A Life Without PDF Readers

7 Apr/10

If you read yesterday’s article a life without flash you already know where this article is heading. The attacks using pdf documents have increased as have the vulnerabilities that have been found in Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat, the two most popular software programs ti view pdf documents. Recently security vulnerabilities have also been found in the popular Adobe Reader alternative Foxit Reader.

The premise of the article is that living without PDF readers is possible if you do not have to use them for work (either readers or creators). The author of this article – that would be me – accesses about 10-20 pdf documents per month. That’s not a lot and using alternatives to pdf readers is not a task that is slowing down work by much.

A user on the other hand who reads 10-20 per day might think otherwise.

The question is: If there are no pdf readers installed, how can pdf documents be read? There are two answers to this question.

  • Use an online service to process them
  • Use a pdf converter to convert them into another format

Online services like Google Docs can display pdf documents right in the web browser. The advantage of this method is that the pdf is not executed on the user’s computer system which means that any exploits will have no effect. It takes on the other hand a tad longer to open Google Docs, upload the pdf and view it online.

Some users have also reported that Google Docs did not offer all the features and functions that Adobe Reader for instance offers. Those users might need to keep Adobe Reader or another pdf reader for now.

Users who are only accessing information can do so with Google Docs or Zoho easily.

Converting pdfs instead is a second solution. This can also be done offline or online. There are tools available that can convert pdf documents easily like Hello PDF for instance. It would however mean to replace one software with another which might also be exploited.

Online pdf converters like Free PDF Convert on the other hand offer the same advantages and disadvantages as online pdf readers.

It should be quite possible to uninstall all pdf readers and use one of the two alternatives described above. Some users might prefer to install a lesser popular pdf reader like Sumatra instead.

Which pdf reader do you have installed? Would you be able to live without a pdf reader on your computer?

Continua a leggere – Original Link: A Life Without PDF Readers

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