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Efficient PDF Toolkit for Windows

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Home / Blog / How to Open PDF Files in Simple Ways - Easy Steps to Follow

How to Open PDF Files in Simple Ways - Easy Steps to Follow

By Charlotte | Follow twitter | Updated on January 18, 2023 | Français Deutsch

PDF files are one of the most universal and versatile file types in the world. People from all walks of life are increasingly relying on PDFs to store and share their ideas, projects, and other work. Opening PDF files might lie on the list of your most frequent tasks in school or business. If you are a newbie to PDF, it’s essential to learn how to open PDF files quickly and simply.

Being able to open, view, or do more with PDF files can go a long way in taking your office skills to the next level. Read this post to master several ultimate easy ways to open PDF files. Whether you are not knowing PDF files or run into frustrating PDF not opening problems, this post might give you solutions.

What Is a PDF File and How Do I Open It?

For new users of PDFs, it’s important to understand this type of files so that you can better handle them. PDF stands for Portable Document Format, a file format denoted by the .pdf filename extension and created by Adobe Inc. A PDF file is normally non-editable and used to transfer digital content with consistent formatting and layout. That’s where PDF is different from MS Office document formats such as Word.

Since PDF is so special, what program can open PDF files? In response to the need for viewing and editing PDFs today, there are lots of free PDF readers offered on the market or built into your devices. On Windows, you can turn to SwifDoo PDF. Preview is a pre-installed application to open PDFs on Mac. Adobe Reader is available on both Windows and Mac. Moreover, the Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge browsers allow you to access PDF files.

Next we will show you how to open PDF files in a step-by-step manner.

How to Open PDF File with SwifDoo PDF

SwifDoo PDF is a small and feature-rich PDF opener, viewer and editor for Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7 and the latest Windows 11. It provides you with multiple methods to open PDFs and you can either launch the application or not to do that. If needed, the software has a wide range of tools for PDF editing, PDF annotation, PDF conversion, PDF organizing, and more manipulation.

Check how to open a PDF file on Windows from the three methods below.

Method 1: Open PDF by Clicking the Open Option

When you have downloaded and installed SwifDoo PDF for free, follow the listed steps to open your PDF.

Step 1: Launch the desktop application, and click Open or the Click to Open a File button in the start window;

Step 2: Browse your computer to select and open a PDF in the software.

Open PDF file with SwifDoo PDF Open Option step 2

In addition, you can go to “SwifDoo” on the top left corner to choose the “Open” option to open your PDF file.

Method 2: Open PDF by Dragging and Dropping

Here is how to open PDF files without starting the PDF viewer in advance.

Step 1: Go to your desktop with all programs’ windows closed or minimized, then navigate to a file folder or search on the desktop to locate the PDFs you want to view;

Step 2: Select and drag and drop the PDFs into the SwifDoo PDF desktop icon. The software will open all the selected PDF files automatically.

Open PDF file with SwifDoo PDF by dragging and dropping step 2

Method 3: Open PDF from Context Menu

Go through the following guide to find how to open a PDF file by right-clicking on it.

Step 1: Right-click on the PDF you wish to access and choose Open with from the context menu;

Step 2: Then pick the SwifDoo PDF application to open the file.

Open PDF file with SwifDoo PDF from context menu step 2

If SwifDoo PDF doesn’t appear in the displayed available apps, click “Choose another app” at the bottom of the list to search for it.

Besides the above three methods, you can change your default PDF viewer to SwifDoo PDF. This way PDF files can be opened more straightforwardly by double-click. When you have opened a PDF in the application, there are various view modes to improve your reading experience. You can view the pages side by side, display them in slide show mode, or alter the window theme color.

The software allows you not only to open PDF files in a blink of an eye, but also to do word count in PDF, translate text, and read PDF aloud. Moreover, as powerful all-in-one software, it enables you to annotate a PDF with highlights, notes, etc. Editing the text and images in a PDF is never difficult with SwifDoo PDF.

How to Open PDF File with Preview

Preview comes included with macOS to offer Mac users a free way to open and view PDFs and images. It’s equipped with basic markup tools allowing users to highlight text, and add text boxes and text to PDFs. The native program also lets you combine and split PDF files, and convert PDFs to image formats.

