November 30, 2022
Brodie Bain, FAIA, AICP, LEED AP, has joined interdisciplinary design firm, NAC Architecture, as director of higher education planning. Her knowledge of physical planning for higher education will complement NAC's focus on the role of design in student live/learn success.
Bain's career as a registered architect and certified planner comes with a wealth of experience in campus planning, capital planning, programming, space utilization studies, land use, site planning, and pre-designs for a full range of campus building types. Her new role will be the impetus for exciting and innovative new perspectives from NAC's offices in Columbus, Los Angeles, Seattle, and Spokane.
The best free PDF editors allow you to quickly make changes to a Portable Document Format (PDF) file without spending a thing. While you won’t get all of the sophisticated features that come with a paid PDF editor, a free PDF editor should be more than enough to create PDFs and make simple edits to them.
The best free PDF editors provide basic editing and document-creation abilities but sometimes, they toss in a few surprising extras. Many free PDF editors allow you to annotate PDFs and some can even recognize scanned text - all at no extra cost.
At Tom’s Guide, we’ve tried and used half-a-dozen free PDF editors and compared them to their paid counterparts. These are the best free PDF editors you can get today if all you’re looking to do is to make a few simple edits to a PDF file.
Why you can trust Tom's Guide Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
PDF Candy may be one of the more compelling free PDF editors, mostly because it offers an OCR option not available in other free PDF editors.
While you can't edit the OCR'd text directly within PDF Candy's web-based PDF editor, you can upload a PDF file and have PDF Candy extract text and create a text document, RTF file, or Word document in both .doc and .docx formats.
PDF Candy's tool set is formidable. You can use 44 tools to create or convert PDF files. Additionally, you'll find tools for rearranging pages within a document, adding watermarks, protecting PDF files with passcodes, editing metadata within a PDF file, splitting or adding pages to documents, and extracting images.
All these tasks are as simple as selecting the tool, uploading a document and allowing PDF Candy to work its magic.
When you finish one task on a document, you'll get a list of other tools you can use for different tasks. Once your changes are complete, you can obtain the edited document or upload a new document to work on. PDF Candy keeps all of your documents in a queue so you can obtain them all at once after you've finished making changes to them.
While the genuine text-editing tools in PDF Candy are as limited as on every other free PDF-editing app, everything else PDF Candy has to offer puts it head and shoulders above the other free options.
PDFescape is an excellent option for online PDF editing. Simple to use and available to anyone with a web browser, PDFescape may be all you need to edit and annotate PDF files.
Previously, PDFescape had a limit of either a 10MB or 50-page PDF file. That 10MB file-size limit remains in place, but you can now edit files of up to 100 pages for free.
PDFescape offers ample annotation tools. You can use the app to fill out forms, create form fields, insert text and web links, highlight text, add sticky notes, redact or strike out text, crop and rotate images, add or remove pages and even lock and encrypt PDF documents.
You'll have to contend with severely limited font options, however. PDFescape offers five fonts, one of which is a generic "signature" font that looks nothing like your own signature. But otherwise, you'll find a lot more tools in PDFescape than you will in the typical, bare-bones free PDF editor.
Apple's Preview application is built into every version of macOS, including macOS BIg Sur. Not only is it capable of working with PDF files, but it also offers a number of other image-editing features. It is the multitool of the image-editing universe, capable of opening virtually any image file you may encounter.
The bulk of Preview's markup capabilities aren't obvious when you first open the app, although you'll find a few basic tools for rotating pages and highlighting text on the basic toolbar.
Preview's full set of markup tools appears when you click a small markup button that looks like a pencil tip located next to the search tool in the Preview toolbar.
Those markup tools include text-selection options; drawing tools you can use to add freehand drawings to a document; a text tool for adding additional text to a document; a tool that adds shapes and notes; and a signature tool that you can use to capture your signature using your Mac's camera, a tablet or your trackpad.
Preview is a solid option for basic PDF editing, and if you own a Mac, accessing Preview's powers is as simple as launching the app.
FormSwift offers a slightly different twist on PDF editing. While it gives you the option to upload and edit PDF files, it also offers a large library of legal and other business forms you can fill in online and obtain as a PDF file or Word document.
I found FormSwift's offerings to be excellent and well worth a look if you need basic business documents such as 1099s, lease agreements and business meeting minutes.
