Portable Document Format, or PDF, is a way of putting a printed page on a computer so that it looks the same as it would if it had been printed. A quick example: Someone uses Microsoft Excel to create a nice report. They want to send it to the district sales manager. The manager doesn't have Excel so he can't open the report. If the Excel report is printed as a PDF file, then the manager will be able to open it without much trouble. And it will look just like it was intended. The format was created long ago by Adobe Systems and has become a standard for supplying "printed" stuff in an electronic format.
In the past couple of years I became annoyed with Adobe because they started including other programs with their PDF reader. When you installed Adobe Acrobat Reader you got extra stuff with it. Two issues here: 1) A PDF reader is not a real complicated thing. Adobe's setup program swelled to 36 Mb for version 9.1, and almost 200 Mb when the program was installed. Wine and women should be excessive, not your PDF reader. 2) If I didn't ask for it, I probably don't want it. Bundling unknown programs in with the reader is a ploy that I don't care for. That probably accounts for the quarter gig for something that should be a meg.
Another irritation I have with Adobe's reader is that it takes a couple of seconds to start the program and open the PDF file. In the computer world a couple of seconds is a long time.
One day I stumbled across Foxit's PDF reader. I read about it and decided to try it. The setup file for version 3.0 is only 3.5 Mb. And it opens a PDF file really fast. I'm hooked. I acknowledge that there were some issues with earlier versions of the Foxit Editor, but that's not what we're talking about here.
The reader only needs to be installed one time. How can you tell if it's been installed? Click here. If a screen appears and says it is installed, then a PDF reader is already installed on your computer. If you are prompted to save a file, click cancel and get one of the PDF readers below.
Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
Get Foxit Reader