Browse the below steps to discover how to open a PDF file in Preview on Mac.

Step 1: Locate a PDF file in its file folder or on the desktop, then control-click on it;

Step 2: Select Open with and then Preview in the pop-up menus to open the PDF in the application.

Open PDF file with Preview step 2

Tips: Without other PDF software installed on your device, double-clicking on a PDF will open it in Preview by default.

How to Open PDF File in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC is the world’s top PDF software. It empowers users to add comments to, digitally sign, open and view PDF files for free. You are able to get a PDF read aloud within the program.  Let’s see how to open PDF files in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.

Step 1: Open the Adobe Reader program, navigate to File to choose the Open option;

Step 2: Select a PDF file from your device to open it.

Open PDF file in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC step 2

If your PDF is always opened in Chrome or Edge browser by default, how do you change the default PDF viewer to Adobe Acrobat Reader? To open PDF files in Adobe Acrobat instead of Edge or Chrome by default, go to “Settings” > “Apps” > “Default apps” > “Choose default apps by file type”, find the “.pdf” file type and set the default apps as Adobe.

How to Open PDF in Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge Browser

If you are wondering how to open PDF files without an app or software like Adobe, the Chrome and Edge web browsers might be good solutions. The method to opening a PDF (.pdf) file in a browser is also to right-click on PDFs and use the “Open with” option. You can set your default PDF opener as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge according to the above mentioned process as well.

Step 1: Right-click on a PDF file to choose the Open with option;

Step 2: Pick Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge from the file opening app list to open the file in Chrome or Edge.

Tips: Google Chrome can open or download PDF files. When you find PDFs won’t open in Chrome, perhaps the settings disabled the PDF opening feature. If you need to open PDFs in Chrome instead of downloading, go to the browser’s “Settings” > “Privacy and security” > “Site settings” > “Additional content settings” to find and click the “PDF documents” item, and make sure “Open PDFs in Chrome” instead of “Download PDFs” is selected.
The 15 Best Free PDF Readers in 2024

The 15 Best Free PDF Readers in 2024

This post lists the 15 best free PDF readers to improve your PDF reading experience. These best PDF readers are available for Windows, Mac or other devices.



With tons of PDF readers available, there are many other ways to open PDFs for free. You can also find open-source PDF editors to open PDFs to edit the content. Among these options, SwifDoo PDF is recommended with its complete set of features for dealing with PDFs. It allows you to open and edit a PDF effortlessly, and add comments, delete pages, and do a lot more. When it comes to how to open a password-protected PDF, SwifDoo PDF is also helpful.


Q:Why my PDF is not opening?

Some reasons for why PDFs won’t open include: your PDF reader need to be updated; your PDF files are corrupted; your computer need to be restarted. When you find that PDF files won’t open, try use different PDF software, Chrome or Edge browsers to open them, or restart your device.

Q:How do I open a PDF file on my phone?

In terms of how to open a PDF file on an iPhone, you can open with the built-in PDF reader on iOS without installing an external app. When you receive or download a PDF, click to open it directly or save the PDF to your Files app or Pages and tap to open it. The native PDF reader can open PDF attachments in emails as well. To open PDF files on Android phones, you need to turn to the Adobe Reader or Google Drive app.

Q:Why does Chrome on Android not open PDF files like Chrome on Windows/Linux can?

The answer is because the desktop Chrome has the inbuilt PDF viewer but the Chrome on Android doesn’t have. You have to install a third-party reading app to open and read PDFs.

Q:What is the best free PDF viewer?

SwifDoo PDF offers the best way to view PDF files with its small size, fast response, multiple reading modes, and PDF editing tools. It is one of the best PDF readers besides Adobe.

Q:How do I open a PDF document in Word?

You can go to “File” > “Open” in Word to select and open a PDF in Word. In addition, converting PDF to Word format makes it easy to open a PDF as a Word document.

Charlotte has been in the software industry for 8+ years. She works for AWZWARE now as a passionate writer. She is good at providing simple guides to use various video, office and entertainment software. Charlotte also recommends many other useful tools to make your work and life easier. A food lover too.

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