All of these forms can be filled out online and downloaded once you've added the pertinent information. Or you can obtain blank versions of the documents and enter information locally on your computer.
For PDF editing, the process is simple. Drag a file to your browser — there's a 10MB max size — then use FormSwift's tools to add new text and images; highlight, redact or erase existing text; and sign documents.
FormSwift's text tools are limited. You have four fonts to choose from, but you can resize those fonts to almost any level you want, and you can also make changes to text colors and styles. You can add a new text field to your document, enter new text and adjust the text, placing it anywhere you want on the document.
But there is no way to make changes to existing text, other than by redacting it. All the other tools work as expected, including a signature tool that lets you sign a document using the keyboard, your mouse or an uploaded image.
Smallpdf's free online PDF editing offering is super-basic, only making it possible to add minor changes to documents.
But you may find Smallpdf's other free features more compelling. These include tools for converting PDF files to Word, Excel, PowerPoint and JPEG. You can also convert each of those file types to PDF.
Basic as it may be, Smallpdf can add pages to or compress existing PDF documents. Additionally, there are tools for adding signatures to documents that are similar to those available with Apple's Preview application on a Mac.
All of this is available with no file-size limitations, but Smallpdf lets you process only two documents per day. If you want to do more, you'll have to upgrade to the Pro plan, which gives you Smallpdf desktop applications as well as unlimited processing.
As with all online PDF editors, you begin using Smallpdf by dragging the file you want to work with directly to your browser window.
For editing PDFs, you have four options to work with: Add Text, Add Image, Add Shape and Draw. You'll note that there are no options to add notes or comments, and no way to highlight existing text. If you need to add annotations or otherwise mark up a PDF document, you should look elsewhere.
Even if the four options offered seem to be enough for you, you'll still feel constrained within each of those tools. Add text, and you have only five size options and no font choices (although you can select serif, sans serif and monotype styles for your single font choice). You're also limited to seven font colors.
While Smallpdf may lack anything beyond the basics for editing PDF files, it's much more appealing for adding electronic signatures, converting or compressing files and merging documents.
Picking the best free PDF editor is a lot like choosing a paid version of a document editor as you first need to identify exactly what you want to do with PDF files and go for the program that offers the features needed to accomplish your goals.
This can be as simple as deciding whether you need a PDF editor that can handle document creation and design or whether you just want a program that allows you to leave comments and suggestions on a PDF.
As this is free software, you should pay attention to any limitations that are imposed on the free tier. Are there restrictions on the size of the documents you can edit or are certain tools locked behind a paywall. If you need access to these tools, then it may be worth paying for those particular features.
If you’re doing your PDF editing on a computer, first check to see if you have built-in software that can handle the job. For instance, Mac users might not realize just how good Preview is at annotating documents and adding signatures to PDFs. You can save a lot of time searching for the best free PDF editor if you already have access to all of the features you need.
When testing free PDF editors, we used the same process as when we test paid PDF editors. However, we make note of the limitations that can come with free software. We also considered both general PDF editors as well as applications specifically designed for annotations.
When looking at free PDF editors, we used a few different types of documents that comply with file-size restrictions. These included text-heavy files, documents with a mix of formatted images and text and simple documents with text and images inserted in a linear fashion.
While free apps often don’t include features like text recognition, we did test this feature when it was available. We also tried making changes to text, replacing and adding images and adding notations to each product we tested.
For more on our testing procedures, check out this guide on how Tom’s Guide tests, reviews and rates products.
It’s been more than 25 years that PDF files have been around, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. As PDFs are the most popular format for presentations and document sharing, they are heavily used in schools and offices. No wonder PDF readers are the most commonly used applications and part of every desktop and laptop.
If you are a student, busiSupposess professional, or just somebody who needs to interact with PDFs frequently, you can take advantage o. In that case, all these features by using a quality PDF reader. The rise in the popularity of the PDF format has led to an increase in demand for PDF readers.
Today, we are going to discuss the best free PDF readers for Windows and macOS.
Today there are many PDF readers for both Mac and Windows. Some of them are free, while others require a subscription. The features they offer are also very different. So it can be confusing to decide which one you should use.
Here, we have compiled a list of the best free PDF readers that offer all the features you need and more. To help you choose the best PDF reader, we have listed them in two sections. The first section contains the best free PDF readers for Macs. The second section contains the best free PDFincludes for Windows.
