Free Alternatives to Adobe Acrobat

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pdf_screenshotPDF is the widely used format for storing and sharing documents. Its ability to store and preserve format and contents in the file makes it one of the most preferred applications by most of the publishers and online journals. In order to view or edit PDF document you need to have Adobe Acrobat installed on your computer. This software offers only minimal privileges so you cannot change the contents of the document. However there are number of free alternatives available which allow you to view and edit PDF documents easily.

Free alternatives for Adobe Acrobat are of various types like online, desktop, command line, etc., applications. Using these tools you can create, edit and manipulate PDF documents according to your convenience. Here are some most use free alternatives for Adobe Acrobat applications.

Online alternatives

Google Docs

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Google has expanded its services beyond just searching the web. Using Google docs you can view and create many document types like .doc, ppt, xml, PDF, etc. To view a PDF file in Google docs just open the file from the file menu. If you want to create a PDF file using Google docs click on the new button and select document. Edit the document and to save the document as a PDF file click on the file menu –> download file as –> PDF. A PDF version of the file will be saved on to your computer.

Primo Online

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A quick way to create/convert normal documents into PDF files. All that you have to do is enter email address in the box provided and upload the document you want to convert. Click on the Create PDF button to deliver the PDF file directly to your email inbox.

Primo Online supports these file types to convert into PDF files- DOC, RTF, xls, ppt, wpd, odf, html, txt, bmp, eps, gif, jpeg, jpg, png and tiff.

PDFescape

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Both desktop and online versions are available for PDFescape. It is a complete PDF reader and editor. Using this application you can easily fill up any forms which are in PDF format or design a form in PDF format easily.

Desktop alternatives

Open Office

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Open office is a free alternative for Microsoft Office and Acrobat. It has support for PDF files so you can view any PDF file in this application. PDF export feature allows you to save any word document in PDF format defining compression levels, hyperlinks and thumbnails.

PDFedit

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PDF edit is open source software that can run on UNIX, Windows and other systems. Library of this software allows you to view and edit PDF files with ease. In fact this is the most loved PDF editing software for Digg users. Using scripts and plug-in any user can modify the graphical interface. PDFedit is based on the xpdf library so it can read, edit and extract information from PDF files.

Sumatra PDF

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It is am open source portable PDF viewer which can be stored on USB pen drive. It works on Windows platform with simple user interface and starts up very quickly. As there is only one file it can be run directly from pen drive without the need of any installation.

Foxit reader

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Foxit reader is the most preferred alternative for Adobe Acrobat to view PDF documents. Just download a small file and install the software on your system. It has got simple user interface which makes it easy to use. You can view the document exactly in the original format without losing any format. Mobile version of this software is also available which allows you to view PDF documents on your mobile phone or PDA.

PalmPDF

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This software is developed to use on Palm OS 5.x devices. With many advanced features like file browsing, handling PDF files in emails and other applications, small footprint, find support, bookmarks, active links, custom skins, presentation mode and many more. All these features make PalmPDF a must have software on ever palm device. It also has support for network printing and you can share PDF files as Jpeg images.

ePDFView

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You can view PDF documents using this light weight PDF viewer. It uses Poppler and GTK libraries to display PDF documents in their original format. For printing documents you can download CUPS, it is very easy to use and has a cool user interface.

Xpdf

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Xpdf is an open source and multiplatform PDF viewer. Using this application you can even view encrypted PDF files. As the official program obeys DRM restrictions so you cannot copy, print or convert files with DRM restrictions. This program can be run form command line prompt, UNIX, Linux and Windows platforms.

gDOC

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Using this advance application you can create, edit and convert PDF files into XPS and Word format. gDOC fusion can be used to split and join multiple PDF files to make one in seconds.

PDFCreator

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PDFCreator can convert documents from other formats to PDF file type. You can define certain permissions like printing, copying, etc., to protect the document from unauthorized copying and printing. It can also be used as a virtual printer so you can print any other documents to print in PDF format. After installation just with one click you can save any web page in PDF format.

Okular

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This software can be used to view PDF files in their original format. Okular allows you to view many other documents types also. It provides limited support for editing PDF documents like you can fill forms. It has support for search, DRM, embedded files and sounds.

Skim

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Skim is a free alternative for adobe acrobat for Mac OS X users. This application will not only allow you to view PDF files but also allow you to take notes and highlight important text in the document. Take snapshots of important areas of the document for feature reference. This is a highly customizable application to make it more user friendly.

PDFSam

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PDF Sam can be used to view PDF files in their original format. It is designed to merge and split PDF documents. By using this application you can now split any large PDF file in many small files or merge multiple files to make one large file. It can also be used to remove pages from any PDF file.

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