PDF Reader

Best Free PDF Readers

There are many free PDF readers for all kinds of devices (your computer, phone, tablet, e-book reader) and systems you might use (Windows, Mac, Android, iOS). Even your browser is, usually, able to open and handle PDF documents rather well.

But what are the key functions a good PDF reader or reading software should offer? Find out.

PDF Reader Functions

1. Open The PDF

Well, this one is obvious – yet it entails quite some considerations. Of course, a PDF reader should be able to let you view and read the document. However, it means that the reader should support all kinds of PDF versions and PDF standards like PDF/A, PDF/X or PDF/E.

This, partly, is your responsibility as well, because you need to make sure that your PDF reader of choice is always up to date.

2. Support Password-Protected Documents

PDF documents can be protected using passwords. The PDF reading software you use has to be able to support such PDFs as well and prompt you to enter the password before displaying its content.

3. Different Viewing Modes

Another, very basic and often forgotten feature or PDF readers is the ability to view the document in different ways. This includes zooming, on one hand, and a full-screen or full-page mode on the other.

Some readers provide even more viewing modes that allow you to display the page to a certain percentage or in “read” moder, and the like.

Minor Functions

The following functions are where, for example, many browser are out of the race. They are not essential for your PDF reading experience, but can provide helpful or at least neat features.

1.Comments And Annotations

This is where browsers like Google Chrome or Firefox surely fall short. The free PDF reader from Adobe, the Acrobat Reader, support these neat functions, however. This and other readers allow you to add comments to the PDF, as well as Annotations or highlighting different paragraphs.

This is especially helpful when you are working with a text and do not want to print it out. Or when you want to share not only the document, but your thoughts about it with someone else, may it be a co-worker, friend, teacher, etc.

2. Bookmarks And/Or Index

Some PDF readers as well as Google Chrome, for example, allow you easy browsing by taking the formatting of the PDF into consideration. The feature has several different names, but they all give you a list of the headlines inside the document to easily navigate or jump to the section you want to read.

A function similar to this one is a page preview that, for example, Adobe’s Acrobat Reader provides.