Note that many of the PDF readers listed work on both platforms, but their features may vary slightly. Finally, you’ll find my personal favorite PDF reader at the end. Without further ado, let us get started with the list!
These are the best free pdf readers for macOS.
Not surprisingly, Adobe Acrobat Reader is our first choice for Mac and Windows because it’s free, widely compatible with other software, and offers all the features you want in a PDF reader. Not only is it great for memorizing PDFs, but it’s also extremely powerful when it comes to editing, printing, and commenting on PDFs.
With this free software, you can not only open and view PDFs but also edit them, sign them, fill out forms, protect them and highlight important information. Adobe Reader is indispensable for anyone who needs to work with PDFs on a regular basis.
Download Adobe Acrobat Reader
If you work with PDFs frequently for your job, consider downloading PDF Reader Premium. With over 50 million downloads, it is one of the most widely used PDF readers for Apple devices.
It lets you view your PDFs in multiple tabs at once, add image-based annotations and sticky notes to them, organize files using tags, add signatures to form fields within saved PDFs, and transfer PDFs via various cloud services.
It’s a good choice for anyone who wants to do more with their PDFs than just read them.
Download PDF Reader Premium
If you’re looking for a simple PDF reader that comes pre-installed on every Mac, then you should use Preview. While it doesn’t offer as many features as some of the other PDF readers on this list, it’s still a good choice for quickly viewing or printing PDFs.
Preview lets you open PDFs, view multiple pages at once, fill out forms, and add annotations. You can also reduce the file size of a PDF, split it into multiple PDFs, or combine multiple PDFs into one.
It’s a good choice for those who don’t need advanced features and just want a program to open quickly.
Related: How to Combine PDFs on Mac using Preview or Third-party PDF Utilities
Skim is a free and open-source PDF editor that allows you to read not only scientific articles in PDF format but also eBooks. Its most useful features include full-screen mode, the ability to export notes as text, compatibility with Spotlight for searching text directly from the program, and the ability to add and update notes. Skim also allows displaying highlights and using built-in transitions when viewing a PDF file.
The program was originally developed for academic use, so it’s a good choice if you need to read and annotate scientific papers. However, its features make it useful for anyone who needs to read PDFs.
Download Skim PDF
Soda PDF is a great program for viewing detailed documents like online comics, magazines, and catalogs. You can even edit and create new PDFs from scratch!
Soda PDF is a great way to manage your PDFs on the Mac. With the built-in software, you can easily convert files and add freehand writing, text boxes, sticky notes, hyperlinks, and annotations.
By providing free PDF tools on its websites, such as converters, splitters, and compressors, as well as document signers and security features, Soda PDF creates not only demand for its online PDF platform but also sales. If you want to free up some space on your computer’s hard drive, you can use these online tools instead of a downloadable PDF reader.
Download Soda PDF
It is a versatile PDF management tool that allows you to view, edit, convert and annotate PDF files. It can be downloaded directly from the Mac App Store. Kdan PDF Reader is one of the most powerful and popular PDF management tools for Apple computers.
The software facilitates PDF editing by adding freehand writing, text boxes, sticky notes, hyperlinks, and annotations. You can tag and color code important documents so they do not get mixed up. And with the Import History feature, you can keep track of all your saved files.
Kdan PDF Reader is a good choice for anyone who wants to do more with their PDFs than just read them.
Download Kdan PDF Reader
These are the best free pdf readers for windows.
Nitro Reader is a widely used productivity and office software program. We prefer this free PDF document reader because it offers a perfect balance between ease of use and features rather than being cluttered with unused add-ons. Besides, its sleek interface looks like other Microsoft Office applications.
Nitro Reader is not like other PDF readers. Not only does it have all the basic features, but it also has QuickSign – a feature that makes digitally signing documents as quick and easy as can be. Moreover, you have the option to secure your documents so that they can only be opened by those who have received a digital certificate from you. Thus, if you are looking for a PDF reader for Windows that is effective and has an attractive UI, choose Nitro Reader.
Download Nitro PDF Reader
PDF-XChange Editor is a PDF reader for Windows 10 that has been redesigned and shortened. It opens quickly and provides a basic experience for tasks like reading, printing, annotating, and saving images as text from a PDF file.
