Best PDF Editors

Review & Comparison, Last Update July 6, 2018
There are plenty of different file formats out there. Using a PDF editor, you will be able to capture any document that you want and convert it into a different file format later on. These programs are useful for business applications as well as for all kinds of home use, so we decided to compare pdf software from different companies in order to help you make the right choice ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2018
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Price
Free Trial
OS Compatibility
PDF Features
Document Management Features
Customer Support
 
PROS

Using the touch-enabled functionality, you will be able to operate the program with remarkable ease across a variety of different platforms, including Android and iOS devices. The program offers in-app walkthroughs for beginners and the ability to customize your own toolbars for the more experienced users.

CONS

You may encounter some stability issues on slower platforms.

OUR VERDICT

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is easily the most powerful PDF editor on the market. Its security features are exceptional and the extensive toolkit offers a virtually unlimited number of functions. Plus, despite the extensive toolkit, the program's interface remains simple and intuitive.

detailed parameters
Price

$14.99/month

Free Trial

7 days

OS Compatibility

Windows, Mac OS X, Android, iOS

PDF Features

Annotations, Convert to PDF, Digital Signature, Encryption, Merge / Append, PDF Reader, Watermarking

Document Management Features

Collaboration Tools, Document Archiving, Document Assembly, Document Indexing, Document Retention, Electronic Signature, File Recovery, File Type Conversion, Optical Character Recognition, Version Control

Customer Support

Live chat, email

PROS

The dictation function called Dragon Notes offers the ability to dictate your comments into the note instead of typing them. The program works with JavaScript, meaning that you will be able to create interactive documents or simply enhance the pre-existing ones with videos and imagery.

CONS

No mobile app or online version.

OUR VERDICT

Nuance Power PDF Advanced is a powerhouse of security measures. On top of that, the program presents just about every function of Adobe Acrobat at a fraction of the cost, making it a great choice for people who need a powerful piece of software but do not have the financial means to afford Adobe's products.

detailed parameters
Price

$179.99

Free Trial

Present

OS Compatibility

Windows

PDF Features

Annotations, Convert to PDF, Digital Signature, Merge / Append

Document Management Features

Collaboration Tools, Document Archiving, Document Assembly, Document Indexing, Document Retention, Electronic Signature, File Recovery, File Type Conversion, Optical Character Recognition, Version Control

Customer Support

Knowledgebase, FAQ, user manuals, how-to videos, dedicated-assistance option for an additional fee

PROS

The piece of software offers superb OCR technology. You'll be able to easily manipulate images within documents, as well as make PDF text searchable and editable, all while preserving the original formatting. The QuickSign tool will allow you to draw your signature or scan it and integrate that signature into a document.

CONS

Poor customer support.

OUR VERDICT

Nitro Productivity Suite offers exactly what the name suggests - a suite of programs that will be able to boost your office's productivity as well as your own. Though it doesn't support as many formats as Adobe Acrobat, the program more than makes up for it with extensive collaboration and annotation tools.

detailed parameters
Price

$159

Free Trial

14 days

OS Compatibility

Windows

PDF Features

Annotations, Convert to PDF, Digital Signature, Encryption, Merge / Append, PDF Reader, Watermarking

Document Management Features

Collaboration Tools, Document Archiving, Document Assembly, Electronic Signature, File Type Conversion, Offline Access, Optical Character Recognition, Version Control

Customer Support

User guide, knowledgebase, tutorials

PROS

The program features a really simple and convenient split-pane interface. The batch converter allows the user to convert a number of documents all at once. The program is capable of recognizing up to 23 languages. On top of the standard features, it will also allow you to change the background to another color or an image.

CONS

You cannot compare versions of the same document pre- and post-conversion.

OUR VERDICT

iSkysoft PDF Editor 6 Professional isn't the most feature-rich option on the market. However, considering the sort of price tag that it comes with and the number of functions and security measures it offers for all kinds of users, this is definitely one of the most well-balanced offers out there.

detailed parameters
Price

$89.95

Free Trial

Present

OS Compatibility

Windows, Mac OS X

PDF Features

Annotations, Convert to PDF, Digital Signature, Encryption, Merge / Append, PDF Reader, Watermarking

Document Management Features

Collaboration Tools, Document Assembly, Document Indexing, Electronic Signature, File Type Conversion, Optical Character Recognition, Version Control

Customer Support

Email, twitter, user guide, FAQ

PROS

With the help of FineReader's interactive OCR editor, you will be able to work with scanned images of old books, marked-up pages, or crumpled paper. The program's redaction mode can be used to blank out any text or region in a document simply by selecting a region with a mouse, clicking, and moving on to the next.

CONS

Some features are only reserved for corporate and enterprise packages. 

