PDFs make the distribution of readable documents, easy. The key advantage of a PDF is that you can keep the layout, whilst embedding the fonts, images and other components. This means you can use an advanced desktop publishing tool, such as Quark, to layout a document, publish as a PDF and then distribute it to other users, irrespective of the computer they use.
Better still, PDF documents now enable us to use any design tool to create a document you can then give to a commercial printer for creating your newsletter, poster or invitation. As long you give them a commercial-quality document, you can expect printed material as it looked on your computer screen. Believe it or not, this is a fairly recent event. Only a few years ago you had to use Quark and it had to be a version your commercial printer had installed.
Problem is, you need a PDF reader to open the documents. Macs can do this out of the box, but Windows users need an external program. Most users would consider Adobe Reader, but this can be slow and cumbersome. There are better, smaller and lightweight alternatives.
FoxIt PDF Reader is one of the better alternative PDF readers and the latest version supports the PDF 1.7 standard. It will start swiftly, open and manage large PDF documents and much more.
Note that Foxit Reader for Linux is included here, although it is still v1.1.