Lottery Post Journal

Excellent alternative to Adobe Acrobat Reader

A new, free PDF file reader has been released by Nuance, the company that makes PaperPort.  (PaperPort is the software you probably got if you ever purchased a scanner.)

In addition to PaperPort, Nuance makes a number of other good products mainly centered around document management and document conversion.

One of their products, PDF Converter, contains an excellent PDF reader.  It looks like they have taken that reader and packaged it into its own free dowload, minus all the advanced conversion capabilities of PDF Converter.

(The free reader still contains a number of very useful conversion options, such as the ability to convert a PDF file to a Word document or Excel spreadsheet.)

I uninstalled Adobe Reader on my computer and installed the free Nuance PDF Reader, and I am very pleased with the results.

For one thing, it loads in a fraction of the time that the Adobe Reader does.  It also takes up one-quarter of the disk space that Adobe Reader consumes.  (50 MB vs. 200 MB)

But the main attraction is that it is much more secure.  Adobe Reader is well-known as a virus attack target.  In fact, a study done last year showed that something like 70%-80% of all virus attack attempts last year were targeted at Adobe Reader.  Adobe software is frustratingly unsecure.

When you install the Nuance PDF Reader, one of the first questions it asks is if you want to disable JavaScript in the reader.  Saying "Yes, disable it" is a good thing, because it eliminates many of the attacks that could potentially affect your computer.  Very few users would miss JavaScript in their PDF reader software anyway.

Also, because the Nuance software is not the well-known Adobe software, virus makers do not target it.  That's one of the big attractions of going with a non-Adobe reader in general.

Anyone who's looked into PDF readers has no doubt come across Fox-It software, which is another non-Adobe reader.  I tried it, but didn't like it.  The worst thing for me was that it installed a whole bunch of spam-like programs on my computer.  For example, it adds several search add-ons and changed the defaults in my browser.  (It does that in order to get money every time you click something on  No thanks.

The Nuance reader does nothing like that.  The only thing it has is a tiny ad that appears in the upper-right that shows you other Nuance products that are available.  Totally non-intrusive and fine by me, especially for free software.

Finally, one of the nice benefits of un-installing Adobe Reader is that you are no longer continuously nagged to upgrade to the latest version.  They have to do all those updates because they are constantly finding security holes in it.  It's a relief to no longer have to deal with that.

Here's the link to the free Nuance PDF Reader!