Foxit Reader

Simple software to use with Firefox when you need to read a document in pdf

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  • Version:

  • Works under:

    Windows 8 / Windows 10 / Windows 7 / Windows 10

  • Also available for:


  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Free
  • Vote:
    7.4 (410)
Foxit Reader
Foxit Reader Foxit Reader

Foxit Reader is a piece of software that was designed to let you view PDF, or Portable Document Format, files. This format is exceptionally common online since it can be read by apps across all operating systems, and it is often thought of as a sort of digital fax or printout of the original document. Many other PDF readers are available online, but perhaps the most well-known is Adobe Reader. Of course, Foxit Reader is slimmer and more agile than that slow, bulky piece of professional-grade software.

It only takes a brief period of time using Foxit Reader for you to realize how fast and resource-light the software truly is compared to Adobe Reader or any other benchmark PDF reader. This small piece of software is installed from a single file that only takes up 12MB of space. Compared to the over 320MB of the Adobe installation software, Foxit is an easy choice. It will open PDF files almost instantly, even when the app itself isn't already open. One of the main complaints with Adobe Reader, and all the other Adobe digital products, is that they employ irritating pop-up screens during the launch process that shows loaded plugins, app development credits, and other details about the software itself. This can be a bit annoying for those who want to get started with their content as quickly as possible.

It's easy to discern one of the main focuses of the user interface is intuitive utility. Surrounding the workspace are a number of toolbars that hold all the functions available in the software. You can choose to show or hide any of these toolbars with a click of your mouse. Some of the functions you'll find in the toolbars include image rotation, snapshot, text selection, zoom, document search, fullscreen mode, and many more. In the upper right-hand corner of the software window is a single tiny ad, but the software includes something quite unusual for apps that include ads. You can actually turn off the ad from inside the software by unchecking the Advertisement option from the View menu.

Foxit Reader also includes some advanced annotation functionality as well. With these tools, you can underline text fragments, highlight them, add your own comments or opinions, and strike out text that needs to be removed. This is great for helping a team collaborate over a single document since everyone can make notes before the document author makes any changes to the original. Unfortunately, Foxit Reader doesn't include any tools that allow you to edit the actual content of the PDF files.

Adobe Reader might be the industry benchmark for PDF readers, but Foxit Reader is an ideal alternative that's reliable, small, and faster than Adobe Reader. Few other apps in the category are as complete and succinct as Foxit Reader.


  • Small App
  • Document Annotation
  • Beats Adobe Reader's Speed


  • Online-Only User Manual
  • Can't Edit Files

Foxit Reader is a utility that allows users to open and view PDF files. Files of this sort are often appreciated for the way they accurately represent printed documents. Furthermore, these files are usually opened by Adobe's Acrobat Reader, a program made by the company that created the format. Although it is also free, Acrobat Reader is a relatively bulky program in terms of installation size and memory consumption, and many users find it a frustratingly slow option.

On the other hand, Foxit Reader focuses on being much less demanding of resources. It uses a fraction of the install space and system memory that Adobe's program does, and opens quite quickly once a PDF file has been double-clicked. Furthermore, it offers the same range of viewing options that Reader does, with an intuitive user interface making it easy to select among these.

On the downside, Foxit Reader can sometimes have a bit of trouble correctly displaying PDF files. Although Adobe updates the PDF file format quite frequently, Foxit's utility can sometimes lag a little behind on these changes. In addition, Adobe sometimes create undocumented, proprietary extensions to the format that can really throw Foxit for a loop. However, these are used relatively rarely in practice.

Otherwise, Foxit Reader makes a really fine alternative to Acrobat. Most users, in fact, will likely find that it offers a superior experience, especially insofar as it opens so quickly when called upon. Some adjustment may need to be made by those who are already comfortable with Acrobat Reader, but the user interface is intuitive enough that this learning curve should be relatively short.


  • Resource-friendly and fast.
  • Completely free and gracious about it, with no nag screens to get in the way.


  • Can sometimes have a little trouble with idiosyncratic PDF files.
  • Some might prefer the UI of Acrobat Reader.

Other programs to consider

  • Adobe Reader Lite
    Adobe Reader

    A simpler version of the powerful software for reading portable digital files on mobile devices

  • Windows Reader 6.2.8232.0
    Windows Reader

    A simple, built in PDF reader for Windows 8

  • Adobe Reader DC2019.008.20081
    Adobe Reader

    Versatile document viewer mainly for PDF formats

  • Foxit PhantomPDF
    Foxit PhantomPDF

    Read and edit or create and secure PDF documents in this alternative to Adobe's programs

User Opinions on Foxit Reader