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Sumatra PDF Viewer is cool, thin, and open-source

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Good man.

Yuck. 20.8MB download and ten minutes to install (compare this to the Sumatra sub-MB download and no install and Foxit Reader's 1MB and change download and 15 second installation). Even with the speedloader running, Adobe Reader took 8 seconds to start and consumed up to 90% of my CPU until it settled down. VM (Private Bytes) runs at about 50,000K, while RAM usage crept slowly and inexorably up over 70,000K before falling to 26,000K.

I also downloaded and installed AR Speedup. It shaved a full second off the startup time, which isn't really very impressive! Back when I was using Acrobat 5 and 6, it had a much more noticeable and significant impact.

I've disabled the BHO, the speedloader and the synchroniztion tool (the latter two are set to load at system start by default. No thanks) and will leave it on my system for a while. It is visually stunning and as always I am struck by how much nicer looking fonts are in Reader. Having said that, Foxit Reader is more than adequate for my needs and I don't think that I'll be switching to the Adobe product anytime soon. In its favour, it didn't even ask to set itself as my pdf viewer, so it's easy to have it installed next to Foxit, which I've left as the default handler.

I caved, just had to see for myself what 8.0 looked like.

A big download for sure, but less than .0002 of my total drive space, so I can cope.  Installation took under three minutes.

On my P4-2.4, the program by itself opens in two or three seconds - this after I moved the majority of the plugins to the "Optional" folder.  A hell of a lot faster than Firefox (which I love).

It opened a 60 MB file in eleven seconds.  Foxit opened the same file in five.  Scrolling of the graphics-laden file is smoother with Acrobat Reader.

The search feature in Reader looks fantastic, maybe worth the price of the lost speed all by itself.  I'm going to use it for a week or two, work out the kinks as best I can, and then decide.  So far, it doesn't feel at all "bloated" to me.


I checked memory usage with that 60 MB file, opening and closing the file half a dozen times in each program.  Acrobat Reader started at 70MB and ended around 83.  Foxit started at 23 MB and ended at 28.  Acrobat Reader does use a lot of memory compared to Foxit, no doubt about that.

You're certainly right about it not feeling bloated. I've just spent some time playing around with Acrobat Reader as a Reader (and not as something to be compared with anything else, if that makes sense) and neither its footprint nor the time it takes to open files, render graphics, yada, yada, yada are significant in terms of my real-world usage. I really like the look of it and the feature set is fantastic. I'd forgotten how convenient the navigation panels are (they're absent in Foxit Reader) and what a difference that the font smoothing makes. Compare these two screenshots (Foxit first, then Acrobat):

Sumatra PDF Viewer is cool, thin, and open-source

Sumatra PDF Viewer is cool, thin, and open-source

Even at 7 seconds to open it, it's at least ten times quicker than Scansoft PDF Professional... Given the fact that viewing fonts is much easier on the eyes coupled with better tools for copying text and images and the convenience of the navigation panels when viewing large files, this could win me over.

PS Honesty compels me to admit that I was indexing 19000 images with exifPro while installing Acrobat Reader, so my complaints about the 10 minute installation are unfair as no doubt this would have gone significantly more quickly with less going on in the background!

PS A 67.2MB pdf with some very complex graphics opens in 5 seconds flat in Foxit Reader when double clicking on it from within DOpus. I can't access the context menu and am too lazy to reboot (trying to access it from DOpus, XYPlorer, Windows Explorer and Frigate 3 results in an access violation error!) so can't "open with" Adobe Reader. What I have done, though, is use both Foxit and Adobe to open the same file using the open dialogue - both accomplish this in under 2 seconds (granted Foxit already did the heavy lifting on it in the first place...).

It's worth to keep in mind that, unless my memory is more flawed than usual, Reader does pre-rendering of succeeding pages, and iirc caching of previously rendered pages... that might explain some of the additional memory usage. (I think foxit pre-renders a bit as well, but not as many pages forward?)


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