Is there a free download similar to Adobe Acrobat?

I downloaded GIMP, which is a great substitute for Adobe Photoshop.
Is there a similar product that can take the place of Adobe Acrobat?
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Cute pd can print pdfs, but not much more.
Joe WinogradDeveloperCommented:
I don't know of a single, free PDF product that is as close to Acrobat as GIMP is to Photoshop. But there are many free products out there that together provide some, but not all, of Acrobat's features. Here are a few and what they do:

(1) The Free version of PDF-XChange Editor provides annotations, OCR, page rotation (and numerous other features that Acrobat has), but you need to buy the Pro version to get all of its features. These two 5-minute EE video Micro Tutorials show the OCR and page rotation features of the Free version, and also provide download/install instructions:
How to rotate pages in a PDF with free software
How to OCR pages in a PDF with free software

(2) Two other excellent, free PDF products are Foxit Reader and Nitro Reader. Although they are "Readers", they do have some non-reader functionality.

(3) These three free print drivers provide the functionality of Acrobat's Adobe PDF printer:
CutePDF Writer

(4) PDFtk Free is a free GUI product that provides the ability to split and merge documents. And for just $3.99, PDFtk Pro gives you numerous other features.

(5) PDFtk Server is a free command line product (from the same folks who provide #4 above) that has enormous capability for manipulating PDFs (in some ways, even more powerful than Acrobat's Action Wizard).

(6) Xpdf is a fantastic (free!) set of nine command line tools that perform various functions on PDF files:


I have done five 5-minute EE video Micro Tutorials on some of them:
Xpdf - Command Line Utility for PDF Files - Part 1
Xpdf - Extract Images from PDF Files - Part 2
Xpdf - Convert PDF Files to Plain Text Files - Part 3
Xpdf - PDFinfo - Command Line Utility to Retrieve Page Count and Other Information from PDF Files
Xpdf - PDFdetach - Command Line Utility to Detach Attachments from PDF Files

(7) GraphicsMagick is another amazing piece of free software. Although it is known primarily for dealing with "typical" image formats, such as BMP, GIF, JPG/JPEG, PNG, TIF/TIFF etc., it also supports PDF files. Here are three EE articles that talk about using GraphicsMagick with PDF files:
Create an image (BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, TIF, etc.) from a multi-page PDF
Convert a multi-page PDF file into multiple image files
Create a PDF file with Contact Sheets (montage of thumbnails) for all JPG files in a folder and each of its subfolders using an automated, batch method

I have all of the products mentioned above installed on the same W7/64-bit computer — no conflicts, no problems.

There are many other free products that provide capabilities for PDFs, but the ones above should get you started. If you need a specific Acrobat feature in a free product, let me know and I'll try to make a recommendation. Regards, Joe

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Mark VolzCommented:
To confirm and explain the FoxitPDF software mentioned above...

I'm using the free FoxitPDF Reader.  Its a free downloadable program.

It reads PDF files, performs in-text searches and performs many other features that Acrobat does like highlighting and notations.  It also installs a virtual PDF printer. .. prints out entire web page or program window (turn a five page MS Word essay into a PDF and a three page Excel spreadsheet into a PDF and a lengthy web page into one PDF).

Go to print it... you'll see that you now have the Foxit PDF Printer as a printer choice.... choose it and hit the print/ok button.  So instead of printing on paper, you get the same exact thing in a PDF form.  Its a free downloadable program.

Here's a really good safe downloading website -
OWASP: Threats Fundamentals

Learn the top ten threats that are present in modern web-application development and how to protect your business from them.

Joe WinogradDeveloperCommented:
To follow up on Mark's comment, I also use Foxit Reader, as mentioned in item #2 of my previous post, but I strongly recommend downloading it directly from Foxit Software's website (shown in that previous post), not CNET. Just one person's opinion — I always prefer downloads from the vendors themselves, not third-party sites. Regards, Joe
RaiderNationDelegateAuthor Commented:
I should qualify what I want, which is very minimal:
1- To be able to combine multiple files;
2- To be able to insert a page in the middle of a pdf file
3- To be able to enumerate a file.
Joe WinogradDeveloperCommented:
> To be able to combine multiple files;

PDFtk Free, PDFtk Pro, PDFtk Server. See items (4) and (5) in my previous post.

> To be able to insert a page in the middle of a pdf file

PDFtk Free, PDFtk Pro, PDFtk Server. See items (4) and (5) in my previous post.

> To be able to enumerate a file.

What do you mean by "enumerate"?

Regards, Joe
Joe WinogradDeveloperCommented:
Hi RaiderNationDelegate,
If we can get a handle on what you mean by "enumerate a file", we may be able to wrap up this one. Regards, Joe
Joe WinogradDeveloperCommented:
The selected posts all provide at least some solutions to the question.
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