We’ve always been fans of the free Foxit PDF reader here, but when I came across an open-source PDF viewer that was even more lightweight and simple, I immediately switched.

The Sumatra PDF viewer comes as one single .exe file, and is about as minimal as you can get… it launches in less than a second for me, and the clean interface is great. 

But that’s not the best part… it’s got shortcut keys that are very similar to Gmail and Google Reader. (Except j and k are swapped for some unknown reason)

Here’s the list of shortcut keys: 

  • space – scroll by screen
  • backspace – scroll back by screen
  • k – scroll by one line
  • j – scroll back by one line
  • Down – scroll by one line
  • Up – scroll back by one line
  • n – goto next page
  • p – goto previous page
  • Page Down – go to next page
  • Page Up – go to previous page
  • g – goto page
  • q – quit
  • + – zoom in
  • – – zoom out
  • r – reload PDF document
  • <Shift> <Ctrl> + – rotate clockwise
  • <Shift> <Ctrl> – – rotate counter-clockwise
  • Home – go to first page
  • End – go to last page

Just being able to navigate a PDF with the same keys I use all the time was enough for me.

Download Sumatra PDF Viewer for Windows

Profile Photo for Lowell Heddings Lowell Heddings
Lowell is the founder and CEO of How-To Geek. He’s been running the show since creating the site back in 2006. Over the last decade, Lowell has personally written more than 1000 articles which have been viewed by over 250 million people. Prior to starting How-To Geek, Lowell spent 15 years working in IT doing consulting, cybersecurity, database management, and programming work.
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