PDF files are widely used for their high compression and increased quality when it comes to containing images, forms or formatted texts. And since Windows does not provide native support for this format, a specialized application is required to access their contents, such as Foxit Reader. Specifically designed to work with PDF files in the easiest way ever, Foxit Reader is an intuitive application that serves its purpose pretty well: it opens PDFs instantly without bothering the user too much and, at the same time, offering them some very interesting goodies.
There are also Foxit Reader plugins for Microsoft Office programs (including Word, Excel and PowerPoint) that make for easy conversion of common file types, and open up the possibility of create PDFs from pretty much any file you can open. Ultimately, Foxit Reader is a PDF viewer with a handful of tricks up its sleeve to entice you away from the competition.
The ability to create PDF files from scanned documents is also incredibly useful, although it’s a shame that OCR support isn’t available in the free product. The browser-style plugins are a great way to extend Foxit Reader’s capabilities further still, but the free edition has pretty much all of the bases covered already. Foxit Reader is possibly the most feature-packed free PDF reader around – powerful, feature-packed and remarkably fast.
If you’ve never created a PDF before, the prospect might be a little daunting, and Foxit Reader’s interface can seem overwhelming. While the look is not too far removed from that of Microsoft Office – there is a very familiar ribbon toolbar in place, for instance – it somehow manages to look complex in a way that will be off-putting to some.
Thankfully, it’s possible to minimize the ribbon to reduce screen clutter, freeing up the interface for the PDF you’re viewing; something that’s improved even further by the distraction-free full-screen mode. You can also minimize the entire program window to a system tray icon, which occupies less space than an entry in the Windows Taskbar.
When it comes to simply viewing PDFs, Foxit Reader is easy to get into. A second row of tabs makes it simple to work with multiple files at the same time, and another toolbar – vertical this time – allows for navigation of bookmarks, tables of contents and so on.