Foxit Reader is the latest generation of Foxit Software's lightweight and speedy PDF reader.

Performance is great, with the program loading documents much faster than Adobe Reader. And it makes fewer demands on your system resources, too, consuming a minimal 10.6 MB of hard drive space (Adobe Reader requires more than 100MB), and very little RAM when loaded.

Recent improvements to Foxit Reader have been taken from the now defunct Pro Pack. You're able to highlight or strike out text, for instance, or insert text comments of your own. There are tools to draw shapes, arrows and lines, add callouts or text boxes. You can fill out, print and even save completed PDF forms, and a new spell-checker will highlight spelling errors and offer suggested alternatives for anything that you type.

Other features include a Text Viewer, which at a click removes complicated formatting to display a plain Notepad-type view of your document's text. A Text Converter similarly saves a complete PDF document as a simple text file. It's easy to embed movies and audio files into your PDF documents. And Foxit Reader's Safe Mode has been enhanced to offer even more protection from malicious PDF files.

And document collaboration features allow you to save your PDF files online and work on them with others, via almost any computer with a web browser. This is a commercial service, but a generous 3 month trial period means you've plenty of time to try it out. Check the site for more.

What's new and improved in v9.5.0 (see entire changelog for more info)?

- Epona DMSforLegal Integration. Use Reader to directly open/check out PDF files from Epona DMSforLegal and after making changes save/check them in to Epona DMSforLegal.
- Viewing Article in PDF. Follow pre-defined PDF article/ article box to allow users to skim through the PDF with articles that arrange text content in multiple columns and/or cross multiple pages like in a print newspaper or magazine, focusing on a specific article and ignoring the rest.
- Smooth Line Art. Provide an option to smooth lines when viewing a PDF that include CAD drawings, which also makes it faster to open the PDF.
- Add pen and touch support to Reader for Microsoft Surface Pro.

Verdict

It's always been a great PDF viewer, but the form filling facility alone justifies the download, but that's just the start - go grab a copy of this excellent tool immediately