Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Long live PDF XChange!

That’s it. I’ve finally had it with Acrobat 8.

I’ve installed the latest patches and still it lets me down. From missing PDF preview icons in Windows Explorer, to the broken Outlook preview plug-in, to the non-functioning PDF plug-in for Chrome, to it being slow, slow, slow, Acrobat 8 time and time again disappoints me.

Buying CS3 / Acrobat 8 when I probably couldn’t afford it was bad enough. I’m not going to shell out more money for Acrobat 9. And installing Acrobat Reader 9 on a system with Acrobat Pro 8 just didn’t work. I know, I’ve tried.

The final straw though was when a PDF document I downloaded wouldn’t open without crashing Acrobat. A PDF program that can’t open PDFs? What’s that about?

So I’ve switched. To PDF XChange Reader. This little gem from Canadian developer Tracker Software is a real winner, and it’s free.

It’s quick, lean and powerful, opening all my PDF documents without a hitch. The free version, which I’m using, even lets you annotate documents, which I use for taking notes and highlighting text right in the journal article PDFs.

I did try the popular alternative, FoxIt Reader, but it won’t let you annotate documents without adding an annoying watermark, unless you upgrade to the paid version.

I’ll still keep Acrobat 8 Pro on my computer for creating PDFs and OCR, but for day-to-day PDF viewing, PDF XChange can’t be beat.

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