PDF Readers

The 18 Best PDF Readers For Windows, Mac, Android & iOS

For all your PDF editing need – at home and on the go – there is PDF2Go. But while you can easily merge and split PDF documents online or rotate and delete single pages inside the PDF, what about viewing them?

In order for you to fully enjoy your converted and edited PDFs, we have had a look at 20 free PDF readers for Windows and Mac, Android and iOS! 

Free PDF Readers For All Platforms

1. Google Chrome, Firefox & Microsoft Edge

Works for: Windows, Mac

The modern versions of web browsers already contain the ability to open and view PDFs. You can do so directly on the web when clicking on a link or clicking on a file in your browser after downloading it. Furthermore, you can set your preferred browser as the method of opening PDFs from your hard drive as well.

Next to viewing PDFs, the browsers support downloading of online PDFs as well as printing the opened document. Zooming in and out of the document is, of course, supported as well. Some functions are browser specific though:

  • Firefox allows full screen and a page overview
  • Google Chrome & Firefox also allow the rotation of pages
  • Google Chrome possesses a reliable bookmark function

2. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

Works for: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone

The go-to version for PDF viewing is, of course, the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Usually, more simple PDF readers or your browser are enough to view a PDF, but some PDFs are more complex. Of course, the reader developed by the developers of the PDF format itself got that covered. PDFs containing fillable forms, complex 3D models or other rich media can be easily handled by Adobe.

This program comes with a plethora of features n addition to the basic zooming and different page views. You can add notes and highlight text passages as well as take snapshots of parts of the page.

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3. Foxit Reader

Works for: Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, Windows Phone

On the first glance, one might mistake Foxit Reader for a Microsoft Office program. The interface looks strikingly similar which enables Windows users to easily find the vast number of tools available.

Foxit provides the well-known features of the Adobe Acrobat Reader and adds a few extras such as annotating a PDF or form filling. Furthermore, due to its tabbed browsing capability, the program makes it easy to open and work with several PDFs at once. And not only that. You can create connected PDF documents and work on them together with others, start discussions and add comments.

If you want to view your PDFs on the go, Foxit also provides app versions for Android, iOS and Windows phones.

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4. Nitro PDF Reader

Works for: Windows

Like the Foxit Reader, Nitro PDF Reader’s design was also strongly influenced by Microsoft Office, helping Windows users to easily find their way around the tools.

Similar to the other, versatile readers, Nitro allows you to annotate and highlight your PDF as well as adding sticky notes. It also supports e-signing of PDF documents. All of this, of course, in addition to the basic features that Nitro offers, like zooming and different page views.

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5. SumatraPDF

Works for: Windows

SumatraPDF is an easy to use, light-weight and open-source PDF reading software. In addition to PDF, however, it also supports other document formats including different e-book formats like ePUB or MOBI. XPS documents (Microsoft’s PDF alternative) and even comic books like CBZ and CBR can be opened.

The program contains only very basic features, like zooming, a search and bookmarks. Furthermore, there is a portable version available that allows you to use SumatraPDF on any computer that does not allow you to install software.

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6. MuPDF

Works for: Windows, Android

MuPDF is as simple as it could get. This free and light-weight program does exactly what it should. It allows you to open and view PDFs – and nothing more. Well, of course zooming and jumping between pages using shortcuts is possible, but no extra features distract from the pure reading purpose of the program.

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7. Expert PDF Reader

Works for: Windows

Another free and more light-weight PDF reader is Expert PDF Reader. It allows basic viewing along with a bookmark feature and a page overview. Furthermore, advanced options allow you to sign a PDF document or add additional text. Annotation and highlighting, as well as some other advanced features, are also available.

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8. PDF-XChange Editor

Works for: Windows

PDF-XChange Editor comes in two versions – free and paid. The free version already comes with some great features, the most strikingly being an OCR feature that extracts text from scanned pages.

On the first glance, the program may look a bit overloaded, but by disabling and hiding different, not needed toolbars, you can easily clean up the interface,

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9. AnDoc PDF Reader

Works for: Android

AnDoc PDF Reader is a popular Android app that does exactly what it should: it lets you open and view PDFs. The free version contains ads, but if this doesn’t bother you, it is a small price to pay for an app that does one job and that reliably.

Furthermore, AnDoc PDF Reader can also open and view DjVu files.

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10. SlimPDF Reader

Works for: Windows

Another one of the super-light-weight PDF readers is SlimPDF Reader. Due to its really small size, the program operates very fast while it still contains the basic features like zooming, rotating and searching inside the PDF document.

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11. Evince

Works for: Windows, Linux

Another clean and lean PDF viewer is Evince. The basic features of this reader are a search function, different viewing modes and some more. To make the interface even more user-friendly, you can personalize the tools and just show the ones you need.

Furthermore, Evince offers an auto-scroll feature that can be customized to fit your reading speed.

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12. Sorax Reader

Works for: Windows

Zooming, searching, viewing modes and other basic features of PDF readers are also available in the Sorax Reader. In addition, the program offers a direct e-mail button to send the PDF you are viewing.

If you can’t install something on a computer, Sorax Reader is also available in a portable version that works without any installation of software.

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13. DocuSign

Works for: Android

Compared to the other PDF readers on this big list, DocuSign makes an effort to be viewed as a mere business tool. The main concern of this Android app is top open PDFs, fill out forms, assign a digital signature, and send them (back) again. In order to make the best of this, documents signed using DocuSign are legally binding.

While all of this features are for free, the app can be upgraded to fit different needs.

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14. iSkysoft PDF Editor

Works for: Windows, Mac

The iSkysoft PDF Editor was specifically designed to provide a versatile PDF reader for Apple Mac computers, but there is also a Windows version available. Next to the basic features, it provides the possibility to add text and images to a PDF, highlight or censor parts of a text as well as adding watermarks to a document.

Annotation of PDFs is also possible, together with other PDF editing functions.

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15. Google PDF Viewer

Works for: Android

Another light-weight PDF reader for your Android phone that comes with not many features but certainly gets its job done is the Google PDF Viewer. Equipped with a search function and the possibility to select and thus copy text from a PDF, the app does what it does and is perfect for the occasional opening of PDF documents on your phone or tablet.

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16. Javelin PDF Reader

Works for: Windows, Mac, Android, iOS

If you are looking for not much and prefer a clean and un-cluttered interface over many advanced features and toolbars, Javelin PDF Reader might be the right thing for you. it supports a full screen mode as well as the usual basic features and on top of that, the program is considerably small.

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17. Skim

Works for: Mac

Developed with more scientific use in mind, Skim is still a free PDF viewer for everyone. With it’s clean interface and page preview feature, the program is an easy to use and light-weight PDF viewing alternative for Mac users.

Of course, it contains all the basic features like zooming, as well as AppleScript support and a preview of changes applied to the PDF.

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18. Kdan PDF Reader

Works for: Mac, Android, iOS, Windows Phone

Kdan PDF Reader is among the more versatile PDF readers for Android and iOS devices. It has a thumbnail view of the pages as well as a support for bookmarks, a search function and annotation. Furthermore, the app claims to open password-protected files.

What’s most impressive about the app is the scanning mode. Using your camera, it allows you to scan anything and create a PDF out of it.

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