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Forum Thread: Alternative PDF Readers

You are currently viewing a forum thread in the Secunia Community Forum. Please note that opinions expressed here are not of Secunia but solely reflect those of the user who wrote it.

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Maurice Joyce Alternative PDF Readers
Handling Contributor 4th May, 2010 03:04
Ranking: 11865
Posts: 9,101
User Since: 4th Jan, 2009
System Score: N/A
Location: UK
ADOBE FREE PDF READER REPLACEMENT
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
Background.
There has been many posts on the Forum on the difficulty of updating the frequently vulnerable free Adobe Reader.

This should now have been eliminated in that Adobe have activated an auto updater to this product which allegedly keeps users safe if set up correctly.Details here:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-27080_3-20002045-245.htm...

Others have commented on the sheer bloatware*** of Adobe & I suspect some believe that without Adobe being installed Windows will not work or the reading of PDF files/documents is impossible.

Neither of the last two points are correct. Until recently many OEM versions of Windows came pre installed with this programme & many websites still,quite incorrectly,imply that to read any PDF document Adobe must be installed & a download link is provided to facilitate this.

These misconceptions are slowly being addressed in that some OEM's have withdrawn Adobe as a "must have" & leave the user to choose & install their own.Equally, websites have replaced the Adobe download link with "To read this file U require a suitable PDF reader".

To date, Adobe have not produced any 64Bit versions to their products.

Fact
Adobe no longer dictate the standard governing PDF. It is now an ISO. More details are here:
http://www.iso.org/iso/pressrelease.htm?refid=Ref1...

This is important. If U are thinking of switching to another reader choose one that complies with the latest standard (Adobe does). Equally, those writing in the PDF format should be using that standard as well.
This gives the user the option to use the reader of their choice without loss of READER functionality.

I have highlighted READER because that is all that is required to open a PDF document. Some want more without payment & that is where the real differences are with the alternatives on offer. Each has different add-on gizmo's that some like to use.

Alternatives

There is good reading here on some alternatives:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_PDF_software
and
http://windowssecrets.com/2008/07/03/04-From-paper...

There are others:

Nuance: The link & details are here:
http://www.nuance.com/imaging/products/pdf-reader....

It has a 64 Bit version & is fully ISO compliant. The vulnerability/security record of their products can be read here:
http://secunia.com/advisories/product/28957/?task=...

Tracker Software: Link is here:
http://www.docu-track.com/product/pdf-xchange-view...

Again, it has a 64 Bit version & is ISO compliant. The vulnerability/security record is here:
http://secunia.com/advisories/product/18144/?task=...
This programme was brought to the notice of the Forum by @Puget1 some time ago

Foxit: Link here:
http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/reader/reader3.ph...

It is only 32 Bit,ISO compliant but comes with an extra payload of an ASK Toolbar unless the custom install is used to prevent it being installed.
http://secunia.com/advisories/product/20648/ has details of it's security/vulnerability record.

Each programme website has a list of what extra features they include to allow for further comparison against your current reader.

I do not like making personal recommendations,nor should this post be viewed as promotional, but I hope this small piece of research will save time for anyone looking for an alternative PDF Reader.

That said, I have tested Foxit/PDF-Xchange/Nuance (they are all international Companies,who,like Secunia have offered a free limited version of their core business programme) & from a pure PDF reading viewpoint they are far faster,certainly more secure & less bloated*** than Adobe.


*** The largest download & installation file size & slowness to open a PDF document.
















--
Maurice

Windows 7 SP1 64 Bit OS
HP Intel Pentium i7
IE 11 for Windows 7 SP1
16GB RAM

Post "RE: Alternative PDF Readers" has been selected as an answer.
taffy078 RE: Alternative PDF Readers
Contributor 4th May, 2010 05:49
Score: 408
Posts: 1,352
User Since: 26th Feb 2009
System Score: 100%
Location: UK
Last edited on 4th May, 2010 05:51
Brilliant. Thank you, Maurice - not only for bringing this to our attention but also for writing it so clearly and "non-technical" so that basic users, such as me, can understand it.

What a pity we can't "score" it!


--
taffy078, West Yorkshire, UK

Desktop: Compaq Presario (OEM) 32 bit / AMD Athlon / 2 GB RAM
XP Home - SP3/ IE8/ Norton IS - Secunia PSI v2.0.0.3003

Laptop: Win 7 / IE11 / PSI v2.0.0.3003
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Leendert Kip Alternative PDF Readers
Member 4th May, 2010 08:11
Score: 70
Posts: 526
User Since: 22nd Jan 2009
System Score: 100%
Location: NL
Well done Maurice! Just because all the update troubles with Adobe PDF
I now use Foxit for about a year and I'm satisfied. No trouble with updating
anymore. Therefore I keep Foxit.

