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6 PDF Online Readers You Must Try

Are you stuck finding the right PDF online reader? Read this article to get the best PF online readers you must try.

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Online PDF readers are tools that allow users to open and read PDF files online. There are many online PDF readers, but only a handful can give you the right experience. Choosing the right tool to view PDFs online can be challenging if you are a newbie. Fortunately, this article gives you a simple guide on the six (6) best PDF online readers you must try.

Online PDF Reader

SmallPDF - Easy-To-Learn Online PDF Reader

smallpdf online reader

Ratings From G2: 4.3 out of 5 stars

Editor's Verdict:

This PDF program is amazing if you want an online tool that gives you relatively more features to read a PDF easily.

Reasons To Use It:

  • It is cloud-based and works across several platforms.
  • It offers an offline mode, although it comes with an extra fee of $2 per month.
  • It offers a good collection of features.
  • It provides a 14-day trial version.

Reasons To Avoid It:

  • The offline mode comes at the cost of $2 extra every month.
  • The free trial version is limited, and you have to upgrade to the pro version to unlock better features.

SmallPDF is a popular PDF software founded in 2013 that allows users to manage PDF files easily. This Swedish-based tool supports over 24 languages and has garnered millions of users across many countries. Being a cloud-based tool, you can access it across different devices with a suitable browser.

It offers a 14-day trial version, and users can use this offline mode for an extra $2 per month. It allows you to read, convert, edit, compress, annotate, sign and merge PDF files.

Sejda - Powerful Tool to View PDFs Online Without Downloading Programs

sejda online reader

Ratings From G2: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Editor's Verdict: It is a good online PDF reader worth trying. The paid version has advanced features and is worthwhile if you use it a lot.

Reasons To Use It:

  • It offers both online and desktop versions.
  • It makes it easy to integrate with several cloud storage services.
  • Although the interface looks non-standard, users still find it easy to navigate.
  • It offers a decent collection of features.

Reasons To Avoid It:

  • Users complain of flaky text editing. Users experience different results, which can be disturbing to people who love editing.
  • The free version has limitations.

Sejda is one of the best PDF online readers worth trying. This program has an impressive collection of tools that make navigating and handling PDF tasks easy. With this program, you can add texts, edit PDFs, insert images, annotate PDFs, whiteout desired texts, draw shapes, highlight, and strikethrough target texts.

This program comes as both a free and premium version. The free version is limited and cannot handle tasks that exceed 50MB or 200 pages. Furthermore, you are limited to one task at a time and a maximum of three daily tasks.

Although the interface is non-standard, it is still easy to navigate. The icons are displayed at the top of the page, and you can easily pick the desired feature and use it accordingly. This program allows you to save your files directly to cloud services like Google Drive.

HiPDF - One-Stop PDF Online Reade for Free

hipdf online reader

Ratings From G2: 5 out of 5 stars.

Editor's Verdict: This is an excellent online PDF reader. It is effective and can be your one-stop solution for nearly all your PDF tasks.

Reasons To Use It

  • It has an elegant and easy-to-use interface.
  • Its speed is outstanding.
  • It has a good collection of features.
  • The free version is powerful and not quite limited.
  • It supports cloud integration.

Reasons To Avoid It

  • You need the premium version to work with bulky files.

HiPDF is a powerful all-in-one online PDF editor and reader that you must try. This online PDF editor has an array of PDF features to transform how you handle PDF tasks seamlessly. HiPDF offers a free and premium version. The free version is powerful and not highly limited. It handles many functionalities you can get in premium versions from other tools.

Users can upload and save files on the local computer or cloud storage services. The beauty of this program is that it has a sleek interface, and you can navigate with ease. It is fast, secure, and works across major browsers and devices.

With this program, you can edit, convert, annotate, sign, compress, split, merge, rotate, share and extract texts in PDFs. Furthermore, it lets you work with all file formats, from document to image formats.

iLovePDF - Effective Online PDF Viewer

ilovepdf online reader

Ratings From G2: 4.3 out of 5 stars.

Editor's Verdict: It is a simple yet effective tool that handles a variety of PDF tasks.

Reasons To Use It:

  • It is a multiplatform tool.
  • It is free.
  • It has a cool collection of features.

Reasons To Avoid It

  • It struggles to edit the original contents of a PDF file.

