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

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Sumatra PDF Viewer is one very cool, lightweight PDF Viewer, and it’s open source.


If you’ve been using either Adobe Reader or Foxit PDF Reader over the years and you need only a PDF viewer, try Sumatra PDF. Minimalist features, but customizable where you want it to be.

You mentioned another great alternative -- Foxit PDF viewer, it's not open source but it's free.

It's worth it just for this feature:
Interactive form filler: Now you don't have to print out PDF forms first and then manually fill out paper forms. Instead, you can use PC to fill out interactive forms directly, and then print them out. These basic features are free for personal and non-personal usage. Moreover, Foxit Reader supports advanced form operations such as saving filled-out forms and import/export forms.

Simple use.  Just click and type, use the cursor keys to adjust up/down.
I do notice a decrease in the visual quality of some of the pages, but for the added speed and decreased size I'll take it 98% of the time.

Springro, if you're having rendering problems with Foxit, make sure you have the Microsoft GDI+ module installed. Also, I thought you had to pay an extra $39 to be able to save forms in Foxit with the Foxit Reader Pro Pack, but I'm wrong. Thanks for the tip!

I'm a Foxit Reader fanboy... Everything else I've tried is bloated and takes forever to load (I had high hopes for Scansoft PDF Professional 4 when it offered to become my default viewer. I can make a cup of coffee while I wait for it to load but FoxIt is right there, right now). I haven't tried Sumatra and probably should as with the aforementioned Scansoft package installed on my machine, I can rely on it to fill in the holes left by Sumatra (honestly, though, 99.99999999% of the time, all I need to do is read a pdf. Nothing more).

PS I've made use of the FoxIt Reader form filler many times. However, it only works if the pdf has fillable forms in the first place. In order to fill non-fillable forms, I've had to use Scansoft PDF Professional to convert them first.

Now... I've downloaded and given Sumatra a try: very nice. The only thing missing for me is that there is no copy function. The vast majority of my pdf's are academic journal articles and the occasional PhD dissertation and I make use of the copy function to make creating Endnote bibliographic entires less of a chore in the absence of a downloadable, pre-formatted citation or the journal's table of contents on the web.

OK another thing: I just opened up the same pdf in Foxit Reader and note that while Foxit takes twice as long to load (4.5 secs versus 2 for Sumatra), it uses a fraction of the memory that Sumatra does:

Foxit:      CPU 0% RAM 11,912K VM (Private Bytes) 5,840K
Sumatra: CPU 0% RAM 31,268K VM (Private Bytes) 25,528K

Not the end of the world, but a significant difference.


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