PDF-Manipulation-Tools

Best Free and Open Source Alternatives to Adobe Acrobat Reader

Adobe is a large multinational computer software company with over 22,000 employees. Its flagship products include Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, XD, Acrobat DC, and the Portable Document Format (PDF). The products are wrapped up and marketed as the Creative Cloud, a subscription-only way of accessing more than 20 desktop and mobile apps and services for photography, design, video, web, UX, and more.

We are long-standing admirers of Adobe’s products. They develop many high quality proprietary programs. It’s true there are security and privacy concerns in relation to some of their products. And there’s considerable criticism attached to their pricing practices. But the real issue is Adobe Creative Cloud does not support Linux. And there’s no prospect of support forthcoming.

What if you are looking to move away from Adobe and embark on a new world of online freedom, where you are not tracked, monetised and attached to Adobe’s ecosystem. We only recommend free and open source alternatives. Our recommended software don’t necessarily replicate every feature of their Adobe counterparts but they offer sufficient functionality for many tasks.

Adobe Acrobat ReaderAdobe Acrobat Reader is a multi-platform PDF reader. It lets users view, print, sign and comment on PDF documents.

While Acrobat Reader is free to download, it’s proprietary software. And support for Linux was discontinued in 2014, although it’s possible to run the Windows software using WINE.

We recommend free and open source alternatives that run natively under Linux.


1. PDF.js

PDF.js is a Portable Document Format (PDF) viewer that is built with HTML5.

PDF.js is community-driven and supported by Mozilla. Their goal is to create a general-purpose, web standards-based platform for parsing and rendering PDFs.

PDF.js


2. Okular

Okular is fast and packed with features. This software lets you read PDF documents, comics and EPub books, browse images, visualize Markdown documents, and much more. Okular has a wide range of features that lets you easily manage your documents. These include annotating PDFs, select and view text, thumbnails panel, and signature support.

Okular


3. MuPDF

MuPDF is a lightweight open source PDF, XPS, EPUB and CBZ viewer. It offers a straightforward solution.

The renderer in MuPDF is tailored for high quality anti-aliased graphics. It renders text with metrics and spacing accurate to within fractions of a pixel for the highest fidelity in reproducing the look of a printed page on screen.

MuPDF


All articles in this series:

Alternatives to Adobe's Products
Adobe Acrobat ReaderAcrobat Reader is a multi-platform PDF reader. It lets users view, print, sign and comment on PDF documents.
Adobe After EffectsAfter Effects is digital visual effects, motion graphics, and compositing software used in the post-production process of film making, video games and television production.
Adobe AnimateAnimate is a multimedia authoring and computer animation. Animate is used to design vector graphics and animation for television series, online animation, websites, web applications, rich web applications, game development, and more.
Adobe AuditionAudition is a digital audio workstation featuring both a multitrack, non-destructive mix/edit environment and a destructive-approach waveform editing view.
Adobe DimensionDimension is 3D rendering and design software. It's designed to build brand visualizations, illustrations, product mockups and other creative work.
Adobe DreamweaverDreamweaver is a web development tool. It includes a code editor that supports syntax highlighting, code completion, real-time syntax checking, and code introspection for generating code hints to assist the user in writing code.
Adobe IllustratorIllustrator is a vector graphics editor and design tool. The software lets you create everything from web and mobile graphics to logos, icons, book illustrations, product packaging, and billboards.
Adobe InCopyInCopy is a professional word processor that integrates with InDesign. The software enables editors to write, edit, and design documents.
Adobe InDesignIndesign is a desktop publishing and page layout designing application. The software is used to create posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, presentations, books and ebooks
Adobe Photoshop LightroomLightroom is a creative image organization and image manipulation. Its main uses include importing/saving, viewing, organizing, tagging, editing, and sharing large numbers of digital images.
Adobe PhotoshopPhotoshop is a raster graphics editor with multiple layers, masks, alpha compositing. It edits and composes raster images in multiple layers and supports masks, alpha compositing and several color models.
Adobe Premiere ProPremiere Pro is a timeline-based video editing tool. It is geared towards professional video editing.
Adobe XDXD is a prototyping tool for user experience and interaction designers. Adobe XD features are used for creating wireframes, prototypes, and screen designs for digital products.
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2 comments

  1. I use Ocular. My version does not look like the sample in the article. I use Debian with kde Desktop. Is the QT version different?

    1. Okular is a universal document viewer developed by KDE. KDE uses QT. Maybe your version in Debian is old? What version number are you running?

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