Before this software was named PDF-XChange Viewer, the only editing feature available for free was very basic. You also get features like OCR and digital signature with this program. Although it has many useful features, some people might feel that the UI is too cluttered because there are so many options. Maybe a redesign in the future could solve this problem.
The free version of PDF-XChange Editor provides over 60% of the features available in the paid version.
Download PDF-XChange Editor
Foxit Reader is not only a PDF reader, but you can also create, edit and annotate PDF files. It’s also compatible with multiple platforms and has plugins for Microsoft Office products. Thus, it is an incredibly versatile tool that anyone who frequently deals with PDFs should have at hand.
This program is a collection of tools that will let you create, verify, sign, modify and print PDF files. It is free to use, but the premium version offers you some additional benefits. The free version covers all the essentials unless you need special functions.
Download Foxit Reader
MuPDF is a free and open-source software framework written in C that implements a PDF, XPS, and EPUB parsing and rendering engine. It is mainly used to render pages in bitmaps but can also be used for other functions such as search, table of contents listing, and hyperlinks.
It is a standalone program and does not require any external dependencies such as a web browser or PDF reader. It also lets you convert PDF files to other formats, such as HTML, SVG, and CBZ.
Sumatra PDF is a good choice for memorizing PDFs if you don’t need advanced features like annotations, document signatures, and form filling. Sumatra offers numerous viewing modes, such as single page, book mode, presentation mode, and keyboard shortcuts that make navigating any PDF file easy.
You can use it to read multiple file formats such as PDF, CHM, DjVu, XPS, ePub, MOBI, CBZ, and CBR. Sumatra also offers a plugin for Firefox that lets you open PDFs directly in the browser.
Slim PDF is one of the smallest PDF readers available, taking up only 15 MB of space on your PC. Despite its small size, this free PDF reader has many advanced features, such as printing, searching, zooming, and rotating PDF files.
For PC users, this PDF reader is easy to use and has been recently updated with a dark mode option and a new design UI. With this free software, you can focus only on reading, viewing, and printing your PDF files.
Despite its size and lack of features, it loads quickly and doesn’t take up much space on your computer. Besides, it lacks common keyboard shortcuts, so you’ll have to get used to navigating if you switch from another PDF reader.
Download Slim PDF
If you have Windows 10 or higher, then you already have Microsoft Edge as your default browser and default PDF reader. In our opinion, it is a powerful software because it includes both a browser and a PDF reader. It opens PDF files really fast and without delay.
The website UI is also very clear and user-friendly. I have been using it for a long time and I am very satisfied with it. Although it does not offer extensive features, it is still able to handle all your PDF needs, such as reading, printing, and signing. It is an easy-to-use PDF reader that comes pre-installed with important features like searching documents, zooming, and bookmarking.
One of the best things about Microsoft Edge is that it can open PDFs in separate tabs, so you can easily switch between them while working on other tabs. Microsoft Edge is our personal favorite PDF reader, and we would recommend it to anyone.
We looked at 12 different PDF readers that are available for free. They all have their own unique features, but my personal favorite is the Microsoft Edge browser. It comes pre-installed on Windows 10 and has a clean and user-friendly UI.
If you are looking for advanced features, you should use Nitro Reader or PDF XChange Editor. However, if you are just looking for a simple PDF reader that is lightweight and fast, then Slim PDF or Sumatra PDF are good choices.
Do you have a favorite PDF reader that is not on this list? Let us know in the comments below.
There are many PDF readers available, and the best one for students depends on their specific needs. Some features that might be important for students are the ability to annotate PDFs, fill out PDF forms, and touch screen support. Some popular PDF readers that offer these features are Adobe Reader, Foxit Reader, and Nitro Reader.
Downloading a PDF reader is the first step to memorizing PDF files with Windows 10. Microsoft Edge, the default program, can open PDFs but offers only a few features. A reader designed specifically for viewing PDFs is the best option. You can obtain many PDF readers online for free, including Adobe Acrobat.
The Office 365 component Microsoft Word is a PDF editor that you can use to edit PDF files. You don't need to buy or set up any other extensions. In Office 365, Word acts as a PDF editor that you can use to edit PDF files.
Adobe Reader is the most popular PDF reader, but many users find it sluggish. An alternative is Foxit Reader, which is faster and offers more features. However, there are many other PDF readers out there, and which one is best for you depends on your specific needs. Try a few different ones to see which one you prefer.
