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  1. #1
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    Foxit Reader vs. Adobe reader

    Win 7, desk top and laptop...I am thinking of getting rid of Adobe reader on my computers and replacing it with Foxit Reader (free) !. Adobe is packaged everywhere, is it hard to get rid of it? 2 Does Foxit truly take the place of Adobe reader? Will all the other Adobe products continue to work well? I would like to hear from the advanced users please.

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    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    I replaced my Adobe Reader with the free version PDF XChange Viewer [PDFXCview.exe]. Anyone making monies with PDFs probably will want the paid-for version.
    For my Firefox, I added Shumway, but did not replace Flash Player or Shockwave because many websites still use them, hence I continue to update those two Adobe products.
    "Take care of thy backups and thy restores shall take care of thee." Ben Franklin revisited.
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    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daddyhc
    Adobe is packaged everywhere, is it hard to get rid of it? 2 Does Foxit truly take the place of Adobe reader? Will all the other Adobe products continue to work well?
    No, it's not hard to get rid of Acrobat Reader... just un-install it from within Control Panel > Programs and Features.
    Yes, Foxit Reader will do everything that Acrobat Reader does.
    Yes, other Adobe products will continue to work as normal after Acrobat Reader is un-installed.

    Hope this helps answer your questions...

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    I once dumped Adobe Reader for Foxit but one of my utility bills would only read in Adobe, so dumped Foxit and reinstalled Adobe.

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    Foxit Reader doesn't completely replace the full functionality of Adobe Reader. That's because AR can run program code embedded in the PDF, even though that makes it a security nightmare. I guess nobody at Adobe thought through the implications of allowing PDFs to run program code or how much the hackers would love that... uh... "feature". Infected PDFs are one of the most common vectors for getting your computer infected, so I don't allow anything Adobe on my computer unless it's running in a VM or an alternate, multibooted partition.

    Foxit can read typical PDFs as well as Adobe or any of the other alternatives. Where you'll run into trouble, though, is with PDFs created by companies that insist on using that ability to run program code.

    For instance, my daughter lives in Wisconsin and the State has everyone submit their tax returns online. She told me she was required to use Adobe Reader to file online--Foxit wouldn't do.

    Unfortunately, some of the worst offenders seem to be financial companies, who you'd think would know better. Their attitude seems to be that it's insecure sending a complete PDF to you, so they instead send you a PDF file that's nothing more than a "shell" with nothing in it, but when you open the PDF it's programmed to pull data across the internet and build the PDF on your computer in real time.

    So in order to secure your investment statements they require you to compromise your computer by installing the Adobe stuff. That's like saying, "We don't trust sending a paper bank statement because somebody could steal it out of your mailbox, so we want you to leave your back door open and we'll drop by and leave your statement on your kitchen table."

    (Note: if you do decide to try Foxit, make sure you do a "custom" install and untick a few boxes or you'll end up with some unwanted, bundled junkware.)

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    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Foxit Reader can 'run program code that's embedded in the PDF' but, for safety, that functionality is turned off by default (called 'Safe Reading Mode').
    foxit_reader.png
    Click to enlarge

    Foxit Reader hasn't included bundled 3rd-party apps ('bloatware') since version 6... but version 7 does include Foxit Cloud which itself may be unwanted.

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    Silver Lounger RolandJS's Avatar
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    RickC, do you know if PDF XChange Viewer [PDFXCview.exe] can also run PDF program code, ie for income tax purposes?
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    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Roland, I don't use PDF XChange Viewer but its web page shows "Full Javascript Engine included"... so I guess the answer is yes, PDF XChange Viewer can run program code.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    Foxit Reader can 'run program code that's embedded in the PDF' but, for safety, that functionality is turned off by default (called 'Safe Reading Mode').
    Nope, there seems to be more to it than just javascript. Been there, done that. Many times. There are simply some PDFs that will not render with anything other than Adobe Reader.

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    I've replaced Adobe back in the Windows XP era with Foxit reader and have not looked back since.
    My needs are more simplistic with just reading, occasional creation, but mostly reading.

    If all you need is a pdf reader, then Foxit will do just fine with considerably less bloat, at least that was my original intention away from Adobe all those many years ago. Besides that, it seemed they (Adobe) were always having issue with their code.
    Even with Foxit you'll need to be attendant to the install process, because it will want to install "other" crap/properties you might not want to use. (some of it is downright sneaky, especially for n00bs)

    Both have paid versions, but they will be associated with far more complex usage.

    So it all really depends on exactly what you are doing with pdf documents and what your needs are.
    And you really ought to know what your needs are, especially if they are complex.
    Typically I'll associate Adobe with a more professional type user-base.

    See if this helps answer any of your questions:
    Adobe Reader vs. Foxit (by TweakHound)


    Just because I have long ago moved away from Adobe reader, I wouldn't by any means discount it completely, especially
    if I come to developing specific needs in the future. Adobe is a huge company that is continually updating and developing
    it's product line.


    Cautions with Windows 8 & 8.1:
    Get ride of the stupid start screen PDF reader, it's just too stupid simple to do anything with.
    You'll also need to configure Foxit to be your default reader in more than just the Foxit properties itself.
    I don't know about Adobe NOW, but it always tended to be a bit more aggressive in defaulting to it.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2015-02-01 at 19:36.
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  19. #11
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT
    See if this helps answer any of your questions:
    Adobe Reader vs. Foxit (by TweakHound)
    Sorry but the article in November 2010 by TweakHound is more than 4 years old and refers to an earlier version of Foxit Reader which did indeed include the ASK Toolbar which also changed your Search and Home pages.

