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Home / Blog / How to Open PDF without Adobe Acrobat | Top 3 Ways

How to Open PDF without Adobe Acrobat | Top 3 Ways

By Lena | Follow twitter | Updated on February 18, 2024
Adobe Reader has always been the most famous PDF reader. It was the only tool that could handle PDF files in the past, but that is different now. You can open and read PDF files through other methods. If you wonder how to open PDF without Adobe, don't miss this article!

Can You Open PDF without Adobe?

While Adobe Reader is a trustworthy software, its interface is complex and bloated. For users who only need to view or perform basic tasks with PDFs, lighter and faster alternatives may be more attractive, especially on less powerful or older computer systems.

So, can you open PDF without Adobe? Luckily, the answer is YES. In general, there are three ways for you to choose from.

  • If you prefer to use a professional reader, then you can use one popular PDF reader called SwifDoo PDF, which provides multiple reading modes.
  • Do not want to install any software? In this case, you can directly open the PDF with the browser. Most major browsers come with a built-in PDF viewer.
  • Another way to open PDFs is to use Google Docs. It is one online word processor that can be accessed via a browser. You should first upload PDF to Google Drive.

A professional PDF reader will make reading more enjoyable. Click the download button below to get the reader and start reading.

SwifDoo PDF
  • View PDFs in various modes
  • Read PDFs out loud - without eye strain
  • Translate PDFs into other languages immediately
Free Download
Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7

In any case, you can read on to learn how to open PDFs with these three tools before deciding!

How to Open PDF without Adobe

Let’s start to see how to open PDF without Adobe. Choose the one that best fits your needs and preferences.

Open PDF with SwifDoo PDF

SwifDoo PDF is one professional PDF tool that allows users to view, create, annotate, edit, convert, protect, and manage PDF files. If you want a powerful yet tiny PDF tool, SwifDoo PDF is a good choice.

To open and view a PDF file, drag and drop it into the tool's window. Or you can click Open to browse your computer and select the PDF file.

Open PDF via SwifDoo

It offers a variety of features to enhance the PDF reading experience. With SwifDoo PDF, you can:

⭐ Read PDFs side by side, in slideshow, full screen, etc.

⭐ Change the theme and customize the background color

⭐ Select the text and get the translation results

⭐ Listen to a PDF without eye strain

SwifDoo PDF View Features

You can click the download button to get SwifDoo PDF and try it.

Open PDF with Browser PDF Viewer

Most modern web browsers have built-in PDF viewers that allow you to open and view PDF files directly. These viewers can help you open PDF online and local PDF files. The browser can be the best choice when you want to open PDF without Adobe and do not want to download other readers.

Here, let me show you how to open PDF in Chrome. The process is the same for other browsers (including Firefox and Microsoft Edge).

1. Right-click the PDF file you want to open.

2. Choose Open with and select Google Chrome.

Open with Google Chrome

3. Once open, you can adjust the viewing mode.

View PDF via Chrome

If needed, you can select the browser as the default PDF viewer. The steps are as follows:

  • Right-click one PDF file.
  • Choose Properties.
  • Under General, click Change and choose the browser.
  • Click Apply to save the change.

Open PDF with Google Docs

The built-in viewer in your browser generally only helps you to view the PDF. If you want to make some changes to the PDF, you can use Google Docs. First, you need to upload the PDF to Google Drive, and then you can use Google Docs to open the PDF and edit it.

Learn how to open PDF without Adobe but via Google Docs.

1. Open the browser and go to https://www.google.com/drive/. Click Go to Drive and log in to your Google account.

2. Click the + New button to upload the PDF file.

Upload PDF to Google Drive

3. After uploading, right-click the PDF file and open it via Google Docs.

Open PDF with Google Docs

In this way, your PDF file will open on a new page. However, since it’s not a specialized PDF reader, some formatting may be lost.


That’s all about how to open PDF without Adobe Acrobat. Although Adobe is a trustworthy software, it is not the only option for reading PDFs. You can choose from many PDF readers, such as SwifDoo PDF. This reader provides various reading modes. If you only need basic reading functions, the browser covers you. Hope you find this guide helpful.

How to Open PDF without Adobe FAQs

Q:How do I open a PDF in Chrome?

Right-click the PDF > Choose Open with > Select Google Chrome.

Q:How do I open a PDF file without downloading additional software?

You can use web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, or Edge, which have built-in PDF viewers.

Q:Are there any lightweight PDF readers that won't consume too much system resources?

Yes, SwifDoo PDF is a lightweight option known for its speed and simplicity.

Lena has been in the editing industry for 8 years. She is familiar with a variety of products that can make things easier, such as PDF tools, video recording software, iOS location changer, etc. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with users to help them solve problems in their work and life. In her spare time, she likes to play with her cat.

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