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PDF Reader – PDF Viewer: Everything You Need to Know

PDF or Portable Document Format is a file format used for presenting documents independent of the software, hardware, and operating systems used. This format was developed by Adobe Systems in the 1990s and quickly established itself as a standard for document sharing on the internet. This is due to its compressed file size, which allows for easier and faster sending and downloading of files. Additionally, PDFs can be opened on any device that has a PDF reader or PDF viewer installed.

PDFs are used for a variety of purposes such as storing and sharing brochures, manuals, eBooks, and more. But to view these documents, you need to have a PDF reader or PDF viewer installed on your device. In this article, we’ll discuss what a PDF reader or viewer is, why you need one, and the best PDF reader or viewer for your device.

What is a PDF reader or viewer?

A PDF reader or viewer can be defined as a software program designed to open and read PDF files. While some operating systems have built-in support for PDFs, e.g., Apple’s OS X, some other operating systems don’t. In this case, you need to install a PDF reader or viewer to open the files. Most PDF readers or viewers are available as free downloads and can be easily installed on your device.

PDF readers are primarily designed to view PDFs. However, some PDF readers also come with features that allow you to annotate, sign, and fill forms. Additionally, some PDF readers have advanced features such as OCR (optical character recognition) and security features such as password protection.

Why you need a PDF reader or viewer?

PDFs are widely used for their compatibility and convenience. However, to view these files, you need to have a PDF reader or viewer installed. Here are some major reasons why you need a PDF reader or viewer:

Compatibility – PDFs can be opened on any device that has a PDF reader or viewer installed. This means you can share files across different devices without worrying about compatibility issues.

Consistency – PDFs maintain their formatting across devices and platforms. This means that the document will always look the same regardless of the software used to open it.

Convenience – PDFs are easy to share, download, and print. Additionally, PDF readers or viewers allow you to annotate, sign, and fill forms directly from the document.

What to look for in a PDF Reader or Viewer?

When choosing a PDF reader or viewer, there are several factors to consider. Here are some key features to look out for:

Compatibility – Ensure that the PDF reader or viewer is compatible with your device’s operating system.

Ease of Use – The user interface should be easy to navigate, with intuitive features and toolbars.

Speed – The software should be fast and responsive when opening, scrolling, and searching documents.

Annotations – The PDF reader or viewer should allow you to highlight, underline, and add notes to the document.

Forms – The software should provide features that allow you to fill forms directly from the document.

OCR (optical character recognition) – Advanced PDF readers or viewers come with OCR capabilities, which allow you to convert text in images or scanned documents into editable text.

Security – The software should provide security features such as password protection to prevent unauthorized access to your documents.

Some of the best PDF readers or viewers in the market include:

1. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC – This is the industry-standard PDF reader and viewer from Adobe. The software is available for free and comes with features such as fill forms, annotate, and sign. Additionally, it provides advanced features such as OCR and password protection.

2. Foxit Reader – Foxit Reader is a free PDF reader that provides features such as forms, OCR, and password protection. The software is fast and responsive and allows you to add annotations and highlights to the document.

3. Nitro Reader – Nitro Reader is a free PDF reader that provides features such as forms, highlight, and annotate. Additionally, the software comes with OCR capabilities and allows you to password protect your documents.

4. Sumatra PDF – Sumatra PDF is a small, lightweight, and free PDF reader that provides basic features such as highlighting and bookmarking. The software is fast and responsive, making it an excellent choice for reading PDFs.

Conclusion

PDF files are essential for sharing documents across different platforms, devices, and software. However, to view these files, you need to have a PDF reader or viewer installed. When choosing a reader or viewer, consider factors such as compatibility, ease of use, speed, annotations, forms, OCR, and security. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, Foxit Reader, Nitro Reader, and Sumatra PDF are among the best free PDF readers or viewers available in the market.