Adobe Alternatives

Adobe Reader is being actively attacked, and I currently recommend that if you CAN use an alternative program, DO.  At least until it is properly patched against this threat. 

  • Google Chrome is very close to having its own self contained reader.  gPDF is a Firefox plug-in that intercepts calls to open a .pdf and uses Google viewer so that the .pdf is not executing on your system. 
  • One suggestion for an Internet Explorer plug-in is Brava Reader.  Brava is a free tool that originated as a CAD/CAM drawing file viewer.  It now views and prints TIFF, PDF, XPS & CSF files.
  • FoxIT is a great reader, also offering integration with IE, but it wants to install a toolbar and ebay icon.  You can install it using a sandbox program or select not to install the cruft, or you can even request a version without ads by email.
  • Another suggestion is Evince.  It is a huge download and requires a lot of system access to install.  It demands system shutdown and debug privilege.  

I have settled on and installed one of these reader programs.  Until Adobe gets their act together and can deliver this patch and demonstrate that they are not going to allow themselves to be the target delivery vehicle of choice among hackers by eliminating some of the useless bloat in their code that enables this kind of behavior, and shows a record of delivering secure code, I’m happy to run another viewer.  This alternate viewer stands the same tests.  I will abandon any software0 (including my Operating System) if it is found to be conclusively and repeatedly insecure and the vendor slow or poor to react to security challenges.

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