ILovePDF is a powerful web-based PDF management tool. This program allows users to perform various PDF tasks, including reading, converting, compressing, merging, unlocking, and watermarking PDFs in seconds. The good thing is that it supports multiple formats and different languages. It is easy to use, and its features are pretty efficient.

DocFly - Online PDF Viewer To Simplify Your Work

docfly online pdf reader

Ratings From G2: 4 out of 5 stars.

Editor's Verdict: It is a fairly easy and effective online PDF reader.

Reasons To Use It:

  • You can access it from anywhere.
  • It is Simple and cheaper.
  • It allows users to save and secure PDF files with passwords.
  • It has a good collection of features.
  • It supports several file formats.

Reasons To Avoid It

  • Some users complain of glitches when exporting large files.

DocFly is a simple and effective online PDF reader that is worth trying. This program allows users to create, secure, and edit PDF documents. It stores its files securely via Amazon Cloud hosting; users can delete them anytime. The beauty of DocFly is that it runs on any device, and you can access it from anywhere.

Google Docs - Fast and Free PDF Viewer Online

google docs online pdf reader

Ratings From G2: N/A

Editor's Verdict: It is a good PDF reader but not suited for complex PDFs, especially those with images and graphics.

Reasons To Use It

  • It offers up to 15GB worth of storage space.
  • It makes online collaboration much easier.
  • It provides good support options.

Reasons to Avoid It

  • The mobile app is limited.
  • Users experience formatting issues.

Google Docs is a popular word processor that allows users to read PDF and other file formats. Besides viewing PDFs, Google Docs is equipped with other robust text editing features.

With Google Docs, it is easy to collaborate and work remotely with your team members. One shared file can be accessed by multiple users simultaneously. Teammates can work on a specific document at the same time.

Online and Offline PDF Viewers

An online viewer is a website that allows you to view/open files online and use its features to manipulate them. You need an internet connection to open and use an online viewer. An offline viewer, on the hand, is software that allows you to open/view a document without connecting to the internet. It is independent software you install on your device and use without connecting to the internet.

There is always a hot debate on which of the two viewers is the best. However, the best answer is informed by your needs. The following table summarizes the differences between online and offline PDF readers.

Online PDF Reader
Offline PDF Reader
Requires an internet connection It does not require an internet connection.
You don't need to download and install it on your device. You must download and install it on your device.
Most of them have limited functionality and impose file limits. Offline platforms have more features and are easy to handle bulky tasks.
They are often free or cheap. They often require subscriptions but are cost-effective when you choose the right tool.
  • How To Choose a PDF Reader

Choosing a PDF reader is not a walk into the park. However, you can make the right decision if you understand your needs. When choosing the right PDF reader, consider the following factors:

  • Price -Choose a cost-effective PDF reader.
  • Features -Check whether the target tool has enough features/functionality to solve your problem.
  • Compatibility -Choosing a PDF reader compatible with many devices and popular operating systems is good. This makes collaboration with other users easy.
  • Speed -Make sure the selected PDF reader has fast processing and rendering speed.
  • Security -If you are handling sensitive or private data, ensure the PDF reader has the necessary technology to guarantee data privacy and security.

[Bonus] All-in-One Offline PDF Reader

Online PDF readers have several drawbacks and might let you down if you handle complex and bulky PDF files. However, you can overcome these limitations with a suitable offline PDF reader. Finding the right offline PDF reader can be challenging. Here, we recommend Wondershare PDFelement, a fast, easy and affordable offline PDF viewer.

wondershare pdfelement interface

Wondershare PDFelement - PDF Editor is an all-in-one PDF viewer designed to transform how you interact with PDF files seamlessly. It is fast, feature-rich, affordable, super-fast, compatible with several devices, and supports various file formats. This program offers a variety of PDF reading modes, and users can tweak reading preferences to meet their needs.

The good thing about Wondershare PDFelement is that it is an all-in-one tool. You can edit, annotate, convert, create, print, protect, organize, share, compress, merge, fill PDF forms, and perform OCR. Download the free trial version, then upgrade to the powerful premium version to get the best PDF experience.


From this guide, it is clear that several online readers are worth trying. However, be careful to select the right tool. Again, online PDF viewers have limitations and drawbacks, especially in handling sensitive or confidential documents. Thus, you can try a suitable offline reader like Wondershare PDF to get your things done.

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