--
PC: JJ Computer Services
Intel Core I3 2100 3.1Ghz
DDR3 Kingston ValueRam 4GB 1333
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bits SP1
Secunia PSI 3.0.0.9016
Internet Explorer 9
Mozilla Firefox 31NL

Laptop: MSI GT780DX
Intel Core I5-2450
DDR3 RAM 6GB
Windows 7 Home Premium 64bits SP1
Secunia PSI 3.0.0.9016
Internet Explorer 11
Mozilla Firefox 31NL
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mogs RE: Alternative PDF Readers
Expert Contributor 4th May, 2010 10:34
Score: 2265
Posts: 6,268
User Since: 22nd Apr 2009
System Score: 100%
Location: UK
Brilliant Maurice ! Why we can't have a "Sticky Thread" section on the forum for new Secunia readers to access....and save our Souls from senility and repetition, is a bit of a mystery.

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Maurice Joyce RE: Alternative PDF Readers
Handling Contributor 4th May, 2010 10:46
Score: 11865
Posts: 9,101
User Since: 4th Jan 2009
System Score: N/A
Location: UK
Last edited on 4th May, 2010 11:02
@Mogs
Four replies & counting! I have hidden two & adjusted your score back to a neutral. I think Secunia have done the rest.

To answer your question. This has been raised before. I believe Secunia have now provided the perfect platform in the Open Discussion for submissions.

1.If it becomes outdated it can easily be removed.
2. If deemed relevant helpers can always point users to the thread rather than "reinventing the wheel".
3.It can be locked down but visable.
4.Perhaps more importantly if Secunia "pinned it" some would argue they are endorsing a submission - something they have made crystal clear they do not wish to do.

Thank you for your reply anyway.

--
Maurice

Windows 7 SP1 64 Bit OS
HP Intel Pentium i7
IE 11 for Windows 7 SP1
16GB RAM
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mogs RE: Alternative PDF Readers
Expert Contributor 4th May, 2010 11:03
Score: 2265
Posts: 6,268
User Since: 22nd Apr 2009
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Location: UK
Morning Maurice...sorry to inconvenience you....by way of explanation....I'm having connectivity problems this morning !!

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mogs RE: Alternative PDF Readers
Expert Contributor 4th May, 2010 12:11
Score: 2265
Posts: 6,268
User Since: 22nd Apr 2009
System Score: 100%
Location: UK
I hope my connection holds long enough to get this away without too much hassle !
I take all the points you've made Maurice; but I don't know that the Open Discussion forum is as visible and obvious to the new; and possibly only one time, user, as needs be to avoid perpetual repetition. In any case " Sticky Threads" might be placed simply after being thumbed up by a delighted reader...rather than Secunia having to endorse it ?

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This user no longer exists RE: Alternative PDF Readers
Member 5th May, 2010 08:50
on 4th May, 2010 12:11, mogs wrote:
In any case " Sticky Threads" might be placed simply after being thumbed up by a delighted reader...rather than Secunia having to endorse it ?


Hi,

I have already suggested just this way of approaching Stickies, and it will be considered by our developers. As for the "frequent" threads, well... We do have this:
http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/personal...

I feel our FAQ covers most of the common problems. If you (or anyone else!) feels we've missed something in the FAQ, please let us know, and we'll include the relevant points.

hope this helps.
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mogs RE: Alternative PDF Readers
Expert Contributor 5th May, 2010 09:59
Score: 2265
Posts: 6,268
User Since: 22nd Apr 2009
System Score: 100%
Location: UK
Thankyou Emil.
Personally, I'm more than satisfied with all that Secunia does....the forum as well is often a source of enjoyment to me.
Consideration is very much appreciated.

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Maurice Joyce RE: Alternative PDF Readers
Handling Contributor 5th May, 2010 10:32
Score: 11865
Posts: 9,101
User Since: 4th Jan 2009
System Score: N/A
Location: UK
Emil,
Slightly lost. What does this refer too?

"As for the "frequent" threads, well... We do have this:
http://secunia.com/vulnerability_scanning/personal...

I feel our FAQ covers most of the common problems. If you (or anyone else!) feels we've missed something in the FAQ, please let us know, and we'll include the relevant points.

hope this helps."


--


--
Maurice

Windows 7 SP1 64 Bit OS
HP Intel Pentium i7
IE 11 for Windows 7 SP1
16GB RAM
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This user no longer exists RE: Alternative PDF Readers
Member 5th May, 2010 14:22
on 5th May, 2010 10:32, Maurice Joyce wrote:
Emil,
Slightly lost. What does this refer too?


Hey,
I was talking about Mogs' suggestion to add sticky threads for all the FAQ's. I pointed out that we do have an FAQ, though of course, it doesn't address issues like "what's a good, non-evil alternative to adobe reader", since Secunia has no official opinion on third-party software.

However, I agree that some threads should "hang around", and have suggested a sticky-by-popular-vote feature internally.

Sorry for the confusion. ;)
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Maurice Joyce RE: Alternative PDF Readers
Handling Contributor 5th May, 2010 14:50
Score: 11865
Posts: 9,101
User Since: 4th Jan 2009
System Score: N/A
Location: UK
Emil,
Thank U.



--
Maurice

Windows 7 SP1 64 Bit OS
HP Intel Pentium i7
IE 11 for Windows 7 SP1
16GB RAM
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