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Sumatra PDF – Free Lightweight PDF Viewer

by Johnny Karp 21 August 2009 No Comment

Features Overview

  • Small, simple and fast.
  • It is intended to be a fully portable program.
  • Light memory footprint.


Sumatra PDF is a tiny open source PDF viewer, fast, portable and with a small memory footprint. I guess most of you are looking to replace the Adobe PDF Reader with a free program that wouldn’t take forever to load a document. Well, you can’t even compare Sumatra PDF’s speed with Adobe Reader’s speed, the open source program is way faster and that’s a big plus. Even compared with the fastest freeware PDF readers like Foxit or PDF X-Change Reader Sumatra PDF is still having a slight advantage, it seems to be a bit faster than those two.

sumatrapdf screenshot 1

The big difference is that Sumatra PDF does not offer any additional features, you can just display the document, search within that document and… that’s about it. In fact, the program options fit in a very small window 🙂

sumatrapdf screenshot 2

Most people don’t need too many options and features from a PDF viewer anyway, so the bottom line is that Sumatra PDF is free and fast.

sumatrapdf screenshot 3

The program has a minimalistic design, the whole concept behind this open source PDF viewer is simplicity and speed. The program was designed for portable use, the whole thing is just one file with no external dependencies. You can easily run it from an USB disk or install it in your Windows PC, it won’t take more than 2 seconds to setup.

Version Tested

Beta 0.9.4


Krzystof Kowalczyk

Operating System

Windows 2000, XP, Vista

Download link


Small, very fast, portable.

It’s open source.

minus Doesn’t have a Linux version, quite surprising for an open source program.




Right now I’m using PDF X-Xhange Viewer as a free Adobe Reader replacement but I’m considering switching to Sumatra PDF because I really don’t need many of the additional features in PDF X-Change Viewer. Sumatra PDF is just plain simple, nothing fancy, it just displays your PDF documents as fast as possible. If you need speed and simplicity Sumatra PDF is a perfect choice, and it’s portable too.

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If you have any trouble with this software just leave a comment, I’ll help you out! If you know better free programs in the same category, please let me know!


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