Sumatra PDF – Free PDF Viewer

Sumatra PDF is a PDF viewer, and as the name of the program suggests, this program is designed to view PDF files.

Do not be misled by the mention of the PDF format in the name of the program, the program can also open, in addition, quite a lot of other formats in which e-books and other various documents are saved in digital form.

Usually, for most users, the program for viewing PDF files on a computer is Adobe Reader. But it takes up quite a lot of space on the computer’s hard drive, and uses quite a lot of system resources during its work.

Therefore, for owners of low-power computers, we can recommend using the free Sumatra PDF program on your computer.

Overview of Sumatra PDF Features

Key features of Sumatra PDF:

  • support for a large number of formats;
  • quick opening of files;
  • search in an open document;
  • copy to clipboard (if there is a text layer);
  • print support.

After the update, Sumatra PDF began to support the viewing of new formats: “ePUB”, “MOBI” and “FB2”. This allows me to tell you that now this program can be used as a universal file viewer for electronic document formats. Of course, with the exception of documents of various office formats.

Sumatra PDF runs on the Windows operating system and supports the following formats:


Agree that this is a very good set of formats for such a small free program. Sumatra PDF can be used on your computer as a PDF viewer, DjVu viewer, FB2 viewer, and also as a viewer for some other file formats.

Documents, books, manuals, magazines, etc. are saved in PDF format. The advantage of this format is that a document opened in this format will be displayed in the same way on any computer or device.

The DjVu format also basically saves exactly the same literature as in the PDF format. The advantage of this format over PDF is the significantly smaller file size of this format.

Sumatra PDF can also open files saved in other formats – Comic Book Archive save formats (CBR and CBZ), Help file format (CHM), Electronic book save formats (ePUB, MOBI and FB2), and in some other formats.

The bulk of fiction and much of the rest of literature is now preserved in ePUB formats in Europe, and in FB2 in the countries of the former USSR, where the FB2 format has become the unofficial standard for preserving such literature.

The popularity of these formats is due to the small file size compared to other formats. Therefore, such files are easier to open in e-book readers (book readers, tablets, smartphones, etc.), and take up much less space in their storage space.

And now let’s go directly to the review of the Sumatra PDF program.

Sumatra PDF – Free PDF Viewer

According to the author of the program, the name of the program has nothing to do with the name of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. The program is downloaded from the website of the program developer – Krzysztof Kowalczyk.

From the developer’s site, you can download a regular version of the program, or a portable version of the program.

The portable (portable) version of the program consists of a single “exe” file, it does not require installation, does not leave entries in the registry, and can be run from anywhere, for example, from a portable device – a USB flash drive.

The program works quickly and has a simple user-friendly interface. The advantage of using this program is the lower consumption of memory and system resources than other similar programs, such as Adobe Reader.

In the portable version of the program, you just need to run the file, while when installing the regular version of the program, after launching the installation file, a window for installing the program opens.

In this window, you can click on the “Install SumatraPDF” button to install the program in the default settings, or click on the “Options” button.

If you click on the “Options” button, a window with program installation options will appear. By default, installation options are not enabled.

By activating the appropriate items, you can use the Sumatra PDF program as the default PDF viewer, as well as download plug-ins for viewing PDF files for major browsers (Internet Explorer is supported).

If earlier the plug-in for viewing PDF files was installed in the browser by another similar program, then it should be removed from the browser. Then, for these purposes, you will need to use the plug-in for the Sumatra PDF program, after installing it on your computer. How to do this is described in detail on the website of the author of the program.

After clicking on the “Install SumatraPDF” button, the program is installed, and a window opens in which you need to click on the “Start SumatraPDF” button.

The program starts and the program window in Russian opens on the “Desktop”. The menu bar is located at the top of the program window. In the menu tabs, you can customize the program to your liking and manage the program from there.

Menu commands are standard and visual, their purpose is clear to any user. The program can also be controlled using the keyboard, the list of keyboard buttons used for this can be found on the developer’s website.

To change the program settings, you must enter the menu “Settings” => “Parameters …”.

This opens the “SumatraPDF Options” window. In this window, you can change the program settings.

You can click on the “Associate SumatraPDF with PDF files” button if you haven’t already done so. PDF files can not be associated with the Sumatra PDF program, but can be manually opened with this program. Then, if it is required in the future, it will be possible to change the file association to another program.

Also, in this window, you can uncheck the box next to the “Remember open files” item, because there can be a huge number of such files. But, on the contrary, someone will need a list of previously opened files using this program.

The program, after association with PDF files, will open such files after clicking on the corresponding PDF file.

To associate the Sumatra PDF program with files of other formats, you need to right-click on the file, and then select “Open with …” from the context menu.

In the “Choose a program” window, you need to click on the “Browse …” button. In the Explorer window, select the Sumatra PDF program, and then click on the “Open” button.

In the “Choose a program” window, activate the item “Use the selected program for all files of this type”, and then click on the “OK” button.

Files can also be opened from the main program window by clicking on the link in the program window “Open document …”, as well as from the menu “File” => “Open …”. In the Explorer window, select the desired file, and then click on the “Open” button.

In this image, a PDF book is open in Sumatra PDF.

This image shows a DjVu book open.

And in this image, a book in FB2 format is open.

Article Conclusions

Sumatra PDF is a fast and lightweight program, a free PDF viewer that will help you open some other electronic document file formats such as DjVu and FB2. These features of the program will be in demand especially by those users who have low-power computers.

Using this program will speed up the opening of files, as well as reduce the number of programs installed for these purposes on your computer.

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