Sumatra PDF vs. Adobe Reader

by Andria Pacina
Sumatra PDF vs. Adobe Reader

The main difference between Sumatra PDF and Adobe Reader lies in specific features. Sumatra PDF is a lightweight PDF viewer that prioritizes speed and simplicity. Adobe Reader is a feature-rich PDF viewer with advanced capabilities and cloud integration.

In this article, we will discuss the key differences between Sumatra PDF vs. Adobe Reader.

Sumatra PDF vs. Adobe Reader Comparison


Platforms Supported

Cloud Storage


Custom Branding


Sumatra PDF




N/A (Latex Editors needed)



Adobe Reader








Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and Microsoft apps.


Starts at

$12 per



PDF Viewing Experience

Sumatra PDF boasts its minimalist approach, but it still offers several viewing options. Users can zoom in and out and rotate pages. They can also switch between single-page and continuous-scrolling viewing modes.

With Adobe Reader, users can also zoom in or out to adjust the view of the document. You can also fit the page width, height, or an entire page to the window for comfortable reading. Additionally, you can switch between different viewing modes, such as Single Page, Continuous, and Continuous-Facing. 

Form Filling

Sumatra PDF does not have robust built-in support for form filling or interactive forms within PDF documents. The platform was primarily designed for viewing and basic PDF navigation.

Meanwhile, Adobe Reader enables users to fill in PDF forms that have interactive fields. These may include text boxes, checkboxes, radio buttons, drop-down menus, and more. This feature is particularly useful for tasks like completing tax forms, applications, surveys, and questionnaires.

Annotation Tools

Sumatra PDF’s annotation tools offer a range of text markup and highlighting options. These include the ability to highlight text for emphasis and underline important content. You may also strike through text for deletion and add a squiggly underline to indicate suggested changes or errors in a document.

On the other hand, Adobe Reader offers a versatile set of annotation tools that empower users to interact with PDF documents effectively. These tools include highlighting for emphasizing text and underlining and striking through for markup. You may also utilize them for comments.

You can also use its drawing tools for creating shapes, lines, and freeform annotations. Furthermore, you can add text boxes and attach files to enrich their PDFs.


Sumatra PDF was not designed for extensive PDF editing, including redaction. If you need to redact sensitive information from a PDF, you would typically need to use a more robust PDF editing tool.

While Adobe Reader is primarily a free PDF viewer, it also includes some basic editing and annotation features, as we mentioned above. However, a redaction feature is only available in Adobe Acrobat Pro. This is the paid version of Adobe’s PDF software.

Sumatra PDF vs. Adobe Reader

Document Compression

Sumatra PDF does not have built-in support for document compression or the ability to compress PDF files. 

On the contrary, Adobe Reader offers a document compression feature that allows users to reduce the file size of PDF documents. This feature is particularly valuable when sharing or storing PDFs, as it helps save disk space and speeds up document transfer.

Speed and Performance

Sumatra PDF stands out for its minimalistic design and rapid loading times. This makes it a top choice for users seeking a no-frills, efficient PDF viewing experience. The platform boasts quick responses and low system resource demands. These ensure a seamless and snappy user experience.

In general, Adobe Reader is a relatively lightweight application that can handle most PDF files without any noticeable lag. However, certain factors can contribute to slower performance. These include large file sizes, high-resolution images, and embedded multimedia content.

Cloud Integration

To sum up our comparison between Sumatra PDF vs Adobe Reader, we’ll talk about Cloud Integration.

Sumatra PDF does not have cloud integration, meaning that you cannot save your files online or sync your work on all devices in real-time.

Adobe Reader’s integration with Adobe Document Cloud enhances the functionality of the PDF viewing software. It provides seamless access to cloud-based document management tools. This integration enables users to store, access, and manage their PDF files securely in the cloud. This can facilitate better collaboration and streamline workflows.

Sumatra PDF vs. Adobe Reader

Fill: The Best Alternative to Sumatra PDF

Sumatra PDF has gained popularity among users seeking a lightweight PDF viewer. However, its minimalist approach may not satisfy users who require more advanced features. If you’re looking for a PDF viewer that offers a broader range of capabilities, Fill emerges as the best alternative to Sumatra PDF.

First, Fill provides customizable and reusable templates while giving you the luxury of unlimited storage. This eliminates any concerns about running out of space for your PDF documents. Additionally, Fill prioritizes user experience by offering live support for users who encounter any issues or require guidance. This feature sets Fill apart from its competitors like Sumatra PDF and Adobe Reader.

Moreover, Fill extends its reach across multiple platforms. It offers dedicated apps for iOS and Android that can help users access and manage their PDF documents while on the go.

Related Stories

PDFsam vs. Adobe Acrobat Pro

PDFsam vs. Adobe Acrobat Pro

The main difference between PDFsam and Adobe Acrobat Pro lies in cloud storage and mobile compatibility. PDFsam lacks cloud storage and mobile apps. In contrast, Adobe Acrobat Pro offers cloud storage and robust mobile compatibility.

PDFescape vs. Adobe

PDFescape vs. Adobe

The main difference between PDFescape and Adobe Acrobat is clear. Adobe Acrobat, with extensive features, prioritizes user needs, document security, and management. PDFescape aims at providing straightforward, user-friendly solutions like basic form filling and essential integrations.

PDF24 vs. PDFsam

PDF24 vs. PDFsam

The main difference between PDF24 vs. PDFsam are in its features. Although both are PDF editing tools, they do not share the same features. Let's dive in and check what makes each option different from the other. You'll also get a third option at the end of this article.

Get great articles direct to your inbox

    We’ll never share your details with third parties.
    View our Privacy Policy for more info.