Foxit, a better PDF reader for Linux

Today I got fed up with the overall poor search performance and poor rendering of Evince on 64 bit Ubuntu and looked around for an alternative. I use Foxit on my Windows machine and am generally very happy with it, having only had problems with it with government security clearance documents. A quick search shows that there is indeed a Linux version of Foxit.

Note that Foxit is a 32 bit executable so if you are running a 64 bit version of Linux, you will need to install ia32-libs from your repository.

Since a new version is supposed to be available within a couple of months, we may as make the upgrade path easier. I chose to download it to a local directory and then after uncompressing, moving it to /usr/local/foxit1.1

We now have a link to the directory at /usr/local/foxit which we can change to the 1.2 version when it becomes available.

Now lets add it into the Gnome menu. Click on System->Preferences->Main Menu. Select Accessories then click new Item. Fill in the form, pointing to FoxitReader.

Create Launcher for Foxit

Click OK and now Foxit shows up in your Accessories list.

Now, lets change the file associations for PDF files so that if you click on a PDF from the File Browser that it opens Foxit. From the File Browser, find a PDF file and then right click and select Properties and click the Open With tab.

Adding Foxit as a PDF Handler

Click on Add, then dropdown Use a custom command and browse to where FoxitReader lives. Click Close.

Add Foxit

This adds FoxitReader into the Open With list. Select FoxitReader and click Close.


Now you should be able to click on any PDF in the File Browser and Foxit will be launched with the contents of the document.

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