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Foxit Reader 6.0 adds PDF creation, handwritten signatures and Office 2013-style ribbon

16 April 2013, Nick Peers

Foxit Reader 6.0Foxit Corporation has unveiled a dramatically updated version of its free PDF reader. Foxit Reader 6.0.2 adds PDF creation tools to the freeware software’s roster for the first time, plus unveils a revamped ribbon-based toolbar modelled on Microsoft Office 2013.

Also added to version 6.0 are PDF sign – support for handwritten signatures, the ability to create and insert stamps, read and search PDF Portfolios and integration with Evernote. The features see Foxit Reader 6.0 square up to pioneering freeware tool Nitro Reader 3.5.

The most radical new feature in Foxit Reader 6.0 is its comprehensive set of PDF creation tools. Users can now create PDFs directly from Word, PowerPoint and Excel via an add-on that appears in the Office ribbon. The new build is also capable of converting documents from hundreds of file types into PDF directly, plus bundles a virtual PDF printer driver for creating PDFs from any application, including unsupported ones.

Foxit Reader 6.0.2

Foxit follows Nitro in incorporating PDF creation tools into its free PDF reader software.

Foxit Reader 6.0 is also capable of scanning documents directly into editable PDFs, whiles users can even generate new PDFs through content stored on the Windows clipboard.

The new build also sports a radically revamped look, designed to mimic the stripped back appearance of Microsoft Office 2013. This has led to a major reorganisation of existing ribbon tabs, with the addition of a new dedicated Share tab where users can easily share PDF documents via email, Facebook/Twitter and – new to version 6.0 – Evernote, for example.

Also added to version 6.0 is an additional way of signing documents, allowing users to bypass the existing DocuSign feature. A new PDF Sign feature allows users to create a handwritten signature, either from a previously scanned image file, the clipboard or by scribbling on-screen. Multiple signatures are supported.

Users can now also “stamp” documents with a number of pre-defined designs split into three categories: standard, “sign here” and dynamic. Users can view these via the Comments tab or open a new dedicated Stamps palette window. New stamps can also be created from scratch using existing image files.

The new version is joined by Foxit PhantomPDF Standard 6.0.2, which introduces paragraph editing, PDF form creation, the ability to edit scanned documents, drag-and-drop pages between documents, bundled desktop PDF index, improved file compression and PDF A, E and X Creation and Validation. PhantomPDF also gains the PDF Sign, support for reading and searching PDF portfolios and radical redesign found in Foxit Reader 6.0.

Foxit Reader 6.0.2 is available as a freeware download for PCs running Windows XP SP3 or later. Foxit PhantomPDF Standard 6.0.2 is available as a free trial download. PhantomPDF is available in two editions (the entry level PhantomPDF Express product has been dropped now its core functionality is incorporated into Foxit Reader), with the Standard edition costing $89, and the Business edition retailing for $129.

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