OUR VERDICT

We would recommend the ABBYY FineReader 14 to the type of customers who value accuracy above anything else. That said, this is also a great piece of software when it comes to the sheer convenience that its interface has to offer and the sort of control you can have over the program's features.

detailed parameters
Price

$199.99

Free Trial

Present

OS Compatibility

Windows

PDF Features

Annotations, Convert to PDF, Digital Signature, Encryption, Merge / Append, PDF Reader, Watermarking

Document Management Features

Collaboration Tools, Document Archiving, Document Assembly, Electronic Signature, File Recovery, File Type Conversion, Optical Character Recognition

Customer Support

Online manuals, video tutorials, FAQs, phone and email support, knowledgebase

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

The Industry Standard

Since Adobe is the very company that came up with the PDF file format in the first place, it really comes as no surprise that the latest iteration of their PDF editing software continues to follow in the footsteps of its predecessors, offering the users access to arguably the best PDF creator and editor out there. The number of options that the particular piece of software presents their customers with is uncanny and the fact that the company has managed to pack all of those options into a fairly easily navigable tabbed interface is nothing short of impressive.

Though the company was never necessarily known for affordable products, the new cloud subscription model makes it far more accessible for people on a budget. For 15 bucks a month, you will receive access to the world’s most powerful PDF software and all that it has to offer. Of course, if you don't mind paying for the best that the market itself has to offer, you could always purchase a perpetual license for $449.

Review of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

A Couple of Tabs

At its core, the program in question consists of three components. First off, there's Acrobat DC, the very piece of software that will allow you to edit the PDF files on your desktop or a mobile device. But when it comes to creating and exporting PDF files, as well as storing files, sending those files, and collecting electronic signatures, the company's very own Adobe Document Cloud is there for you. Finally, there's the good ol' Acrobat Reader DC that will provide you with the ability to read, print, and sign PDFs.

Of course, any piece of software starts with the interface and, as we have already mentioned, the interface remains one of the better parts of the company's program. Despite a ridiculous number of features that some of the newer users may find confusing at first, navigating through the program is surprisingly easy even for beginners. All of the program's functions are fit into a couple of tabs. The Home tab provides you with an easy and convenient opportunity to access the recent files, the PDFs you have sent for review, as well as all of the files that are stored locally, or in third-party services. Other than that, the program also offers in-app walkthroughs that will prove to be immensely helpful for beginners. But don't think for a second that Adobe decided to forget about their core audience of experienced users. Though they will also be able to appreciate the easy-to-use interface, it is the program's ability to customize your own toolbars that makes it so alluring for the experienced audience.

Adobe Acrobat Pro DC in the use

Full Control Over Security

Now, you don't get to be called the most powerful PDF solution on the market without the ability to work with an array of formats. Which is why, with the program's help, you will easily be able to create PDFs from blank pages or web pages. You will also be able to create interactive fillable forms or make searchable and editable PDFs. Of course, none of that would be worth much without the reverse ability to convert files from Portable Document Format into a number of other document formats, including Microsoft Office files, text and image formats, and PDF/A for archives. On top of that, the program is simply exceptional when it comes to converting documents with legacy formats.

Another element of this PDF editor software that we would be absolutely remiss not to mention is its touch-enabled functionality. Using the latter, you will be able to operate the program with remarkable ease across a variety of different platforms, including Android and iOS devices. The program's Optical Character Recognition is top-notch as well. Due to the fact that it already comes integrated with editing features, the technology is capable of performing well in terms of accuracy and speed. Finally, the piece of software in question is not the one to trail behind in terms of security either. You'll have full control over permissions and security for each document. It will also inform you about the status of your document after it’s been sent out.

In conclusion, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is easily the most powerful PDF editor on the market. Its security features are exceptional and the extensive toolkit offers a virtually unlimited number of functions. Plus, despite the extensive toolkit, the program's interface remains simple and intuitive.

Detailed review of Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

 

Nuance Power PDF Advanced, v.3

An Affordable Substitution

Nuance Power PDF Advanced has been one of the most popular alternatives to Adobe Acrobat for quite some time now. The reason for that is quite simple - the program offers most of the same functions but it comes at a fraction of the Adobe program's cost.

Not dissimilar to the majority of PDF solutions these days, the latest iteration of the PDF editor in question comes equipped with the popular Microsoft Office-style ribbon interface. Of course, that doesn't come as a particular surprise since this is the sort of interface that makes it really easy to find the exact function that you need without having to search through an over-bloated menu full of unnecessary toolbars. But even in spite of the fact that everything is laid out quite intuitively, the program's developers still made sure to add a "Find a Tool" option to the upper-right corner that will allow you to locate the feature at a moment's notice.

Review of Nuance Power PDF Advanced, v.3

Best for Visually Impaired

That said, the intuitive interface doesn't necessarily differ that much from any other good PDF writer and editor out there, so it isn't exactly the program's strongest suit. That title belongs to the program's functionality. For starters, we would like to point out the support for the dictation function called Dragon Notes. A single click of a button and you will have the option of dictating your comments into the note instead of typing them. Now, it might take a moment or two for the software to convert your speech into editable text, but the translations are almost always accurate. Of course, whether you will find the function useful or not is up to you and your preferences. But there's no denying the fact that it will prove to be a blessing in no disguise for the visually improved.

