The Best PDF Readers for iPad, Mac, and Windows

Despite being around for more than 25 years, because of its portable, cross-device, easy-to-print, and other characteristics, PDF is still one of the most commonly used formats in daily office and study environments. We can usually read PDF files directly in the browser, but if you want to perform more operations, you should use special PDF reading software. In this article, we will recommend 10 best  PDF readers.

Because PDF is a file format developed by Adobe, the associated tools are, of course, their own. Adobe Acrobat is a PDF reader that Adobe released. This software is extremely simple and straightforward to use. It can be used to view PDF files and switch to reading mode, and a full-screen mode that allows you to concentrate more. You can also add some simple marks and comments to important content, such as highlighting areas, underlining text and paragraphs, adding notes, and so on. Still, if you want to modify PDF files, you must subscribe to Acrobat Pro DC, Professional Edition. More editing, creating, and other functions are supported.

Best PDF Reader


  • Making digital signatures possible
  • Opens large PDF files with ease
  • Tools for universal annotation
  • Being able to rearrange pages


  • Editing requires payment

Wondershare’s PDFElement is an all-in-one PDF editor. It’s my choice and I do believe it to be the best PDF reader. The software is compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS. It has a number of functions, such as reading, annotation, editing, conversion, and so on. It allows you to edit PDF documents just like Word documents.

Many people are most concerned about content annotation when reading PDF books or documents. PDFelement includes many comprehensive annotation tools, such as text highlighting, strikethrough, underlining, shape arrow, brush, eraser, notes, text notes, text boxes, signatures, and so on. If you need to change something, it also supports editing text and pictures in PDF so that all operations can be undone and edited, allowing you to better record the file’s content.

PDFelement lets you do more than just edit content. For example, its form function lets you fill out forms, create forms, and identify and form data in the editor. The software’s built-in conversion function enables you to convert PDF files into common office formats like Word, Excel, PPT, pictures, text, and other formats. It also supports PDF compression and OCR recognition so that you can do most tasks with just one program.


  • A simple user interface in a contemporary tile design
  • Form generation is possible.
  • Professional features at a reasonable cost


  • Support needs improvement

Sumatra PDF is a PDF reader for the Windows platform that allows you to read documents in various formats such as PDF files, ePub e-books, CHM, and so on your computer. Most importantly, the software is completely free and open source, with a friendly user interface, making it one of the best PDF readers. You can download and use Sumatra PDF for free, and if you are a developer, you can also view its source code on Github.

Sumatra PDF Main UI


  • Cutting-edge features
  • Various file formats are supported
  • Intuitive GUI
  • Quick loading PDFs


  • No print preview

Foxit Reader is a free PDF reader for the Windows platform that is used by hundreds of millions worldwide.

Foxit PDF Reader is designed in the style of Microsoft Office. You can find the most commonly used functions on the home page, such as adjusting page size, adding annotations and highlighting to text, converting files to PDF, and so on. If unsatisfied, you can customize Ribbon by placing your most frequently used tools under the home page tab, making them accessible at all times.

If you are looking for the best PDF reader, you should not miss Foxit.

Despite being a free PDF reader, Foxit offers a variety of features, such as annotation tools, multiple view modes, form functions, PDF signature protection, and so on. If you require additional editing, you can install its PDF editor.


  • UI is simple and straightforward
  • Has safety features
  • The ability to create a digital signature makes annotation tools available


  • OCR is missing in the free version.

LiquidText is a program designed specifically for learning and e-book reading. It is compatible with the iPad, Mac, and Windows. Import task web pages, PDF documents, pictures, and other data. LiquidText’s reading interface includes a reading section and a note-taking section.

Drag the e-text book’s or images to the note section, and a link will be established in the note and page number, which can be quickly found through the note. You can also add your own content to the corresponding section of the book, such as text information, highlighting, and even handwriting notes like on paper, making it an excellent tool for learning and research.

PDF Expert is a software developed by Apple software vendor Readdle Limited that allows you to read, annotate, and edit PDF files on Mac and iOS.

When using PDF Expert to read PDF, you can open the document directly to read from the beginning or use its thumbnail tool to quickly select a specific page from hundreds of pages for viewing or editing. The software has two modes: annotation and editing. The annotation mode, primarily used for file reading, is enabled by default. We can add annotations to PDF in this mode, such as highlighting, underlining, strikethrough, brush, shape, and so on. Text, stamps, and signatures can also be added as signs, and all operations can be managed in the annotation mode. If you want to edit the original PDF file, you must first switch to edit mode, where you can change text, edit images, hide specific content, and so on.

PDF Expert banner device

PDF Expert is an excellent choice for Mac users who frequently need to read PDF files. It is simple to use and provides a positive experience. Although it is paid software, it is worthwhile to purchase.

Nitro Pro is an expensive PDF reader. It is a one-stop PDF software that incorporates the majority of PDF-related functions. Its main features are: 

  • With PDF annotations, you can add highlights, text boxes, signatures, and other features to highlight important content in the document.
  • Page editing allows you to change the text and images on the page, insert a new page at any position, add bookmarks, and so on.
  • Form function, form design assistance
    Document security, you can protect the file content by adding a password to the PDF file.
  • Convert PDF files to common formats such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Nitro Pro can completely digitize your work and boost your productivity.

Nitro Pro PDF

MarginNote is a powerful iPad and Mac app for reading and taking notes. It is mostly made for reading and studying books for work. It has a lot of features, like reading annotation, Mind map, note outline, review card group, and others. It can keep track of books you’ve read and review references. There are three ways to use MarginNote: to document, study, and review.

The document mode can be used for simple annotations, annotations, and quick reading of documents, among other things. The learning mode has the most features, such as the main outline and brain map functions. When used in learning mode, these features can help us quickly organize and remember information, saving us a lot of time. After reading a document, you can also switch to preview mode and use learning cards to review what you already know.


Okular is a free program you can use to read PDF e-books. It works with image formats like PDF, EPub, DjVU, MD, JPG, PNG, and others. You can use it to read professional PDF books, mark them up with brushes and highlighters, and so on. You can also read books, comic books, and other things on it.

okular main

PDF Reader Pro is a powerful application for viewing and editing PDF files that work on Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. Using the conversion feature, you can use it to read PDFs and make notes on them, edit text directly, and change PDFs to other formats. The software also has an OCR function that can turn images into text.

PDF Reader Pro is a good choice if you want the best PDF reader that works on all platforms and has all the features you need.

PDF Reader Pro

The PDF readers listed above are the best we recommend. Each is different in some way. Some are very powerful, and others have a beautiful way of using them. You can choose what you want based on your needs.

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