Foxit Software Foxit Reader 3.0

Foxit Reader 3.0 is a free PDF reader that provides competition for Adobe Reader.

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Foxit Software Foxit Reader 3.0
  • Foxit Software Foxit Reader 3.0
  • Foxit Software Foxit Reader 3.0
  • Expert Rating

    4.00 / 5

Pros

  • It edges out Adobe Reader with its annotation and mark up features, fast app startup and file opening speeds

Cons

  • If you're not diligent it installs unwanted plugins by default

Bottom Line

If your need is for a simple program to read PDFs, both Foxit and Adobe Reader serve the purpose very well. Where Foxit Reader 3.0 has the edge is in its annotation and mark up features, expandable with the Pro version for much less than Adobe’s Acrobat.

Would you buy this?

PDFs are everywhere, a ubiquitous and well-traded format that provides consistent looking pages across a variety of different computers and operating systems. Adobe devised and is most commonly associated with the Portable Document Format, although it is now an open standard registered with the ISO.

For most Windows users, the free Acrobat Reader — now simply called Adobe Reader — is the familiar way to open these files (Mac users tend to rely on Preview built into OS X, which speedily opens PDFs). But over the years Adobe's PDF reader has seemingly swelled in size and slowed down in its performance.

Another free solution is provided by Foxit Software with its PDF reader, now at version 3.0. Foxit Reader 3.0 boasts a small download size (3.6MB versus 41.1MB for the Adobe 9.1 package), fast launch speeds and a rich feature set.

As with other softwared offered for free, you have to be diligent when installing to ensure Foxit Reader 3.0 doesn't install unwanted plugins nor alter your PC defaults. In the case of Foxit, this behaviour includes installing a Firefox plugin; making Ask.com your default search engine; and creating desktop, quick launch and start menu icons for eBay. But if you do sell yourself with these additions, Foxit includes a couple of extra features only found in the paid-for Pro version.

New in the latest version is an Attachments Panel which lists all the attached files in a PDF, along with a Thumbnail Panel. You can also list the layers in a document, and an OnDemand content management feature is designed to allow group collaboration on documents.

We compared Foxit Reader 3.0 to Adober Reader 9.1, and found that in terms of app startup and file opening speeds, there was little between them.

Where Adobe Reader once started with a splashscreen while it loaded in the background, it now opens almost instantaneously.

We tried a 700-page PDF manual comprising text and images, and with both apps, the application load time coupled with file opening was less than two seconds. To ensure this wasn't a tribute to the laptop's processor, an Atom notebook was also enlisted — with similar results.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?