, some of them also offer extra features such as PDF annotation tools, form filling capabilities, bookmark navigation, and much more. So without further ado, let’s find out more about 5 best PDF readers for Windows 10.

Adobe Reader

adobe pdf
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It’s only fitting to start off the list with Adobe Reader, as it come straight from the developers of the PDF format, Adobe Systems. One of the most widely known software applications out there, Adobe Reader is a perfect PDF reader for Windows 10. It is perfectly compatible with any and all kinds of PDF files, and can effortlessly handle even the largest and heaviest of PDF documents without breaking a sweat. Adobe Reader can display PDF files in multiple views (e.g. single page, two-page), and supports features such as dynamic zoom. You can also choose to have continuous scrolling of the pages in a PDF files for ease of use. The application automatically detects the embedded bookmarks in a PDF file, which are then displayed in a sidebar, and can be used to navigate to different sections of the PDF document. In addition to that, it includes a ton of options for optimizing PDF scaling for higher resolution displays, and can create URLs from embedded links too. You can even have Adobe Reader read out the contents of a PDF file via the Read Out Loud feature.

Foxit Reader

foxit pdf

Plain and simple, Foxit Reader is one of the most gorgeous looking PDF reader application that you’ll ever find. Having a full-fledged Ribbon UI and Office inspired menus, Foxit Reader feels right at home with the shiny new Windows version and thus, can be a perfect PDF reader for Windows 10. But don’t just go with it for the looks. Foxit Reader is one of the most feature loaded PDF readers out there, and has more goodies than you’ll probably use. Whether it’s a small single page PDF or an entire digital magazine full of high-resolution images, this thing can handle just fine. It can automatically zoom the PDF file to the display area; however, you can always choose a custom zoom value if you like. Thanks to a robust tabbed interface, Foxit Reader can display multiple PDF documents in a single instance, allowing you to effortlessly switch between them. It consists of a whole bagload of annotation features, and lets you add everything to PDF files, from notes to highlights to attachments. You can also create Foxit Reader to create signatures which can be used to sign documents. The safe reading mode automatically disables all URLs in a PDF file, and the built-in sharing feature allows you to share your PDF files on services like Facebook. Read more about it here.

Nitro Reader

nitro reader

Although not as good looking as Foxit, Nitro Reader is a pretty well designed PDF reader application that offers a lot of goodness for the low price of free. It’s extremely easy to use, thanks to the always awesome and functional Ribbon interface. You can view all kinds of light and heavy PDF files, and choose how they are displayed. The application can automatically detect bookmarks and displays them in a sidebar for better navigation. In addition to that, Nitro Reader includes a healthy bunch of annotation features as well, and these can be used to add everything from notes to markup text to your PDF files. You can also create/import digital ID documents and integrate them with PDF documents for extra security. However, the standout feature of Nitro Reader is that it also lets you “create” PDF files, and the process is as easy as selecting a source file and choosing a destination folder to save its resulting PDF to. What’s more, Nitro Reader can even extract all the images from PDF files. Visit this link for more info about Nitro Reader.

Sumatra PDF

sumatra pdf

All of the PDF reader applications discussed so far are extremely feature rich, and include a multitude of extra goodies in addition to the standard PDF viewing functionality. While that’s certainly not a bad thing, all these additional features can often get overwhelming. What if you’re looking for a simple application that just lets you read/view your PDF documents, without throwing a hundred thousand extraneous features in your face? If that’s the case, then Sumatra PDF is an absolutely perfect for you. At under 4 MB, it’s a ridiculously lightweight application that can run on even the slowest of computers. And the fact that it’s available as a portable application (although the standard installable variant is there too) just makes things better. However, despite its small footprint, Sumatra PDF supports a whole bunch of formats (in addition to PDF) such as ePub, Mobi, XPS, DjVu, CHM, CBZ & CBR. So you can use it to not only read/view PDF documents, but also eBooks and comic books. Sumatra PDF features a simple but functional UI that renders all kinds of PDFs extremely well, complete with bookmarks and included URLs. You can search within a PDF file, as well as jump directly to a page. And the tabbed interface ensures that you can view multiple files in a single window. Check out more info about it here.

Slim PDF Reader

slim pdf

Want a PDF reader for Windows 10 that’s light weight and covers all the basics, but still manages to look pretty functional? Take a look at Slim PDF Reader, as it most certainly checks all those requirements. Having an installer under 1.5 MB in size, Slim PDF Reader measures next to nothing. However, it does have (almost) all of the standard functionalities that are required of any PDF reader. Slim PDF Reader handles both light and heavy PDF files extremely well. You can choose from a number of zoom options, and can also have the PDF files fit to the width of the view area or their actual size. There are also keyboard shortcuts for easily navigating amongst pages in PDF files, and the automatically detected bookmarks displayed in the sidebar help as well. You can also use the search box to search your PDF files. All in all, Slim PDF Reader may not be the most feature laden PDF reader out there, but it does what it’s supposed to, and does it well.

