OT: Recommend a PDF reader?

I use Dorico-generated pdf files to practice parts, however the Adobe Acrobat Reader seems to be quite bloated and invasive. It keeps pushing the Adobe cloud, a trial of Acrobat Pro and most annoyingly it keeps asking me to sign-in.

I’ve tried Sumatra PDF, which is lightning fast and very slim but not crazy about the interface. Curious if anyone has a pdf reader they are happy with? Thanks

Mac or Windows?


I run foxit on Mac and (previously) windows. Seems to get the job done just fine and mostly stay out of the way. You just need the free reader, not the paid version. The occasional update nag and the like but nothing too objectionable. No mandatory login or anything.

I was going to recommend Foxit as well. I’m enslaved to the Adobe ecosystem, but I prefer Foxit.

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I’ve been stuck with Adobe because last year Apple changed something with Preview, and now it does not print music properly. It compresses it and turns it to an image file—I think—because the exact same file will print differently if I use Adobe or preview, with preview being fuzzy and Adobe being sharp as a razor (clearly the actual vector data was passed to the printer). But I’d gladly ditch Adobe for another pdf program that could print competently.

huh. interesting observation Romanos, I haven’t experienced that yet in Preview and shudder to think that Apple is intentionally glitching what used to be a perfectly fine interchange to printing/viewing pdfs. Will be on the lookout for it, thanks for the tip.

for a pdf music reader I use Mobile Sheets - excellent and attentive developer and regular updates. For a general pdf editor I use Foxit pdf editor.


Are you sure that isn’t a printer driver issue? Some printer drivers have an option to print PDFs as an image.

I have been using Foxit Reader for a while, as my ‘control’ to check whether Preview is behaving itself; but someone recently told me that there have been privacy and security issues with it in the past. (Check the Wikipedia page for info.)

I’ve just bought Master PDF Editor, which is pretty cheap for a fairly full-featured PDF editor. It can edit text (including changing the font and size), and add a coloured background to the PDF, etc, etc. Windows and Mac.

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What device is this on?

NitroPDF. Expensive, but very excellent.

Until last year it was Adobe the one having issues with music notation (it was not printing noteheads among other things).
Preview has been quite solid on Sonoma (so far…)

Same computer, same file, same printer (with official drivers installed), different results. There is something different about how preview sends data to the printer. I have had this issue reproduce itself on three different macs.

I should note that I can also get crisp prints directly from Dorico, but they look a little different (“fuzzy”) if I print that same file from PDF via preview.

Are you allowed to share the PDF for us to test on other Macs? I have both Preview and Acrobat DC

Thanks everyone. I am trying out Foxit - seems a little slower than Sumatra but much better looking. So far, so good.

Mobile Sheets is such a great idea! MIDI key switch page turns is pretty nifty. I’d love something like this that’s easy on system resources and with zero bloat, but when I tried it out this morning it seems a bit slow to load and very unappealing visually.

I use Microsoft Edge.

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I’m using Nitro Pro, and it does everything I need it to do. When I purchased it a few years ago, it was a perpetual license. They’ve switched to a subscription model so I’m not sure if the perpetual license is still available.


You can still get a perpetual license. I looked at the homepage. It’s 20% off until tomorrow.

As of macOS 13 Sonoma, Apple removed native PostScript support.

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