Nuance, the company you probably know for their speech recognition software, has released a free PDF viewer for Windows that you may not only use for reading documents but for also converting PDFs into other formats.

There’s plenty of competition in this space – there are desktop tools like Adobe Reader and Foxit that are also free and then you have online viewers where you can read PDF files directly in the browser without requiring any software.

Since it can be a bit difficult to compete when rival products (read Adobe Reader) are equally good and available at similar prices ($0.00), Nuance has added some unique features to stand out.

When you install Nuance PDF viewer, they give you an option to completely disable JavaScript so PDFs with bad intentions are less likely to harm your system. You can turn off JavaScript in other PDF viewers as well but here you can make that choice at the installation stage itself.

Nuance PDF Reader includes support for basic annotations so you can highlight text with a marker inside PDF document and also save the changes.

The real reason why you want to give Nuance PDF Reader a try is PDF conversion. You can use the software to convert your PDF files to Microsoft Word and Excel formats with a simple click.

I just converted a fairly complex PDF document to Word and the conversion was quick and fairly accurate. The only problem is that conversion happens in the cloud and not on your desktop – you click the “Convert” button, the software will upload the PDF document to Nuance servers and the converted file will reach you as email attachment.

For more, check out nuance.com.