Nitro PDF Reader 3.0 available for download

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 10, 2012
Updated • Feb 21, 2014
Software, Windows software

Nitro PDF Reader 3.0 has just been released and is now available for download on the official website. The program is a popular Adobe Reader alternative that is offering more features than just the ability to display pdf documents in the program window. Besides that, it ships with options to create pdf from hundreds of input formats, to collaborate with other users, and to use the application's quick sign feature to sign pdf documents. Nitro Reader ships with a set of tools, like extracting images, converting documents to text, or adding text and contents to existing pdf documents that set it apart from pure reader apps such as Sumatra.

Nitro PDF Reader 3.0 is a major release. Existing users can use the built-in update checker to check for that update manually if the application does not do so automatically. To do that, you need to click on Help > Check for Updates. If you are running into troubles updating from a previous version of Nitro PDf Reader to the latest, you may want to give the Nitro PDF Reader cleanup tool a go which removes the program forcefully from the system. You can then install the new version of the program after the necessary reboot.


So what is new in Nitro Reader 3.0?

The following four features are new additions that have been added to this version of the program:

  • Type Text Smart Alignment provides dynamic visual guides to accurately align typed text in reference to other text, form fields, annotations, images, shapes, and other page elements
  • Auto Recovery automatically restores open PDF files, unsaved document changes, as well as viewstates and document focus after Nitro has terminated unexpectedly.
  • Scanned Document Detection shows a notification when the PDF file opened is image-based, or scanned.
  • Autonomy WorkSite Integration for enterprise deployments of Nitro Reader 3 enables PDF files to be opened from and saved to a WorkSite repository (digital signatures not currently supported)

Below are enhancements that the development team has made to various existing features of Nitro Reader:

  • Japanese and Simplified Chinese support for Asian text across all Nitro Reader 3's PDF tools
  • Scripting Object Model (SOM) support when filling out static XFA forms
  • Web Browser Plugin supports hyperlinks with hashtags that link to a PDF page
  • Smaller files sizes when adding text annotations
  • General rendering and performance enhancement across many areas of Nitro Reader 3

All users will benefit from general performance and rendering enhancements, while the remaining features only benefit part of the user base. The auto recovery feature sounds fine, especially if you are working with a lot of pdf documents on a regular basis.

The web installer ships without toolbar offers, something that has started to get a bit out of control on today's Internet. What's not so great is that there is no sign of a full installer on the Nitro Reader website, and some users may object to the dependency on Microsoft's Net Framework 2.0 (even though it is included in all recent versions of Windows).

Nitro Reader is definitely one of the better programs when it comes to doing more with pdf documents than just accessing them.


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  1. SubgeniusD said on October 12, 2012 at 9:16 am

    Anyone compared Nitro to Foxit for routine, day to day usage? I don’t really like the latest Foxit update but need to keep it for the security fixes.

    Any plans to update this 2010 review, Martin?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 12, 2012 at 9:26 am

      Noted, added it to my list of things to do.

  2. Tim said on October 12, 2012 at 7:29 am

    It looks like a nice program, but it’s worth noting that Internet Explorer will prevent it printing web pages to PDF, it will come up with a permissions message.

    Strangely enough, a rubbish little PDF printer I’ve got installed works fine, so I’m not sure what Nitro PDF is doing differently to bring up a permissions error.

  3. viveka adams said on October 11, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    ok thanks

  4. viveka adams said on October 11, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    So what does this offer me that Adobe Reader does not?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 11, 2012 at 7:45 pm

      I think the core reason for using it is that it is lightweight and faster.

  5. Grantwhy said on October 11, 2012 at 4:06 am

    for the vast majority of the programs on this computer (XP SP3), installing/uninstalling/updating does NOT need a reboot.

    ilev, if you have to do that every time I suspect there is a problem with your computer ?

    ps: as someone who has almost an OCD for not using online installers, after a quick search on the net these *seem* to the the links for the full (offline) installers

    Download Nitro Reader (32 Bit)

    Download Nitro Reader (64 Bit)

    1. a said on October 12, 2012 at 12:47 am

      thank you

    2. Martin Brinkmann said on October 11, 2012 at 8:34 am

      Thanks for posting these, very handy!

  6. ilev said on October 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    “You can then install the new version of the program after the necessary reboot”…

    When is Microsoft going to write an OS that doesn’t need a reboot after
    installing/uninstalling an applications / updates…..?

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