Bye-bye Acrobat Reader!

Foxit Reader

It’s decided! I get rid of all my Acrobat Readers! My primary environment is Linux but I also use Windows operating systems (virtualized or running on separated hardware). And today, you can’t life without a PDF reader! I looked for an alternative.

My PDF reader is now Foxit. To make things clear, it’s not due to the recent Acrobat vulnerabilities disclosed; the goal of this post of not to blame Adobe! If we compare the number of security issues reported in 2008-2009 for both products, we don’t have a big difference:

More precisely, the two last vulnerabilities (JBIG2 symbol dictionary segments and util.printf()) affected both products. Foxit seems to be aware of security and plays “transparency”. It’s also very easy to contact them to report issues.

The main reason why I decided to switch to another product is the size of Acrobat reader. I use mainly the PDF reader to open PDF files, search strings into them and occasionally print them. Nothing much fancy. Check once the installation size on a standard Windows XP:

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For years, Acrobat readers became bigger and bigger. They are lot of functions but, like with the Microsoft Office suite, less than 10% are really used day to day. Foxit Reader is also incredibly fast to start and to render PDF files. A nice option interesting to me is the easy conversion to a text file.

Notice that, Acrobat or Foxit, Javascript was disabled 😉

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