Do you want to open PDF files? If so, you may need a PDF viewer. This post from MiniTool PDF Editor introduces 5 best free PDF viewers for Windows 10/11. You can choose one from them.

What Is a PDF Viewer?

PDF (Portable Document Format) is a file format developed by Adobe in 1992. It encapsulates a complete description of a fixed-layout flat document, including the text, fonts, vector graphics, raster images, and other information into the files so that PDF files can present content in a manner independent of application software, hardware, and operating systems.

At first, the PDF was used as proprietary and there were very few external programs capable of opening it except the Adobe developed one. However, since 2008 when the PDF format received an ISO standard and became open format, many PDF viewers have come out. 

What is a PDF viewer? PDF viewer is also called PDF opener. Its basic feature is to open, view, and print PDF files. Of course, some PDF viewers also provide PDF editing features.

Also Read:Can't Open PDF? How To Fix PDF Files Not Opening Error

Best Free PDF Viewers for Windows 10/11

PDF files are comparatively safe and can’t be altered easily. Therefore, the PDF file format is used for sharing any important document, resume, study material, manuals, etc. If you receive a PDF file, you can use the following best free PDF viewers to open it.

#1. Microsoft Word

If you run Microsoft Word 2013 or new versions, you can directly open PDF in Word. Here is the guide on how to open PDF in Word:

  1. Open Word and click File > Open.
  2. Click the Browse button and find the PDF file you want to open.
  3. Word tells you that it’s going to make a copy of the PDF and convert its contents into a format that Word can display. The original PDF won’t be changed at all. Select OK. You can view the PDF content now.

The advantage of this PDF opener is that it comes with your PC and you don’t need to install any software. The disadvantage is that the converted document might not have perfect page-to-page correspondence with the original. For example, lines and pages may break at different locations.

In addition, sometimes, Microsoft Word may refuse to open PDF files and throw out the following error message “Word cannot start the converter PDF Files.”

Word cannot start the converter PDF Files

If you don’t like Microsoft Word, you can try the following PDF openers.

Also Read:How to Open a PDF in Word on Windows/Mac?

#2. Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge

Most popular browsers like Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge come with a built-in PDF viewer, which lets you open your local pdf files, online pdf files, or pdf files embedded in web pages. To open a local PDF file using a browser, you just need to right-click on the PDF file and choose Open with > Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge.

What Can You Do with the Chrome PDF Viewer?

This built-in Chrome PDF viewer only offers several features. It can list the table of contents, zoom in and zoom out the PDF file, rotate the PDF pages, present the PDF file in full screen, enable the single-page or two-page view mode, hide or show annotations, and print the PDF.   

view PDF using Google Chrome

What Can You Do with the Microsoft Edge PDF Viewer?

The built-in Microsoft Edge PDF viewer not only can do what the Chrome PDF viewer can do, but also offers more features. For example, it allows you to highlight text using color, draw colorful lines on the PDF file, add text, read the PDF file content aloud with voices, and add comments. In addition, its print feature offers more customized options.

view PDF using Microsoft Edge

If you use a browser to open PDF files, you also don’t need to install an extra program. In addition, these browsers offer basic features to view and print PDF files.

Also Read:5 Best Free Chrome PDF Viewers for Windows 10 and Mac

#3. MiniTool PDF Editor

As you can see, the above free PDF viewers only offer a few features. Some PDF viewers for Windows 10/11 may offer PDF editing features like split/merge PDF, add image/watermark/text, convert PDF, password protect PDF, etc.

MiniTool PDF Editor could be one of the best PDF viewers for Windows 10/11. You can regard it as a free PDF viewer that lets you open PDF, view PDF in different modes, rotate PDF, change PDF themes, split screen, and count words.

MiniTool PDF EditorClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

It also has the Pro version offering you more features to edit PDF files. In addition, the paid version offers you a 7-day free trial.

MiniTool PDF Editor

#4. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is also one of the best PDF viewers. It has a free version and a paid version and the paid version offers a 7-day free trial. The free version allows you to open, view, and print PDF files, fill and sign documents, and review, delete, and reply to comments. The paid version allows you to edit and convert PDF files.

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC
Also Read:How to Solve: Adobe Acrobat Reader Won’t Open on Windows PC

#5. Foxit PDF Reader

The last best free PDF viewer I would recommend is Foxit PDF Reader. It allows you to view, annotate, form fill, and sign PDF files. If you want to access advanced PDF editing features, you need to upgrade to the Foxit PDF Editor version. Of course, it also offers a 14-day free trial.

Foxit PDF Reader

Here is a post listing 5 best free PDF viewers for Windows 10/11. You can try them if you need to view or print PDF files.Click to Tweet

Bottom Line

If you want to open PDF files, a PDF viewer is recommended. Do you know other free PDF viewers?  Share them with us in the following comment zone. In addition, if you have encountered problems when using MiniTool PDF Editor, leave comments in the following zone or contact us via [email protected]. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

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