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I tried to open 2 different PDFs by clicking on the files in Windows explorer but only last one can be seen. I need to cross read them. I am surprised this is not simple operation. Am I missing something?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

You can have multiple PDF documents open in the Windows 8, but not with the built-in Windows Reader. Unfortunately, Reader does not seem to have any functionality for multiple windows/documents (which is fairly typical of Windows Store Apps, considering they more or less do away with the multiple-window-model to optimise for smaller screens).

What you can do is use a third-party PDF viewer, just as you would have done in previous versions of Windows that did not come with one. Adobe Reader and Foxit Reader are just two among many commonly used viewers that will launch in Desktop mode, just as they did in previous versions.

Unfortunately, if you are running Windows RT then this is not an option (RT does not allow Desktop programs). You could try searching for a third-party PDF viewer in the Windows Store - there are a couple available and surely more to come. However, it may be a bit difficult to find one that can display multiple documents simultaneously.

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Just to note - if you have 2 different Windows 8/RT Windows Store PDF viewers, you can open a different document in each, which lets you stay in the Metro/Modern interface. – PJC Jun 1 '13 at 13:38

The most convenient option is to use Google Chrome as the default PDF reader. Multiple documents will open on new tabs, and you can just drag tabs away from each other and work with multiple windows. You can merge windows too.

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Right click on the screen within the .pdf and you see thumbnails for all the open pdfs appear at the top, allowing you to jump between them.

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In windows 8.1 you can have multiple files open. just push your mouse into the top of the screen until the header comes down, then right click the mouse and this will bring up all the PDF files you have open. you can flick through each one or close them one at a time.

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This has already been answered JustinH. – Rsya Studios Nov 27 '14 at 2:05

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