If you want to read PDF documents, you have to install a PDF reader if it is not already installed on your computer. In addition to simple document viewers, as can be found under Linux, the alternative to Adobe Acrobat Reader is the Foxit PDF Reader by Foxit Software, which is free for private use.
Add comments and media to text
The several dozen MByte PDF viewer Foxit Reader is available in Microsoft Windows for macOS and Linux. However, only the Windows version offers a considerable feature set in addition to reading PDF files. As a free reader, the Foxit Reader has a highlighter under the menu item Comment, which can be used to highlight relevant text passages in a variety of ways and cross out unimportant ones. You can also cut text and copy it to another document. Using the comment functions, notes can be attached to the text or directly written or drawn with a pen. Graphical tools for shapes, lines and arrows complement the editing options similar to those found in Adobe Reader.
In addition to the comment functions, files can be attached to an existing PDF document and images, audio and video can be inserted into the text. To do this, mark the desired area and then select the media file to be inserted in the pop-up window that opens.
Save and sign PDF files
Changed documents can be saved in a separate file so that the original remains unchanged. In addition to the local computer, the Foxit Cloud is available as a storage location so that PDF documents can be accessed from several devices and not only read, but also shared with others. Plug-ins also support OneDrive, Google Drive and Dropbox. The documents can be digitally signed, for which Foxit Reader supports DocuSign certified signatures.
Foxit reads and translates
On request, the free reader reads the information in the documents and adjusts the volume and speed according to the specifications. To activate German speech output, you must install a corresponding SAPI5-compatible language file. In addition, the program translates selected text passages of an existing Internet connection.
Create PDF documents
Even though Foxit Reader is primarily a PDF viewer for reading existing PDF files, it can be used to create new documents to a limited extent. It does not offer the scope of a PDF editor like the paid Foxit PhantomPDF, which can be tested free of charge for 14 days. Nevertheless, you can create a completely empty sheet that can be edited. Alternatively, the Foxit Reader can convert files into a PDF or use the clipboard or a scanner as a source, which can be selected under “File > Create”. If you use Microsoft Office, you can also use Foxit Reader if the add-ins for Word, PowerPoint and Excel are integrated.
Free Reader for Linux and Mac
While the Foxit Reader for Windows already shows the main version 9, the versions for macOS and Linux are still at 2. You do not have the functionality of the version for Microsoft Windows and cannot create PDF files, manage comments or sign PDFs. So Linux users better switch to free alternatives like Evince or Okular or try to install the Windows version using the runtime environment Wine, but not all functions work, as a test with version 8 for Windows 8 under Ubuntu showed. This also applies to the portable version. Under macOS the free Adobe Acrobat Reader is an alternative.
Foxit for mobile devices
The Foxit Reader is available for download as a Foxit Mobile PDF in the corresponding stores for the tablet and smartphone with the Android operating system as well as for the iPhone and iPad. The Foxit Mobile PDF App can not only display PDF documents for reading information, but also edit and protect them. Notes and markups are also supported.