Foxit's annual plans are cheaper than Adobe's. For example, Foxit PhantomPDF (or Foxit PDF Reader) annual plan costs $79.99, while Adobe Acrobat Pro is available for $179.88 and Adobe Acrobat Standard for $159.99 per year.
Adobe Reader offers more features than Foxit, such as the ability to annotate PDF files and fill out PDF forms. However, Foxit is a lighter program that could be faster and easier to use. For users who only need basic PDF viewing capabilities, Foxit might be the less expensive choice.
There are several free alternatives to Adobe Reader. And the best Adobe Reader alternative is SumatraPDF which is both free and open source. Other popular free alternatives to Adobe Reader include Foxit Reader, SlimPDF, MuPDF and more.
Yes, the Foxit PDF reader is free to obtain and use, but some of the features are locked behind the paywall, making it a freemium service. But most of the basic PDF memorizing features are free to use, making it one of the popular alternatives to Adobe Reader.
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Though it’s nearly 25 years old, the PDF may be more useful than ever in our increasingly multi-device, cross-platform world. Most of the time you can get by with a free PDF reader to review and comment on these files. But inevitably, particularly in a business setting, you’ll need to edit a PDF file and that usually requires upgrading to a premium PDF editor.
Historically, Adobe Acrobat has been the go-to option, but it has also been the most expensive, putting it out of reach for many individuals and small businesses. That has given rise to a whole host of alternatives with varying features and costs. We looked at several top PDF editors to see the features they offer and how they stack up against each other.
We even have a pick for best free PDF editor, because sometimes you just need the basics to help complete the job quickly. There are a surprising number of capable free services to choose from along with the more premium editors. Check out our recommendations below to see our takes on the best available options.
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC remains the industry standard for good reason. Its rich combination of creation, editing, reviewing, and security features are what the best alternative options are built on, but we feel Acrobat still does it best. Its exact interface redesign makes it much easier to navigate its robust toolset than the nested menus of yore, and its cloud subscription option puts its advanced features within reach of more individuals and small businesses. See how it compares to the Adobe Acrobat Standard DC.)
Though many of its features are available in other, cheaper PDF editors, Acrobat is still the editor against which all others are judged.
Nitro PDF Pro’s now full-integration with Nitro Cloud—as part of Nitro Productivity Suite—makes collaborating on documents and securing signatures easier than ever. The ability to perform common editing tasks right in a browser rather than having to toggle over to the desktop program makes document workflows feel simpler and more seamless.
As far as alternatives to Adobe Acrobat go, Nitro PDF Pro sits near the top of the heap. Its exact upgrades have continued to help it narrow the gap at the top. If you’re looking for an Acrobat replacement, you won’t find many better.
MSRP: $69 per year I $8 per month
Swifdoo might not have the name recognition of some of the other editors on this list, but it’s more than capable of holding its own in the crowded PDF editor market. Swifdoo provides all of the essential tools for managing PDF files without any of the fancy or hard-to-understand features. It allows users to jump right in to their toolset and get straight to editing with only what they need.
While Swifdoo’s features are great, they are also pretty standard fare among PDF editors. What makes Swifdoo stand out is its affordable price—it’s a great value for those who regularly edit PDFs and don’t want to pay out the nose. Swifdoo also offers a generous trial period so users can take it for a spin to see if it meets their needs before they commit to paying any money.
PDF Candy is the rare free PDF editor that offers a lot of the features you’d typically have to pay for. We’re talking scanning, multiple file-conversion options, and OCR functionality. All of this combines to make PDF Candy stand out among the multitude of lesser free PDF editors. It does have a bit of a wonky interface, but once you get the hang of it you’re off and running.
Unfortunately, while the free version has access to the expansive toolset of the paid version, you’re limited to one PDF task per hour. If you want unfettered access, you need to shell out $6 per month.
PDF Expert is an excellent editor that fits seamlessly into the Apple ecosystem, making it our pick for Macs, iPads, and iPhone users.
While macOS does include a PDF editor in its Preview app, iOS devices don’t have a native PDF editor and PDF Expert fills that gap nicely. It has a clean and intuitive interface and offers a plethora of easy-to-use editing options such as page management, converting scanned files into editable documents, and conversion to other file formats, among other things. The pricing plan is also considerably cheaper than most of the other top picks, meaning this is a no-brainer for Apple users.
