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SlimPDF Reader review

The ultimate no-frills document reader

Our Verdict

A sleek, minimalist PDF viewer that will take up only a couple of megabytes on your hard drive, though you might miss the ability to make annotations and edit text.


  • Very fast
  • Uncluttered interface
  • File converter


  • No annotation or editing tools

Some PDF readers are laden with extra tools like highlighting, secure document signing, encryption and optical character recognition. That’s brilliant, but sometimes all you want to do is read a document as quickly as possible. That’s when you need SlimPDF Reader.

According to its developer, SlimPDF Reader is the world’s smallest desktop PDF reader at just 1.43MB. It’s certainly far tinier than the industry standard Adobe Reader, and runs much faster as well – ideal for simple tasks. Need something more powerful? Take a look at our roundup of the best free PDF editors.

Navigation in SlimPDF Reader is clear and simple, and its minuscule size means it makes frugal use of your system resources. Its most advanced features are the ability to search print and rotate PDFs, but sometimes that's all you need.

User experience

You might create and edit PDFs at work, but when you’re at home you’ll often just be reading then. SlimPDF Reader makes it as simple as possible to do just that. There are no busy toolbars or confusing icons – just a carefully curated set of tools designed to help you read documents more easily.

There’s a search tool for finding words and phrases, a set of magnification tools, easy navigation, and page rotation. That’s pretty much it – and usually that’s all you need.

The first time you use SlimPDF Reader you’ll be promoted to register with your name and email address, but this is only necessary if you want to receive updates about the software and tips on using PDFs.

A few of the options visible in SlimPDF’s menus (like converting PDFs to editable Word or PowerPoint documents) are only available if you download additional software, which is a bit of a tease, but if you just want to read or print something, SlimPDF is excellent.

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