I always thought that free meant that I did not have to do anything to get the free item or service. I had a problem with the Adobe PDF Reader and a huge 35 Megabyte PDF which took ages to load and decided to install all the latest versions of alternative PDF viewers.
The Adobe PDF Reader was not rendering the pdf file properly and it took ages to scroll and change settings.
I did use the latest version of Adobe Reader and made sure of that, but could not figure out why it had issues displaying the PDF document properly and giving me the controls I needed to read it.
I first thought it could be my computer because it's not the newest anymore as you might know. A quick search revealed the portable application Sumatra which I had heard about before and the decision to install it was made quickly. The installation was without problems and I changed the default viewer from Adobe PDF Reader to Sumatra.
A click later showed a Please Wait Rendering notice which quickly was replaced by the first page of the pdf file that I was going to take a look at.
I was able to scroll two pages and was greeted by another Please Wait Rendering notice. Although this was not what I expected the overall performance was much better.
Sumatra seems to use some sort of advanced caching which reduced the rendering period to a minimum. The pages that were rendered already where very responsive and I was able to take a look at them without further delay.
Why Sumatra is the better PDF reader
Sumatra PDF has been updated ever since my first initial review of the application here on Ghacks. These updates have not changed the core appeal of the program -- being lightweight and fast -- but added important features to the PDF reader that users will appreciate.
Here is a quick overview of the core features that Sumatra supports now (based on Sumatra 3.0):
- Sumatra is available as a portable version that you can run from any location.
- It is fast and highly responsive.
- The reader supports PDF but also EPUB, MOBI, CHM, XPS, DjVU, CBZ, CBR, CB7 and CBT.
- Sumatra supports tabbed browsing.
- 1-page or 2-page views for reading ebooks.
- Supports browser plugins for Firefox, Chrome and Opera.
- Many advanced settings and options to customize the reader.
I'm not saying that Sumatra is the perfect solution but it is far better than the original PDF reader by Adobe in my opinion if you just want to read PDF documents.
It would be interesting to know if you ran into similar troubles and if you did find a solution for them. I have tried other PDF readers in the past but they all did not match the speed and ease of use of Sumatra.