If you are looking for a fast lightweight alternative to Adobe's heavyweight PDF reader you may want to try out Foxit Reader. A new version of Foxit Reader has been released a month ago and I decided to give it a try, mainly because of the positive comments about it whenever I published a new article about Adobe's PDF Reader. So, why would someone want to use Foxit Reader 2.0 instead of the "official" PDF reader by Adobe?
The most important factor is certainly speed. The program opens PDFs near instantly while Adobe's official Reader application always takes it times before a document is opened on the computer. While I understand that this is partially because Adobe's software loads many plugins and features that Foxit does not support, it is far from ideal if I just want to read the document quickly.
Foxit Reader 2.0 does exactly that. It displays most PDF documents exactly like Adobe Reader but does so faster and does not add as many dll files, Registry settings and other files to your system. Unpack it into a directory of your choice, start it from there and you are ready to go.
The Adobe Reader version that was installed on my system had a size of nearly 70 megabytes (including updates) while Foxit Reader only uses a little more than three and still has the same functionality. You can view and print PDF documents, edit documents that offer this option. It runs instantly without installation and is available for windows and Linux. You can install Foxit Reader on your system and check it out for yourself. If you think it is sufficient remove the Adobe Reader from your system to free up some disk space.
Foxit Software has updated Foxit Reader regularly ever since out initial review here on Ghacks. A portable version is however not provided anymore by Foxit Software. An alternative is however available at the Portable Apps website.
Update: Foxit Reader 2.3 has been released. Check out our review here.
Update 2: Read our Foxit Reader 4.0 review here.
Update 3: Foxit Reader 5.0 has been released. Check out the review here.
Update 4: The Foxit Reader 5.4 review is online now.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.