Adobe Reader is the *worst example of software bloat I’ve ever had the bad experience of using. In fact I have not idea why I did use it for so long.
Adobe comes bundled with Windows and it includes the ability for previews in the Explorer sidebar so I guess that was useful enough for me not to worry. But lately I’ve had to read and use a lot of PDF’s and the fact it can manage to use up to 70mb of Ram for just three documents made me decide to look for an alternative.
I found Foxit Reader (well actually I already knew about it), it’s the best PDF reader and here’s why:
Tiny Size, Foxit Reader weighs in at under 3mb, 17Mb lighter then Adobe Reader sounds a bit ridiculous but it’s true.
Light on Resource, it’s fast and uses about a third of the memory that Adobe Reader does.
Tabbed Browsing, I wish all productivity and office software included tabbed browsing, but luckily Foxit Reader does. For me personally, consulting 10 PDFs at a time is pretty normal and it’s much easier to work without my task bar clogged up.
More intuitive, All the most commonly used tools are laid out nicely along the menu bar.
Stacks of extra stuff if you can be bothered to find it, that includes minimising to the system tray, looking up words in the dictionary, playing multimedia embedded in documents, reading history and so on.
Other boring features, yadda yadda Foxit Reader also includes better security and privacy controls, a tool for converting the PDF into a text file and an annotation tool for diagrams, drawings and notes.
Controls itself, no background updating, prompting, nagging, connecting to the Internet or generally being a severe annoyance. (“Adobe 8.7292 is available! Do you wish to update?”)
However,it’s not perfect (Although I did discover there are a hell of a lot more features in PDF readers then I sure ever use them for).
Light and fast though it is, it does actually lack a few things which I do like about Adobe Reader. The two major ones are that Adobe lets you preview PDFs in the Explorer sidebar and copy and past text and objects straight from the PDF.
Ultimately though, speed and performance trumps both of those and Foxit is my choice for today!
* Actually I think I should have said the best example, but you know what I meant… stupid English language.
** Also, incidentally, If you are a Songbird Media Player user then I’m working on a theme which aims to give Songbird 0.7 a more integrated look when used in Windows Vista.
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