Reviewing the first PDF reader that ever was, released in the early 90's by those who invented the PDF format itself, is always an easy task. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (formerly known for many years as Adobe Reader) has been now integrated into the new Adobe DC (Document Cloud) range of products and has changed its appearance and functionality significantly. Regarded as the best PDF file viewer and annotator available for free, Acrobat Reader DC offers a wide array of annotating, highlighting, and commenting features to enhance and share your PDF files in a convenient and safe manner.
Following the in-depth renovation that all Acrobat products went through when the new DC concept was introduced, Adobe Acrobat Reader DC opens now in a multi-paneled interface where you can select any of the most recent documents or open a new one either from any of your disks or the Document Cloud. The bookmarks, attachments, and thumbnails sections are still there on a panel on the left-hand side, as well as an envelope-like icon to send the file directly via e-mail to your contacts. You can open as many PDFs as required in its new tabbed interface, and navigate through all of them in a more convenient manner. Besides, you can display any of them in “Read view”, which will close all panels around it. You can also customize the view by hiding or making visible selected panes.
An extra tab will take you to the Tools menu, where all the available editing features are now easily reachable via the icons provided. Not all the icons on this page will take you to a tool or feature you can use right away – only those with an “Open” sign below are actually the part of Acrobat Reader DC, while those with an “Add” label can only be activated by upgrading this free tool to Acrobat Pro DC.
Among the free features readily available, you will find a nice assortment of editing tools that will let you rotate (the view, not the document), stamp, fill and sign, measure, and send for signature your PDF files, together with the already-mentioned annotating, highlighting, and commenting functions. If you happen to have an Adobe ID, you’ll also be able to export PDF files to Office formats and to create PDF files from any Office document. All other icons on the Tools tab will take you to the Adobe Acrobat site, where you can upgrade to the new subscription-based Pro edition.
None of these limitations detract from the fact that Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is – as it’s ever been – the most widely used free PDF reader out there and the one that offers the highest level of compatibility with any PDF file. Coming from Adobe, the developers of the PDF standard, is a guarantee in itself.