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Oh Acrobat, why oh why?

evince using popplarI’ve never had anything against Adobe products. There is one exception, Acrobat Reader.

There are many reasons why their PDF standard is excellent. Features such as platform interoperability and OCR integration have made it a gold standard. The odd thing is, why can’t they make Reader a reasonable program? It will lock up and crash without hesitation, or bring your system to it’s knees and make it beg for resources. It has been mostly this way for the last three versions (7,8,9).

There was a time when we could say  that these problems were due to difficulties with the PDF format itself. However, lets look at these three programs:

1. Apple OS X preview. This application loads or creates PDF very quickly, rarely crashes and has all the features that 99% of users need.
2. Sumatra (only on windows). This gem is a real godsend if you need read PDFs on windows and hate reader as much as I do. It only reads PDFs but it does it with ease. Available from
3. Evice (linux). This program works great on linux, it comes standard with most distros that include gnome.

So what’s the story here? Who knows why Reader is so bad, but I’d love to see Adobe step up and release something like Sumatra (call it Acrobat Reader Lite or Express if you want).

I suppose simply allowing all the alternatives is good enough for me.

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