Windows tip of the week: Viewing PDF documents

So when you think about it — we all view PDF documents. We download bank statements and other documents that we are not meant to edit. Instead of getting a fax, the business or office or government agency you are dealing with may E-mail it to you. 99% of the time you are getting a PDF document.

Since the beginning of time — Windows users have relied on a 3rd party program called Adobe Acrobat Reader. I have put it on nearly all of your computers. There is nothing wrong with the PDF document format, but there is a lot wrong with Adobe. Just like viruses can be passed off to you through Word documents, the same is true with PDF. Adobe doesn’t adequately update their program often enough to deal with this. Furthermore, Adobe Reader is a HUGE program. It takes up a lot of space.

Over the past 6 to 8 months, I have been installing a PDF viewer — other than Adobe Reader — on every new Windows computer I have set up for clients. I wanted to let you all in on the secret. By the way — BOTH OF THESE PROGRAMS ARE FREE — no gimmicks.

1. Start Menu, Control Panel, Programs, Uninstall Adobe Reader
2. Download and install one of these alternative PDF viewers
Sumatra PDF
(Choose the listing next to Installer)
Fox IT PDF Reader
* During the installation process or the first time you open a document — OK — that you want your new PDF program to the be the default for handling PDF documents.
3. Which should you pick?
If all you want to do is view PDF documents — choose Sumatra. If you want to highlight documents, annotate them, and even print existing documents (or web pages, emails) to PDF format occasionally. Choose Fox IT. If there is ever a possibility you may want to create PDF forms or edit PDFs in the future, choose Fox IT. You can always buy an upgrade to those editing / form features later on.
4. Which do I use? Being someone whose reading pile increasingly consists of more electronic documents that I want to highlight and mark up, I use Fox IT.