Foxit Reader STILL Free

Posted: Sunday, April 27, 2008 by El Guru in CyberNet, Firefox, Fx 2.0, Open Source

This morning I opened my Thunderbird to find an alarming comment on the Adobe Acrobat vs Foxit Reader article. UHammerIT wrote:

Capitalism Killed The FOXit reader

And yet another one bites the dust.

Foxit Reader is no longer a free product. O yeah, sure you can get a one year license for free if you buy something else (where they get 50% commission on the sales). Wonderful. I hardly blame them, they are developers and need money, but at least they could make their 2.0 version open source and continue with their commercial pro line.

This truly and utterly sucks, as pre 2.0 versions do not understand the Firefox plugin concept.

My first thoughts were here we go again, first FastStone and now Foxit. But I got to thinking, I had just read an extensive review (Foxit 2.3 PDF Reader Includes Tabs) over at CyberNet News earlier this week and don’t recall them mentioning anything about the reader no longer being free. I went back and re-read the article, again didn’t see anything about having to pay for Foxit.

So next was over to the official Foxit site. Once there my heart sank after I clicked the button Get it for free! I saw what UHammerIT was talking about when the new window opened. Yes, you can get it for free if you jump through a few flaming hoops over a tank full of hungry sharks. You would have to either end up buying a subscription (DiSH, TiVO, Blockbuster, NetFlix), giving away your personal information (Discover Card) or signing your life away to the devil (AOL). This is not good.

But wait this says Foxit PDF Reader Pro Pack and in the original window it is Foxit Reader 2.3 for Windows. Sounds like two different products to me, but are they trying to pull the wool over our eyes by making us think all there is is this Pro Pack? Apparently the answer is YES! After a closer inspection of the page I noticed a download link (highlighted in the screenshot below) that takes you to a page where you can download the Foxit Reader 2.3 for Windows for FREE (as in no jumping through hoops).

Click Image To Enlarge

Okay so now I wonder, what exactly is the Pro Pack, besides $39 a year? As near as I can tell it is a bundle that includes Foxit Reader along with some of their other PDF related software. Still really cain’t really tell for sure what all is included in the Pro Pack but it is likely applications that I am not going to use or could get for free somewhere else.

I was able to download, install and use Foxit Reader within Firefox without being required to pay for it or complete one of their offers. I wasn’t too sure though as when I opened a PDF file, Firefox activate the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Turns out all I had to do was re-associate PDF & FDF files with Foxit Reader. I am thinking these settings were changed last week when I upgrade to the newer versions of Adobe Flash. Bottom line is Foxit Reader is still free, provided you click the correct link. Note: the DOWNLOADS link at the top of the page also takes you to the free version of Foxit.

Comments
  1. sben says:

    I see no reason to use Foxit PDF reader because firefox can already use acrobat from it’s own window.

  2. Rohan says:

    I believe the point is that foxit works better than acrobat… It dose away with the need for acrobat, and makes your life easier in the process… :)

  3. Thanks for posting this and clearing it up. When I went to get FoxIt reader a couple of weeks ago, I thought there wasn’t a free version and it was pretty off putting.

    I just stumbled across your post and took a 2nd very very close look and sure enough, it is there to download.

    Thanks
    Darlene

  4. Neil says:

    Foxit 3.0 may be a big improvement over 2.x, but is it improved enough to make me want to switch back from PDF X-change Viewer?

  5. Felix says:

    There is a new, free as in open-source PDF viewer: SumatraPDF. Shows PDFs in a separate windows, but is very fast.

  6. koch says:

    Foxit is no longer free “(as in no jumping through hoops)”. The so-called “free” 3.0 version requires one to install it with adware, a toolbar and an eBay icon. I went with PDF X-change and couldn’t be happier. RIP Foxit!

  7. FoxitUser says:

    Foxit Reader “PRO” adds the primary feature of being able to annotate PDF files (as in type on them but not like adobe acrobat forms) and then save the pdf without the annoying watermarks (“was created in foxit reader”). Also pdf-to-text save is supported as well as a spell check for the annotations made with the typewriter tool. As for a “reader” only..the free version (which is just the pro version without paying for the license that unlocks the other features) is just fine.

    I use it everyday for filling out flat pdf forms from work instead of physically printing them and then filling them out with old school ink pen and scanning them to send them back to my office. Now I just save and email.

    I suppose FOXIT could be a bit clearer about this difference…it does seem that they go out of the way to cloud the beauty of the typewriter functions. Anyone can make a reader (nitro, etc..) and there are many pdf printers out there. But a reader, writer, printer? Have you seen what the acrobat(creator) offered by Adobe cost? MSRP $299 …. For $39, foxit 3.0, it does exactly what I need. Oh, and the install footprint is way smaller than adobe’s bloated reader. (Alas, foxit does NOT handle pdf forms very well).

  8. Andaman says:

    Even 2.3 is now requiring the watermark “Evaluation” on conversions to PDF. So Foxit is truly no longer a free application to fill out PDF forms.

  9. Roady says:

    Yeah, Foxit has kinda sucked for awhile. Used to be a great free reader – now they’ve gone all commercial with their ‘freebase’ and are BSing us out of our socks. I can’t even find the foxit plug in anymore at firefox…;(

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