A PDF reader with many extra features
Foxit Reader is primarily a PDF reader, also enabling you to create PDFs, sign them, edit them, and add annotations. It works across operating systems, featuring plugins for various programs from the Microsoft Office package, which makes it extremely flexible and useful for anyone who often tackles this file format.
A versatile, freemium tool
Foxit Reader, developed by a California-Based Foxit Software company, has continually grown from the initial versions which already distinguished themselves through their powerful performance and lightweight files.
This program is a multilingual bundle of tools that empowers its users to create, view, sign, edit, and print their PDF files. It's a freemium piece of software, which means that you can use it without paying a cent, but the premium version provides you with some extra perks. Note that Foxit Reader free has the basics covered, though, unless you require unique features.
It also comes with a useful feature of being able to create PDFs from scanned documents. There are also browser-style plugins, which are excellent for extending the Reader's capabilities even further.
All in all, this program is among the best free PDF readers available, being so powerful, quick, and packed with features.
A messy UI
For those not proficient in PDF creation, the interface of Foxit Reader can be a bit overwhelming. On the one hand, it looks somewhat similar to Microsoft Office, with a ribbon toolbar, but on the other hand, the tools are packed in a way that looks complex and off-putting.
Thankfully, it's relatively straightforward to make sense of the plethora of tools before you. You can minimize the ribbon, which helps you reduce the clutter on the screen and free up space for the PDF you're viewing. There's also a full-screen mode that rids you of distractions and that further adds to simplification.
Moreover, you can minimize the entire window for the program to a system tray icon, occupying less space than one line in the Windows taskbar.
There is also a security toolbox that helps you handle matters of safety for yourself and your PC, especially when working with less than reliable documents.
If you plan on using Foxit Reader for viewing PDFs, figuring out the various functions and their outline is not complicated. There's a row of tabs allowing you to work with several files at the same time, as well as a toolbar through which you navigate bookmarks and tables of contents.
Another option includes PDF creation, which you'll need to take your time and figure out, but once you do, you'll be able to create fully-functional PDF files with integrated Microsoft Office options for any function you may need.
Lightweight and packed with tools
The Foxit Reader program is lightweight. The installation file is just 12 MB large, making it quick to install and open documents with it. The design also reflects this lightness, as it doesn't come with endless splash-up screens, plugins, and credits lists.
Instead, all toolbars and tools within serve a clear purpose. In these bars, you'll find utilities for zooming, taking snapshots, searching, viewing the document in full screen, selecting a piece of text, and more.
This Reader also allows you to annotate your PDFs with the highlight, strikeout, underline and comment adding options.
At times, you'll want to repurpose your PDF files in other applications. With this program, you may convert your PDFs into different file formats, such as text or image files, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, HTML, and more.
Moreover, you can use forms to collect data through checkboxes or text fields. The information you gather is easily shareable via email, on a website, or otherwise online for anyone to fill out using a PDF editor. Then, export the data into a format you can use with other applications.
This program runs on Windows and Mac computers. Foxit Reader for Windows asks for Windows 7 to Windows 11 operating system, while Foxit Reader for Mac needs Mac OS X or higher.
Foxit Reader is portable, too. You can run it from a local folder, one on the Cloud, or an external drive, which means you don't even have to install it onto your desktop, but instead carry it on a flash drive - its lightweight feature comes in handy here, too.
Bugs and alternatives
The main drawback of Foxit Reader is that you cannot use it to view flash animations and 3D drawings in your PDFs. Moreover, it lacks OCR (optical channel recognition) capability, which means it isn't capable of recognizing text on images.
Additionally, while you're installing the software or any update, read the fine print carefully. Otherwise, the program may end up installing unwanted freeware on your PC or changing some of your essential browser and desktop functions.
Perhaps the most prominent alternative to this program is Adobe Reader DC. Its design caters to viewing, editing, and managing in other ways and PDF files, and it works across operating systems.
Makes working with PDFs much easier
All in all, Foxit Reader is more than a simple replacement for the Reader app by Microsoft. It packs quite a punch in terms of tools and features, making it ideal for creating PDFs and working with them. It’s not the only tool of its kind, but it’s excellent, and a strong recommendation.