    Even worse, Foxit then compounded this behaviour in Feb 2014 by including 4 different PUPs, described by Malwarebytes as:
    • PUP.Optional.Conduit.A
    • PUP.Optional.SearchProtect.A
    • PUP.Optional.SweetPacks.A
    • PUP.Optional.OpenCandy.A

    See Does Foxit Reader free 6.1.4.0217 have malware? for more info.

    As one can imagine, this caused such a furore that Foxit removed both the ASK Toolbar and the other PUPs.

    The current version of Foxit Reader - version 7 - does not include any 3rd-party PUPs.

    Although I have Foxit Reader installed on several PCs and laptops, to double-check this statement I've just downloaded and installed v7.0.6.1126 of Foxit Reader direct from the Foxit website. I carried out a Complete installation (rather than Custom) using InCTRL5, an installation monitoring program.

    The installation included 26 tiny 'adverts' which rotate in the toolbar within Foxit Reader itself. These adverts are for Foxit features and products, not external suppliers. If you're bothered by them... just go into Preferences and turn them off! If you want to save a little space, just delete them. (If you want to save even more space, delete the additional skins.)

    1. Choose File > Preferences > General.
    2. Uncheck Show Advertisement.
    Foxit Reader.png
    Click to enlarge
    (While you are at it, you may wish to also uncheck Show Start Page.)

    The Foxit Reader installer also installs Foxit Cloud and has no options or checkboxes to prevent the installation of this add-on. Instead, you have to un-install it after the installation of Foxit Reader. By default, Foxit Reader includes auto-updating... which re-installs Foxit Cloud.

    More questions about Foxit Reader? Try the FAQ.

    If anyone is interested, I've attached a text file of the InCTRL5 installation monitoring report.

    Hope this helps clear up some misunderstandings...
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2015-02-02 at 12:17. Reason: Corrected spelling

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  21. #12
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    A little bit more bout Foxit Cloud, you have to create an account before you can use it, so it's inert until you do. You can uninstall it using your favourite uninstaller, which will remove it from the menu. But as you say it reinstalls when Foxit is updated. I've not bothered to remove it because of this. However, I keep an eye on what Foxit tries to install, just like any other software install/upgrade I download. But I understand that some may find it intrusive.

    As a side issue, does anyone know if there are any advantages/disadvantages in using Foxit Cloud (assuming you're happy using the Cloud in the first place)?

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    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
    I replaced my Adobe Reader with the free version PDF XChange Viewer [PDFXCview.exe]. Anyone making monies with PDFs probably will want the paid-for version.
    For my Firefox, I added Shumway, but did not replace Flash Player or Shockwave because many websites still use them, hence I continue to update those two Adobe products.
    +1
    Same here, tried Foxit but PDFx works better for me.
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    Not last time I checked - Unsure if it is still true?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    No, it's not hard to get rid of Acrobat Reader... just un-install it from within Control Panel > Programs and Features.
    Yes, Foxit Reader will do everything that Acrobat Reader does.
    Yes, other Adobe products will continue to work as normal after Acrobat Reader is un-installed.

    Hope this helps answer your questions...
    This was not true the last time I tried Foxit - But it could have changed since then of course. The biggest differences I found were that Foxit did not include OCR, so scanned documents could be searched for text and the text would never be found, even if you could see it there yourself.

    The other one that caused me problems was that PDFs that used the more advanced features of Adobe, like tables and even worse, were not supported in Foxit and the layout would be wrong, or even an error message saying it could not cope with parts of the documents.

    I eventually gave in and had to go back to Reader, despite all of it's drawbacks. Unless you deal only with older and text-only (or will not need to search them) documents, Adobe has you by the ****s it seems unfortunately and is not letting up on introducing new features constantly, to keep alternates to it's own PDF programs at bay. If only we could persuade people not to embed things like video and tables in PDFs in the first place. It even sometimes makes printing them out a real problem.

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  27. #15
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    T.K - I have no idea when it changed but Foxit Reader does include OCR, either using the Search tool (1) in the toolbar (where you can filter what to look for) or using Tools > Search to use the advanced/multi search (2). As you can see in the screenshot, Foxit Reader has highlighted the first of the 'found' items (3).
    foxit_ocr.png
    Click to enlarge

    I'm using the latest version of Foxit Reader and it appears to have no problems creating PDFs with tables (a), text (b) nor text boxes (d) from an MS Word .docx file but - granted - does have problems with MS Word's SmartArt hybrid text/graphic objects (c).
    foxit_render.png
    Click to enlarge

    Note that this was a quick test of creating a PDF from Foxit Reader, not a test of displaying a PDF created with Adobe Acrobat. I don't have Adobe Acrobat (except for the ancient, now free, Acrobat 8) so am unable to test further.

    (As a matter of interest I've just filed a 'trouble ticket' (bug report) this morning with Foxit about its latest Reader after finding a reproducible error creating new PDFs from .TXT files.)

    I agree with your point about Adobe "not letting up on introducing new features constantly, to keep alternates to it's own PDF programs at bay". That's business for you.

    Hope this helps...

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