MSRP: Built into macOS
Mac users needn’t look beyond the macOS for their PDF editing needs, since there is a full set of PDF markup tools already available at their disposal in Apple Preview. It has the chops to handle most personal and business PDF editing needs, including encryption, password protection, and permissions for files.
Apple Preview’s PDF features and capabilities are impressive and should be all you need for most common editing tasks. The drawback, of course, is that only Mac users can take advantage of them.
MSRP: $20 a month/$96 a year
pdfFiller is a browser-based PDF editor that allows you do to just about everything—editing, securing, sharing, and storing PDF files—all from its intuitive and simple web interface. It has a surprisingly deep set of features for both personal and business use.
While incredibly versatile, not all of pdfFiller’s business features will suit everyone. Fortunately, there are three subscription tiers which gives users a way to meet their editing needs without paying extra for unnecessary features.
Why spend a chunk of change on a desktop editor when free online PDF editors abound? The simple answer is because you get what you pay for. Generally, free online editors will let you add text and comments, merge and split documents, and convert files to and from PDF. With rare exception, however, they won’t let you edit existing text and many have file-size and page-volume restrictions. And a lot of them will watermark your edited document. For these reasons, web PDF editors are best reserved for simple, fast editing jobs. Call in these big dogs for anything more demanding.
One of the great things about a PDF is that it can be read and edited in any PDF program regardless of which one it was created in. So beyond the features outlined here, let your personal preferences guide you in making your decision.
While there are a number of different types of PDF file formats, they all fall under the umbrella term of PDF documents. A PDF form is a type of PDF document that has editable form fields a user can fill out. Typically, parts of the document are static and can’t be changed in a PDF form. These usually include questions and instructions for those who end up filling out the form later on. In a PDF form, the content fields a user fills out are open to editing and can offer a list of possible answer options or can be written in freely.
Yes. They are two entirely different document formats. While you can export from one file format to another, they are not the same. Word file formats are usually used for word processing, editing, and making changes to text. PDF documents on the other hand, are most often utilized for viewing, sharing, and printing documents. Additionally, Word files are read and write and contain some version of the “.doc” file format. Whereas PDF files are typically read-only and contain the “.pdf” file format.
Yes. If you have a PDF document which you do not want anyone else to be able to edit, you can protect the file. You can do this by opening the file in Acrobat, clicking Tools > Protect. Then you have a few options as to whether you want to simply restrict editing with a password, or if you want to encrypt the file for further safety. Once you choose how you want to protect the PDF document, you can set a password and save.
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — With Ukraine scrambling to keep communication lines open during the war, an army of engineers from the country’s phone companies has mobilized to help the public and policymakers stay in touch during repeated Russian missile and drone strikes.
The engineers, who typically go unseen and unsung in peacetime, often work around the clock to maintain or restore phone service, sometimes braving minefields to do so. After Russian strikes took out the electricity that cellphone towers usually run on, they revved up generators to keep the towers on.
On the evening of Nov. 5 in Ottawa, the National Arts Centre annual gala was back with verve. Honorary chair of the soiree Sophie Grégoire Trudeau and Jayne Watson, CEO of the NAC Foundation, announced that north of $1-million was raised for the newly formed Adrian Burns Fund for Women Leaders in the Performing Arts. In keeping with this new fund, the event was decidedly a celebration of women in arts and it stood too as a swish send-off-of-sorts for its namesake, the aforementioned Burns. A social virtuoso and great connector in Ottawa and beyond, she has served on NAC boards for two decades including, for the past eight years, chairing the Board of Trustees (a successor, who is appointed by the federal government, in addition to the mayors of Ottawa and Gatineau, has yet to be announced). The gala evening always consists of a concert, tickets to which are always available to the public.
Headlining this year was the wildly hilarious Jann Arden, who was brilliantly backed by the NAC Orchestra with maestro Elizabeth Baird at the helm. Earlier, the NAC Orchestra was in the skilled hands of Cosette Justo Valdes, conductor of Edmonton’s Symphony Orchestra, in addition to soprano Jonelle Sills and mezzo-soprano Simona Genga, who also performed. Cocktails followed the performances, which set the tone for a late supper, given for the first time in a handful of years on the main stage inside Southam Hall. There were key supporters of the NAC including incoming chair of the NAC Foundation board Susan Glass, Gail Asper, Janice O’Born, Ann McCaig and Rhonda Cohen, wife of American Ambassador to Canada David L. Cohen, who together were on hosting duties the previous evening at Lornado, the U..S ambassador’s residence in Ottawa. The Honourable Mona Fortier, Treasury Board president, was out too, as was Christopher Deacon, NAC president and CEO.
