AnotherView of PDF Files
by Alan German
2005, when Doug Poulter reviewed FoxReader (FoxReader vs.
Adobe Reader), I have been using this utility program
(now Foxit Reader). Well, that is until recently when
Foxit, in its wisdom, decided that I also needed Foxit
Cloud whether I asked for it or not.
I always found the update procedure for Foxit to be
somewhat cumbersome/confusing and so opted to simply
install the latest version when I received notification
of an available update. Recently, the installation
process has resulted in Foxit Cloud also being installed.
It really bugs me when software developers install stuff
without asking, and even worse when they
dont give any inkling of what benefit
the new addition offers. It would appear that Foxit Cloud
is a cloud storage system. Since I have no use for such
an application, my choice has been to uninstall the
additional program. But, it always reappears with every
new installation of Foxit Reader. Time to find a new PDF
One possibility that gets good
reviews is PDF-XChange Viewer which hails from Tracker
Software Products (Canada) Ltd of Chemainus, BC. Wow! - a
home-grown, freeware, PDF reader we just have to
give this one a whirl!
Downloading and installing the software is relatively
straightforward. In my case, since I want PDF files to
open in the external viewer rather than in a browser
window, I unchecked the options for Add-in for
Internet Explorer and Add-in for Mozilla
Firefox, Opera and Chrome. The only other thing to
check was the option for the Free Version
rather than Pro.
As shown in the screenshot, PDF-XChange Viewer provides a
wide range of controls using colourful icons and a
regular File-Edit-View type menu. The graphic controls
are really convenient. For example, there are icons to
display an entire page of a document, the page by its
width, or the page at full size, in the programs
window. There is also a slider control that provides fine
control over the page size display.
Buttons at the bottom of the page allow scrolling
forwards and backwards through the document, a page at a
time, or jumping immediately to the first or last page.
The functions of these controls are also duplicated
through the use of the side-scroll bar and keyboard
shortcuts such as PgUp/PgDn. There are also controls to
display multiple pages of the current document, such as
two pages side-by-side in the program window.
There are multiple find and search options. Find will
search for a word or phrase in the current document.
Buttons for find next and find previous are available to
simplify searching through the document. Options allow
finding the whole word or case-sensitive searches. An
Ask button will search for the target word or
phrase on the web. While, as the name suggests, the
default is to use the Ask search engine, a drop-down
arrow provides access to alternative search providers,
including Google. And, if you opt to search using Google,
this becomes the default for any future on-line search.
The program has a number of other features, including
being able to double click on the blank program window
area to allow browsing for a file in the last-used
folder. Alternatively, one can drag a PDF file into this
area to open it in the viewer. Multiple files are opened
in individual tabs which makes reviewing a number of
related documents really easy.
There are several other features built into the program
such as sending a PDF file by E-mail in ZIP format and
optical character recognition. For those with even more
complex needs, there is also a Pro version available for
purchase. However, for my purposes, the basic ability of
the freeware viewer to open PDF files and just read them
suits me fine.
Tracker Software Products (Canada) Ltd
Originally published: March, 2016
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The opinions expressed in these reviews
do not necessarily represent the views of the
Ottawa PC Users' Group or its members.