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This program will prove useful to anyone who wants to read PDF documents on their computer

This program will prove useful to anyone who wants to read PDF documents on their computer

Vote: (1,228 votes)

Program license: Free

Program by: Adobe

Version: 2021.005.20060

Works under: Windows

Also available for Mac Android


Program license

(1,228 votes)


Program by




Works under:

Also available for


Mac Android

Adobe Reader is a program that can view and edit PDF files. PDFs are very common files that you'll find online because they require low storage space, have consistent formatting and they are easy to create and open. While most people know this program can open PDFs, few people know about its many other features.

Many Features

Everyone knows than Adobe Reader can open PDFs. This is what most people use it for. There are many other features though that can help edit and modify PDFs along with some other file types. You can add a digital stamp to PDFs that serves as a watermark. There are other stamp designs to show that the document was read or received. You can also create custom stamps for anything else that you would need.

If you want to ensure that the document remains private, then you can use Adobe Reader to make a digital certificate. This allows you to encrypt the document so that only specific people can open it and read the contents.

While most people will read the PDF as-is without any changes, Adobe Reader has several different viewing modes to choose from. You can zoom in and out as needed. You can rotate pages to change from landscape to portrait orientation. You can also change Adobe Reader to a night reading mode or take snapshots of certain sections. All of these make your viewing better.

There are also features to undo your last action. This is great when correcting a document or if you don't like how your last action looks. You can usually undo several actions simultaneously if you want to. The only time this may not work is if you signed the document. Adobe Reader might give you a hard time about this because a signature is supposed to be official and unalterable. Outside of this, you should be able to undo actions with ease.

Multiple Platforms

Adobe Reader is a highly versatile program in terms of platforms. It works with various operating systems and devices. Not only that, but it requires relatively little processing power, RAM and hard drive space. While a stronger computer can use this program better and it results in faster performance, you don't need a strong computer to run this program.

PDF Editing and Signing

Adobe Reader has many features for editing and signing PDF files. PDF files are intentionally difficult to edit without the right software and this is one such program that can work with them. It can also act as a PDF library to help manage all the PDFs on your computer.

For example, if you have many PDF contracts or other documents to fill out, then you can use the Fill and Sign Tool to make short work of these documents. This allows you to quickly fill in the areas with your signature and other common information like your name, address, date of birth and so on.

You can also edit existing PDFs or make a PDF from scratch. This can be done by typing in information, designing images and importing other media files like images and graphs into the PDF document. You can also take existing Word and Excel files and add them into your PDF.

Simple Interface

Adobe Reader has been around for many years and the interface is always being tweaked to improve its performance. This program is known for having a very simple interface that anyone can learn in a matter of minutes. While most people don't make full use of Adobe Reader, that's more due to lack of knowledge of how powerful this program can be.

There are several different viewing modes, but you should notice the PDF pages along one side and some editing tools on the other. There is also a top section with more tools and settings to choose from. This program shouldn't be overwhelming for most users as the interface is open and spacious. Outside of more advanced tools you should have no problem finding exactly what you need.

If you want a simple program with lots of features and editing power, then Adobe Reader delivers on this front.

Cloud Functionality

Cloud computing has changed many things and made it easier to sync documents and edits across multiple computers. Adobe Reader supports cloud computing so that you can easily access your documents from anywhere. Not only that, but all your changes are saved on the cloud. This makes it easy to access the most current version of the document from any authorized computer or device.


While the free version of Adobe Reader has many features, there are many others locked behind a paywall. You will have to upgrade to Adobe Reader Pro to unlock all the features. You'll see many of these features grayed out and inaccessible unless you pay for the upgrade. Some of these are advanced tools while others are essential ones for comprehensive editing.

The program does a good job of showing you which tools you can and cannot use with the free version. While it is annoying to have some tools locked, you should be able to get around this for the most part without paying.

Stable Program

Adobe Reader is known for being a stable and reliable program. While any program can crash, it's very rare for Adobe Reader to have any problems like this. You should have no issues loading large PDFs, editing them as needed, signing or filling out designated areas and saving all the changes. Even if it does crash, the cloud computing should save your most recent change so that no progress is lost.

Scanning Documents

If you need to turn a physical document into a PDF, then Adobe Reader is up for the task. You can connect a scanner or similar hardware to the computer and this program will take care of the rest. You'll get all the PDF benefits such as being able to view the document on your computer, zooming in on specific sections and easy editing without needing the paper document.


  • Intuitive program with a simple interface that anyone should understand
  • Works on multiple platforms and has consistent formatting
  • Allows you to edit and fill multiple PDFs simultaneously


  • Some features locked behind a paywall
  • It's almost impossible to undo a signature

Adobe Reader is the official reader of PDF files and can print, share and edit documents.

The Portable Document Format developed by Adobe is an open format that allows for highly sophisticated and editable documents in a compact format. Adobe Reader is the official reading software for these files. It functions as a standalone application and also integrates with Internet Edge, Chrome, Firefox and many other web browsers for seamless viewing alongside other Web content.

One of the best things Adobe Reader has going for it is ease of use. The program is preconfigured to run automatically in appropriate scenarios, and it requires very little hands on or knowledge of the program. That’s not to say it isn’t sophisticated and doesn’t pack in a lot of features. It does, but the casual user who doesn’t care about those things can simply enjoy Adobe Reader as it operates in the background.

Adobe Reader goes beyond just being a reader, and this is true whether using the program standalone or embedded within a web browser. It offers a powerful suite of print tools that can print entire documents or page subsets to physical printers or other document printers. It also provides tools that let you highlight lines of text and annotate text and images with notes. You can zoom in and out, and if the PDF contains form elements, you can add data to them and have that data be persisted.

If you want to share a PDF, you can do that from within the document through email and other means using the Adobe SendNow service. If you’re willing to create a free Adobe account, you can also take advantage of a wide range of other online services from within the program and individual documents.

The program also has multiple reading modes, and you can choose the ideal mode for any particular PDF. The program will even remember your preferences locally. Adobe has also made great strides in terms of the user interface, and finding your way to the essentials is easier than heavier. Memory usage isn’t an area where Adobe has improved much, unfortunately. For most modern desktops and laptops, this doesn’t present much of a problem, but if you’re using a netbook, Windows tablet, or an older computer, the usage can lead to poor performance.


  • Ease of use
  • Multiple reading modes


  • Memory usage