No everything you read on the internet is true. One of the most persistent mistruths, often told in good faith by government departments and major corporations who never do anything other than straight down the middle of the road, is conveyed in a bit of text near a PDF file download link saying something like: ‘you may need to install Adobe PDF Reader on your computer to read this file’.
No you don’t. Not ever.
I used to dread PDFs, mainly because whenever I downloaded a PDF Adobe Reader would take over my PC and for the next five minutes struggle to open the file while rendering my machine completely unusable. This happened with tedious regularity. So much so that I came to really dislike the PDF format, not realising that it wasn’t the files which were at fault, but – and this is hugely ironic given Adobe invented the PDF – that the problem was entirely with Adobe Reader.
One day I discovered there were alternatives, and even the worst was better at handling a PDF file than Adobe Reader. For a while I used Foxit Reader. Very good it was too. Then a couple of years ago I came across Nitro Reader. This is a fabulous, though not perfect, piece of free software which not only opens PDF files more or less instantly, but enables you to do all sorts of interesting things with them that Adobe would have you upgrade to Acrobat before it would let you do. No a small matter given an upgrade to Acrobat Standard will set you back $139.
Now, via the February 1012 issue of the UK computer magazine PC Pro you can get a free copy of Nitro PDF Professional 6 (or a 25% discount on an upgrade to version 7). The offer is valid for the next 33 days as of the time of writing> You will need to buy a copy of the magazine and install the software from the cover DVD. This isn’t a trial offer. As long as you enter the registration code you will receive to active the software it will not expire.
Nitro PDF Professional will do everything all but the most demanding user could want with PDF files. Given now it’s going to cost you the £5.99 cover price of PC Pro, it’s a fantastic addition to any writer’s tool kit. If you don’t want to spend that money, get a free copy of Nitro Reader or Foxit Reader and save the hassle of doing things the Adobe way.