A couple of nights earlier, at the Canadian Opera Company’s Centre Stage: Ensemble Studio Competition, soprano Karoline Podolak took home first prize in addition to the Audience Choice Award. The competition is the crescendo of a nation-wide search for this country’s future opera greats, with the top of the crop gathering in Toronto to vie for cash prizes and the chance for a spot in the company’s esteemed training program. Funds to support the career development program are also raised during the evening through tickets sold to the competition as well as a swish black-tie dinner which follows. The event is the COC’s most important social gathering for its devoted supporters, my host for the evening was one such: art collector and philanthropist Bruce Bailey, who was hosting among others, his fellow arts patrons Carol and David Appel and businessman and past COC board president Philip Deck. Near me at dinner was conductor Jacques Lacombe who led the COC orchestra earlier in the evening, across was Korin Thomas-Smith, one of the finalists, and to my left was third-prize winner River Guard. Across the room was COC board chair Jonathan Morgan, and of course COC general director Perryn Leech, who in-between courses spoke to the importance of the Ensemble Studio program, namely its ability to shape the future of opera in Canada and beyond.
KYIV, Ukraine -- With Ukraine scrambling to keep communication lines open during the war, an army of engineers from the country’s phone companies has mobilized to help the public and policymakers stay in touch during repeated Russian missile and drone strikes.
The engineers, who typically go unseen and unsung in peacetime, often work around the clock to maintain or restore phone service, sometimes braving minefields to do so. After Russian strikes took out the electricity that cellphone towers usually run on, they revved up generators to keep the towers on.
“I know our guys — my colleagues — are very exhausted, but they’re motivated by the fact that we are doing an important thing,” Yuriy Dugnist, an engineer with Ukrainian telecommunications company Kyivstar, said after crunching through a half-foot (15 centimeters) of fresh snow to reach a fenced-in mobile phone tower on the western fringe of Kyiv, the capital.
Dugrist and his co-workers offered a glimpse of their new daily routines, which involve using an app on their own phones to monitor which of the scores of phone towers in the capital area were receiving electricity, either during breaks from the controlled blackouts being used to conserve energy or from the generators that kick in to provide backup power.
One entry ominously read, in English, “Low Fuel.”
Stopping off at a service station before their rounds, the team members filled up eight 20-liter (5.3 gallon) jerrycans with diesel fuel for a vast tank under a generator that relays power up a 50-meter (160-foot) cell tower in a suburban village that has had no electricity for days.
It's one of many Ukrainian towns that have had intermittent power, or none at all, in the wake of multiple rounds of devastating Russian strikes in exact weeks targeting the country's infrastructure — power plants in particular.
Kyivstar is the largest of Ukraine's three main mobile phone companies, with some 26 million customers — or the equivalent of about two-thirds of the country's population before Russia's Feb. 24 invasion drove millions of people abroad, even if many have since returned.
The diesel generators were installed at the foot of the cell phone towers since long before the invasion, but they were rarely needed. Many Western countries have offered up similar generators and transformers to help Ukraine keep electricity running as well as possible after Russia’s blitz.
After emergency blackouts prompted by a round of Russian strikes on Nov. 23, Kyivstar deployed 15 teams of engineers simultaneously and called in “all our reserves” to troubleshoot the 2,500 mobile stations in their service area, Dugrist said.
He recalled rushing to the site of a destroyed cell tower when Russian forces pulled out of Irpin, a suburb northwest of Kyiv, earlier this year and getting there before Ukrainian minesweepers had arrived to deliver the all-clear signal.
The strain the war is putting on Ukraine's mobile phone networks has reportedly driven up prices for satellite phone alternatives like Elon Musk’s Starlink system, which Ukraine’s military has used during the conflict, now in its 10th month.
After widespread infrastructure strikes last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy convened top officials to discuss the restoration work and supplies needed to safeguard the country's energy and communication systems.
“Special attention is paid to the communication system,” he said, adding that no matter what the Russia has in mind, "we must maintain communication."
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