Small & Fast Adobe Acrobat Alternative for Windows

If you regularly use Adobe Acrobat Reader on Windows then I am sure you have come across the problem that certain documents load and display unacceptably slow, even on a fast dual or quad core CPU and on machines with ample memory. In particular, I am talking about quickly scrolling through a graphics or photo intensive file in continuous display mode. I want to be able to grab the scroll-bar, or alternatively, use my mouse wheel to very quickly scan through the whole document, and frequently, Acrobat halts briefly while (presumably) buffering the content on the next few pages. Why is that? I don’t know, I find it exceptionally frustrating that a program made by the company who set the standard is not able to offer good performance and recent hardware.

Now, one might be inclined to blame the hardware, alas, that’s not the case. There is this beautiful, small, no-frills PDF-viewer by the name of SUMATRA PDF. And this program allows smooth scrolling through complex documents without any hiccups or delays. On the same hardware. I challenge you to try it yourself. To round out the deal, Sumatra PDF is distributed under GPLv2 license. To make the program even better, I wish it would remember settings for zoom (page width) and layout (continuous).

This is Windows-only program, but that’s alright, on the Mac you can use apple’s excellent Preview application, or, my recent favorite PDF viewer: Skim.

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