Closing Thoughts

The Portable Document Format (PDF) is one of the most popular (if not the most popular) formats for electronic distribution of documents, help manuals, magazines, and things like that. And the above mentioned PDF reader applications make it a cake walk to view (and edit) them on your Windows 10 PC. Try them out, and do let me know which one(s) you find the best in the comments below.

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Works With: Windows 10
Free/Paid: Free
  • DannyBoyJr

    PDF-Xchange for me. Better than Foxit IMO.

    • Rajat Sharma

      Thanks for the comment. I did check PDF-Xchange, and it looks interesting. There’s no shortage of features in the application as well.

      However, the user interface leaves a lot to be desired, having multiple toolbars full of icons and menus. I’ll keep it on the radar and will possibly cover it at some point in the future.

      Take Care :)

      • DannyBoyJr

        You’re right about the messy toolbar. First thing I’d do after installing PDF Xchange is to remove almost all of the toolbars! Then I’d disable javascript, which is what everyone should do with any PDF reader anyway.

        Javascript in a PDF file? Why would anyone want that?

        • Rajat Sharma

          My point exactly. The toolbar is quite messy, and JavaScript in a PDF reader makes no sense. But the good thing is that these problems can be easily rectified.

          • jacken14

            Actually, JS is extremely useful in PDFs. That’s what allows users to make fillable PDF forms. It also greatly extends the feature set of any PDF reader that supports it. Just IMHO

          • OliP

            … and Dynamic Stamps. That what I see and why I use JS in PDF-XChange Editor – Forms and D.stamps. Anyway, the new version 6 looks just great!

        • Maks

          I’ve borrowed a book and scanned 2 pages layouts. Then I’ve made small script (oh, come on, do you have problem with that?) because I want to have easy-to-read pdf-book. That is my example for what I needed Java Script in Editor. Easy to find, easy to use. Click Run and I have what I want. I don’t need expensive Adobe products for that kind of very common trouble. Other strange comment – messy toolbar. Messy Toolbar??? Really? Have you used this Editor more then 10 min? First – toolbar is customizable. Second – it’s comfortable! If you tried Adobe or Foxit or something else – you will not have any problem with Editor’s toolbar.

          • Rajat Sharma

            That’s correct. It is indeed customizable. But for the average user, navigating through the whole barrage of toolbars just to find that one option often turns out to be a frustrating experience. Moreover, I believe for those who want something that just works out of the box, the above applications are fairly good choices.

      • jacken14

        I’d have to second Danny there; I haven’t been able to find a decent alternative to XChange yet, though I would have to disagree about the toolbars. I don’t understand why everyone likes the ribbon so much. I put everything that I use regularly on one toolbar, that way it’s near instantly accessible. But hey, each to their own.

        Try asking the makers of XChange (Tracker Software) if they plan of ‘spiffing’ up the interface a little, you might be surprised, they’ve always been really responsive to my suggestions.

        • Lucef

          Different people – different thoughts.
          I like that toolbar too. I like to have and see everything what I need. At the beginning I customize it according to tasks and don’t need more scroll down.
          I even think that PDF-XChange is better than Foxit. I have used Redaction to clean (completely!) some data from my PDFs (Foxit doesn’t have this capacity).
          You can take a look also at PDF-Tools. This is just awesome kit for work. Unfortunately, it is not free.

  • So finally Sumatra pdf support links in epub and mobi like old dead unofficial fork of Sumatra

    • Rajat Sharma

      Thanks for the comment. During my testing, I found out that Sumatra PDF displayed weblinks included in the PDF files just fine. However, it doesn’t directly open a link in your default web browser. You have to copy the detected link, which can be then accessed via any web browser.

      As far as the support for weblinks in EPUB and MOBI files is concerned, I’m not sure about that, as that’s not something I’ve tested. That’s because this article focuses on Sumatra primarily as a PDF reader, which supports popular eBook formats as well.

      Hope this helps. Take care :)

  • Sach28

    I like new PDF-XChange Editor which can replace previous Viewer. It’s more featured and improved. Java Script can be good for filling a form or checking mistakes in your file (and solve them, depends of tasks). Once customize your interface, you will have what you like. Don’t contain annoying adds like Foxit has.

    • Rajat Sharma

      Ads in applications are a big no for me. So for that reason only, I’d say PDF-Xchange Editor is a pretty good choice.

  • Maks

    New version of PDF-XChange Editor can convert any existing PDF file to PDF/A formats what is good for long term preserve.

    • Rajat Sharma

      Sounds interesting. Will definitely check it out!

  • Amina Stun

    After years using free PDF-XChange I even bought PRO-version. It’s awesome. PDF-XChange,Adobe and Foxit seemed are very similar for first sight, some difference in interface (but without problem to find something). After installing Foxit I found some adds on my computer which I didn’t install. And It worked so-so. PDF-XChange undoubtedly was better then Foxit. Adobe? With time PDF-XChange offered more and more features for free, so, I often used it instead Adobe. With each new build I could try also all PRO features (just to know them).

  • joe90_5

    Sumatra has problems with W10

  • joe90_5

    Though I suspect W10 is sabotaging programs which are not MS, problems withe sumatra, adaware both will not run correctly and crash.

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