Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Alternative to Viewing and Saving PDF Files

PDF - Portable Document Format created by Adobe, has been the mainstream for soft copy document format for a couple of years now. Its cross-platform compatibility and ability to have embedded objects (hyperlinks, graphics, and even vector graphics!) have been its major strength and became the standard for web documents.

One very common application to view PDF files is of course, Adobe Acrobate Reader itself. It supports all capabilities and features that the current PDF format has to offer. However, it still takes quite a while (about 5-10 seconds) to launch on my Centrino Duo notebook, but its understandable as it probably the most powerful pdf reader available right now.

One other lightweight alternative is the Foxit PDF Viewer. This has been my favourite since a few years ago in my uni days. Being lightweight and its relatively small size to download (a mere 2.55MB), it provides the necessary yet sufficient basic features support to view PDF files. However, I do notice that the quality of display in Foxit reader still lacks in comparison to Adobe Acrobate Reader. If you are looking for maximum quality for your hard copy print outs, go for the official viewer. 

So, what if you have a text document that has to converted to PDF format? Try MagicPDF. It installs a virtual printer driver which actually prints to a file. Just remember to change your selected printer to MagicPDF. The good thing is, it works with all applications and you probably won't be needing any application-specific plugins anymore to convert your file.

Note: Did you know that PDF format was actually created by Adobe?

Adobe Acrobat Reader