8 Best Alternatives to Adobe Acrobat Reader

Last updated on October 9, 2019 by Bryan

Adobe Acrobat Reader is one of the most prominent PDF readers in the world. The name is so notable because they are the ones who invented the PDF format. Adobe Reader is a great tool to have but it costs a considerable amount to purchase as a whole. The perks of buying the entire application are, it gives the user the option to edit a standard read-only file like PDF. On the other hand, as a reader, Adobe Acrobat Reader is free to download and use. Alternatively, there are exceptional Adobe Reader alternatives that can be used to read PDF documents. On that note, most tools mentioned below features steps on how to use them as an alternative to Acrobat Reader. Read on to learn more information about these tools, and how to use them.

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AceThinker PDF Writer

acethinker pdf writer AceThinker PDF Writer is one of the exceptional Adobe Reader alternatives mentioned above. Reading PDF documents is nothing but an essential feature of this tool because it can do more than basically open a PDF document. Converting, editing, and creating PDF documents are all part of its various features, which makes it a cut-above all others. AceThinker PDF Writer can also protect PDF with passwords, and even sign fillable PDF documents on the spot. Such a fantastic software for a price that is cheaper than Adobe Acrobat. To learn how to read PDF with AceThinker PDF Writer, follow the steps below.

Step1 Download and install AceThinker PDF Writer

Download and launch the installer of AceThinker PDF Writer by clicking one of the buttons below. The setup wizard will appear to ensure that the tool is being installed properly to avoid errors later on.

Try it for Free

Free Download

win xp win7810

Secure Download

Free Download

OS X 10.10

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Step2 Read the PDF with AceThinker PDF Writer

Once the tool is successfully installed, launch it, and then click the “Open files” button from the home screen and open the PDF document. Once the PDF document is opened, it will appear from the editing panel, which also serves as the reader.

open pdf file

Step3 Edit PDF file

Aside from reading, the tools from the toolbar can also be used to enhance the PDF like adding comments, signature, and various others. After editing the tool, apply the changes made by clicking the “File” tab and then selecting the “Save” option.

read the PDF

PDF Architect

pdf architect PDF Architect is another extraordinary tool that is comparable to Adobe Reader. PDF Architect is intended initially as a PDF editor with the licensed version. The device supports essential PDF viewing under the free version and editing. The interface of the tool is also similar to Microsoft Word, which gives the familiarity vibe towards its users. To use the full features of PDF Architect, one must purchase the licensed version of the tool from its official website and then install it on the PC. After that, launch the software and then click the “Open PDF” from the main screen to open the file explorer window. From there, browse for the PDF document and click the “Open” button to read it on PDF Architect.

  • Offers limited free trial version


  • Leaves watermarks to PDF under the free version
  • Limited features under the trial version
Nitro PDF

Nitro PDF Reader Nitro PDF is the same PDF Architect, which also makes a great Adobe Reader alternative. However, the free trial version of the tool lasts for fourteen days, which is an extended period. The tool allows unlimited use to all its premium features during that duration, which is worth it. The only downside of the tool is that once the free trial version ends, it will frequently ask for the licensed version to be purchased. Once this happens, most of the editing features of the tool will be locked. Overall, Nitro PDF can still pass a great Adobe Reader alternative because the reader feature is still available after the free trial.


  • Easy to navigate interface


  • Most editing features will be locked after the free trial
Preview for Mac

preview logo Preview is the default image viewer and PDF reader of Mac devices. Preview comes pre-installed with every Mac device, which makes it very cost-efficient. With the existence of this tool, there is surely no need for Adobe Acrobat Reader on any Mac devices, unless people want to edit PDF documents. The reason is that Preview does not have advanced PDF editing features like merging and splitting PDF pages. Be that as it may, there is no questioning that Preview is an excellent Adobe Reader alternative for Mac. One reason is that there is no need to purchase it separately. Also, it can read PDF documents and do basic editing, like highlighting texts and adding electronic signatures, which are both essential features.


  • A pre-installed software which does not need to be purchased
  • Absolutely safe to use software for Mac


  • Only limited to reading PDF files and images
  • Does not have a PDF converter feature or any other advanced options
PDF Expert for Mac

pdfexpert logo PDF Expert for Mac is another PDF reader and editor for Mac. PDF Expert is well-known for being an astounding Adobe Reader alternative on Mac devices because it performs in the same way. Being classified as a PDF reader, PDF expert also have advanced editing features that are not present on Preview for Mac. PDF Expert is a multi-awarded application that has received various commendations from across the globe. Due to its success, it even launched a mobile version for iOS users. This way, people who are always on the go can read their respective PDF documents anytime and anywhere. Truly a fantastic tool, PDF Expert is one of the few good choices for best Acrobat reader alternative tools.


  • Highly-recommended by Apple Corporation


  • Does not have a Windows version
Soda PDF

soda pdf logo Unlike the previous tools mentioned above, Soda PDF both have a desktop and online version. Both versions can read PDF documents just like Adobe Reader, and most PDF readers. Soda PDF also has a feature that can create PDF documents from scratch, which is an important option. The tool can be used as a PDF reader for free, but can’t be used to edit PDF documents. The reason is that one must purchase its licensed version before having full access to its main editing features. Although there is a way to access it’s editing features without having to pay for anything, and that is by using the free trial version of the tool. This way, users will get unrestricted access to all the options and features that the tool has. For those who are looking for a fast Adobe Reader alternative, then Soda PDF will surely be useful in all sense and manner.


  • Resembles the Microsoft Word with its interface
  • Offers free-trial for a limited time


  • The online version does not have essential features like PDF converter
WPS Office

wps office logo WPS Office for Android is an Android application that can open various document files like Word, Spreadsheet, and PDF on an Android-powered device. In general, WPS Office is an all-in-one application because it can open almost any type of digital document, regardless of its origin. As a bonus, users can edit files, even standard read-only files like PDF using WPS Office. Even though Adobe Acrobat Reader has its mobile app, it can’t in the least open other documents, like Word and PowerPoint, which gives WPS Office the upper hand, making it a worthy alternative to Acrobat Reader.


  • Supports various files other than PDF
  • Allows portable PDF editing


  • Annoying ads pop-up when connected to a Wi-Fi network
PDF Reader for iOS

app logo pdf reader PDF Reader for iOS is the last among the list of great Adobe Reader alternatives that is available from the Apple App Store of any iOS device. The app is free to download, which makes it even more accessible to iOS users who are looking for reliable mobile PDF readers. The tool offers basic reader features and annotating functions. Also, it can organize PDF documents into various categories, to keep the files clean and for easy navigation. The mentioned features are all enough to place PDF Reader on the list, but what sets it apart from Adobe Acrobat Reader is the OCR feature. This allows users to extract PDF content without having to rewrite anything.


  • Portable PDF reader and editor


  • Small screen for PDF reding

There is no doubt that Adobe Acrobat Reader is one of the most excellent PDF readers created. However, that is not a reason to not explore other similar options. That is the purpose of the list of tools mentioned above, to give out more opportunities to users who are looking to try different Adobe Reader alternatives. This way, users will expand their perceptions about trying something different yet as useful as Adobe Acrobat. In the same manner, AceThinker PDF Writer is a reliable must-try software for people looking to replace Adobe Acrobat.

acethinker pdf writer

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8 Best Alternatives to Adobe Acrobat Reader

August 6, 2019

Post By Bryan to PDF Writer

Last updated on October 9, 2019

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