Free version of Nitro Reader stacks up against paid pdf programs
By Noah Matthews
Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013, 6:03 p.m.
Sometimes the better things in life are free. That's especially true of a pdf program called Nitro Reader. It's free, as is its better-known cousin, Adobe Reader. For the latter, there's probably not a computer in North America and points west that does not have Adobe Reader installed. But folks ought to give Nitro Reader a run for the money, too.
A pdf — portable document file — can be opened and viewed on most common operating systems. Create a pdf on a Mac, and you can open it on a PC running any version of Windows. It's an industry standard.
The problem with Adobe Reader is it does only what its name promises: It will read pdf files, but it will not create them unless you upgrade to the paid version. Nitro Reader not only can create pdf files, it can help you annotate them, attach yellow sticky notes to your work, and even let you make corrections and additions to your work. Adobe Reader, which has a slicker interface, will let you attach yellow notes and type a signature that you can attach to your file.
Creating a pdf file is as simple as dragging and dropping the file onto the Nitro Reader desktop icon. After that, you can annotate, add text, email or bounce a rubber ball on your PC. Forget I said that. Adobe Reader gives you only five free pdf's. (In my test run, however, it could not convert a Microsoft 2010 file to a pdf.)
If you like what you see in the free version, a $99 upgrade will let you edit text, create Word files from pdf's and more. Adobe Reader has an upgrade version for about the same price but charges a yearly subscription fee.
Either way, the paid versions are worth the price. Nitro Reader has excellent tutorials, including videos, and the help files are numerous and directions are easy to follow.
• Tip of the week: Most financial institutions offer statements as pdf's. They're easy to download and even print out. You can change the file name to describe it more fully by doing a “save as.” If you back up important files, drop the files into appropriate folders in your cloud backup program.
Noah Matthews is a writer for McClatchy-Tribune News Service.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Some bargains improve once tree comes down
- Economic recovery hinges on feds, experts say
- Obama administration asking insurers to be flexible on health coverage
- ProStart primes student chefs for best kitchen jobs
- Early data reveal downward shift in holiday spending
- Merrill to pay $131.8M to settle SEC charges
- Wary of Federal Reserve fallout, stocks drop further
- Airline profits expected to jump
- Washington County gas drilling spill cited in lawsuit not reported to state
- Ford plans 23 new cars, 5,000 U.S. jobs in 2014
- More foods may be Dorito-flavored