Acrobat Reader and alternatives

Acrobat Reader has become less useful and efficient for me since version 4. The latest version has driven me nuts so I started looking for alternatives.

I’d heard many good reviews of Foxit Reader stating that it worked well and was completely free. So I looked at its web site and read the EULA to make sure I could use it (I do commercial work on most of the PC’s I use). Everything looked OK so I was about to click the download link when I decided I should look at the rest of the page before clicking the download link. I found a show stopper statement in the bottom half of the page free for non-commercial use. I contacted the company and they confirmed that they don’t want me to use it because of the non-commercial clause. Technically I could go ahead and use it in my commercial situation because the EULA makes no such provision and the clause is hidden from view on the web site. But I will respect the companies intent and not use it.

Next I checked out eXPert PDF reader and it, like Adobe’s reader, is free to use even in a commercial situation. However after trying out eXPert PDF reader I did not like it.

That’s when I remembered one of the most useful web sites on the Internet OldVersion.com. Looking at their list of old versions for Acrobat reader you’ll see a big increase in download size as the versions increase. So, I grabbed Acrobat Reader 4.05 (5.5 MB) and installed it without removing the newer version of Acrobat Reader. As far as I can see, there is no problem with having multiple versions of Acrobat installed. By using the WinXP Open With context menu I can even choose which version of Acrobat to use.