Heavy duty yet free Nuance PDF Reader

Nuance PDF Reader is a new entry into the growing field of free Adobe PDF Reader alternatives. There are already a few strong contenders in the market like Foxit and Sumatra. Nuance shouldn’t have difficulty competing with them because it offers a host of extra features typically found only in premium products.

The PDF Reader’s interface is very neat. Although it has plenty of tools, it avoids clutter by showing only the important ones in the toolbar. Others are hidden in menus. It’s also possible to completely customize the toolbar. There are several panels to show bookmarks, attachment, pages, comments etc that can be turned on and off as desired. Other common features like page layout, page rotation, full-screen view, etc are available.


Here is a brief rundown of the more important features offered by this application.


With Nuance you can fill and save PDF forms, which most other PDF viewers do not let you. It can also automatically fills in form fields with previously entered information such as names, addresses and phone numbers.

Annotate PDF files – highlight, cross-out, and underline text. You can also add comments. The PDF file can be printed with comments and markups intact. You also have the options to include print comments on same or separate pages.


Open, view and navigate any PDF and XPS document. It can also play embedded Flash video and movie files.

In addition to supporting the full set of PDF standards, Nuance Reader supports PDF portfolios — collections of various file types assembled into a PDF. You can access each file independently of others in the portfolio and open them using the native authoring software.


Nuance PDF Reader integrates an online PDF conversion service that lets you upload a PDF document and convert it to Word, Excel, RTF or WordPerfect using Nuance’s hosted file conversion and OCR technology.

Integration with Microsoft SharePoint

You can open PDF files directly from your favorite SharePoint repositories, and save
edited PDF files and forms directly back to SharePoint repositories.

Nuance PDF Reader is not that light weight like Foxit but that’s not a deal-breaker. The installer is heavy at 18MB and occupies some 50MB of space when installed. All these additional features also accounts for a higher memory usage but again, that shouldn’t be a problem on newer machine with oodles of RAM. All in all a good product.

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