I have used Adobe Reader (formerly called Acrobat) for years and have loved it. When I set up a new computer, the free Adobe Reader is one of the first utilities I download and install. I must admit, however, that I have been a bit dismayed by the added complexity of the later versions. Adobe seems to be adding lots of "bells and whistles" that I don't care about. Now the program takes longer to load and displays complex menus. I have never needed to add a digital signature to a document but the later versions of Adobe Reader allow that and many other features that I find to be useless. Whatever happened to the good old, simple Acrobat?
At this week's RSA security conference, Mikko Hypponen, F-Secure's chief research officer, added another reason to get rid of Adobe Reader. He recommended dropping Adobe Reader because of the huge number of targeted security attacks against it. He mentioned six vulnerabilities have been discovered that target the program and he believes that more will soon appear. (F-Secure is a major producer of anti-virus and other security software.)
You can read more about Mikko Hypponen's presentation at http://news.cnet.com/8301-1009_3-10224449-83.html.
I am already using a different PDF reader on my Macintosh desktop and laptop systems, simply because I want a faster, easier solution. Perhaps it is time to think about replacing Adobe Reader on my Windows system.
Here are some other free .PDF readers (I haven't tried all of these):
Sumatra PDF Viewer for Windows: http://register.sonicdownloads.net/download/index.aspx?sx=c7a89307-f31f-4556-b0fc-9d497ba6ad43
eXPert PDF Reader for Windows: http://www.visagesoft.com/products/pdfreader/
Cool PDF Reader for Windows will view, print, and convert PDF files to TXT, BMP, JPG, GIF, PNG, WMF, EMF, EPS: http://www.pdf2exe.com/reader.html
PDF Reader for Windows: http://www.cadkas.com/downengpdf5.php
DF-Xchange Viewer for Windows: http://www.docu-track.com/home/prod_user/PDF-XChange_Tools/pdfx_viewer
Skim is a PDF reader and note-taker for Macintosh: http://skim-app.sourceforge.net/
Preview is a Macintosh PDF reader that is included with the OS X operating system. Additionally, Preview can also be used to convert between image formats. The image formats supported for conversion include BMP, JP2, JPEG, SGI, PICT, PNG and TIFFs.
PDFreaders.org is a website with a list of free open source PDF viewers for Windows, Macintosh and other operating systems.
And, of course, Google Docs does a great job of reading PDF files: http://docs.google.com