Features to Look For in a PDF Reader

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Are you looking for a PDF reader that can go beyond the basic features and offer a well-rounded experience with all the tools and features you need to view, manipulate, and share documents?

Well, here are some of the most important features you should look for in any PDF reader.

Features to Look for in a PDF Reader

Ease of Use

Using a PDF reader doesn’t require prior knowledge, so anyone can do it. However, like any other intuitive software, ease of use plays a crucial role in improving user experience.

That’s why the easiest PDF reader out there would be quite popular and widely used. Ideally, you should choose a PDF reader that performs fairly well with PDF documents of any size or configuration. The PDF reader you choose should also have all common features on a familiar interface and be able to simplify complex operations with embedded tools.

Picture Resize

Most documents, regardless of their nature, contain some form of image. This can be in the form of a company logo, a chart to put the text into context, or even an ordinary image to accentuate the content. In most cases, taking away the image or being unable to view it due to size and quality limitations can negatively impact the value of the content.

Fortunately, most PDF readers enable you to view and resize images for better clarity. However, some PDF readers fall short when it comes to retaining image quality after resizing. Therefore, when looking for a PDF reader, you should always go for one that will enable you to not only resize images but also retain their quality and clarity.


Security is always a major concern when dealing with important or sensitive documents. That’s why most PDF readers allow you to password-protect your documents. However, in a highly connected world where people share documents all the time, a simple password isn’t enough. You need a PDF reader that can provide further security and access management.

Some of the best PDF readers allow you to limit access to shared documents to a select group of people. They also enable you to manage what they can do with the documents. For instance, you can set access parameters that only enable the people you share with to view documents, limiting their ability to modify the document.

File Merge

Suppose you’re working in a team where everybody handles a different part of the project, and you intend to compile the different parts into a complete document. In that case, you’d need to use different text editing programs to combine the pieces for the final result. But what if there was an easier way to do it?

Some of the best PDF readers come with the “file merge” feature. Essentially, this feature enables you to merge two or more documents into a single document. So, all you’d have to do is send the individual documents to a single member of the team and have them merge documents easily from any device without requiring specialized software.

Draw and Write

Most people like to take notes or draw illustrative pictures as they read about a complex subject. While most PDFs on the market allow you to highlight text, they’re still limited in their ability to provide a pen-and-paper experience, which they are meant to do in the first place.

Fortunately, some advanced PDF readers, especially those designed to work on touchscreen devices, allow you to draw characters on-screen as you read. This way, you can easily take notes and draw diagrams to enhance your understanding of the text.

Scan and Ocr

Despite the rapid rise in the use of digitized documents, most of the literature out there is still in the form of physical documents. This limits the ability of anyone looking to read the literature on a portable device such as their phone.

But on the bright side, you can always scan and save the documents on your device. However, not all PDF readers come equipped with a scanning feature, so you may want to scrutinize your options to ensure that they can scan and convert the scanned document into digital text that you can share, edit, and search for specific information.

The Bottom Line

Looking for a suitable PDF reader is much like buying a phone. You want something that looks good and has features to improve your experience and broaden its capabilities. A good starting point is to consider what you want in a PDF reader. Then, you can look for one that meets your current requirements and a few bonus features for future needs.

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