Aside from the Dragon Notes, one of the best things about this PDF editor software is its ability to work with JavaScript. With its help, you will be able to create interactive documents or simply enhance the pre-existing ones with videos and imagery.

Nuance Power PDF Advanced, v.3 in the use

Powerhouse of Security Measures

When it actually comes to the program's main function, which is the ability to edit PDF files and convert pages into the PDF format, the piece of software absolutely does not disappoint. All it takes is a single click on the toolbar for you to scan documents into PDF and have the program's OCR technology turn those documents into searchable, editable text. Creating a PDF file from scratch is also as easy of a task as these things get. All you'll need to do is use direct text entry and the dragging-and-dropping feature that inserts images and graphics. Furthermore, the program boasts seamless integration with Microsoft Office. Simply put, the latter is what allows you to turn Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files into PDFs straight from the Office toolbar. Of course, your standard markup tools such as highlighting, notes, and the drawing tools are there as well.

As for security and collaboration means, the program comes equipped with a redaction feature that will allow you to redact any kind of sensitive content. Plus, the program will also allow you to control access to PDF files and a number of certain functions through permissions and password encryption. And in case you still aren't sold on its security features, the ability to apply Microsoft rights management system (RMS) security is there too, as well as support for handwritten and digital signatures.

All things considered, Nuance Power PDF Advanced is a powerhouse of security measures. On top of that, the program presents just about every function of Adobe Acrobat at a fraction of the cost, making it a great choice for people who need a powerful piece of software but do not have the financial means to afford Adobe's products.

Detailed review of Nuance Power PDF Advanced, v.3

 

Nitro Productivity Suite

Increase Your Productivity

Nitro Pro is another popular Adobe Acrobat rival that offers a bulk of its features at a reduced price. That said, the best part about the program isn't just its price. Sure, the fact that you get a perpetual license for $159 is pretty alluring on its own, but there are cheaper solutions out there. However, those solutions only include a single program. While, in this case, the company's basic Nitro Productivity Suite plan offers a 1-year subscription to Nitro Cloud on top of the Nitro Pro PDF editor software.

With the help of the former, you will be able to enjoy support for unlimited electronic signatures as well as the ability to eSign documents using any web browser of your choice. It will also allow you to work with PDF files anytime you want, anyplace you want, using any device you want. It is particularly helpful when it comes to sharing, reviewing, and annotating documents in the cloud. However, the best part about it would have to be that it ensures document security, relying on advanced eSignature and cloud security compliances to protect your document's safety and integrity.

Review of Nitro Productivity Suite

The Tried and Tested Interface

Now, when it actually comes to the PDF editor in question, what we have here is a fast and robust program that is capable of accomplishing just about any professional-level PDF task with relative ease. All in all, it offers pretty much everything you would want out of PDF software: a whole bunch of content editing tools, and a number of markup and review features that will allow users to maintain version control when collaborating with each other. Furthermore, it does not trail behind as far as the question of signing and form filling is concerned. Finally, the program's security options are simply superb, including but not limited to permissions, password protection, and data redaction, but all in due time.

Since any piece of software starts with the interface, the manufacturer's certainly made the right decision of not reinventing the wheel there. Which, when it comes to PDF editor software, means that the program features the Microsoft Office’s ribbon design. Whether you would like to create, edit, review, or protect your PDFs, the ability to do so is always just a tab away. And given the intuitive design of the interface, locating that tab won't prove to be too much of a challenge either.

Nitro Productivity Suite in the use

Collaboration and Annotation Tools

Of course, all of the features that we have mentioned earlier are not necessarily unique to this online PDF editor, so is there anything aside from the Nitro Cloud that might pique the interest of the more demanding customers? Well, as it so happens, the program actually does include a couple of fairly remarkable features. First of all, the program's Optical Character Recognition technology is simply superb. With its help, you will be able to easily manipulate images within documents, on top of the standard ability to make PDF text searchable and editable, all while preserving the original formatting.

We would also like to point out the program's extensive collaboration and annotation tools. All of these tools present the ability to mark up documents with sticky notes, make call outs, or execute freehand drawings. The QuickSign tool that comes with the program deserves some special attention as well since it will allow you to draw your signature or scan it and integrate that signature into a document with effortless ease. From inserting things like logos, watermarks, or bookmarks to assigning page numbers, there is nothing that this program doesn't offer when it comes to editing PDF files.

So, to sum it all up, Nitro Productivity Suite offers exactly what the name suggests - a suite of programs that will be able to boost your office's productivity as well as your own. Though it doesn't support as many formats as Adobe Acrobat, the program more than makes up for it with extensive collaboration and annotation tools.

Detailed review of Nitro Productivity Suite

 

iSkysoft PDF Editor 6

All of Your PDF Needs

Paying over a hundred bucks for a piece of software isn't necessarily how most people imagine spending their money. That said, PDF is the only mainstream file format that is capable of capturing and encapsulating a document in the intended format and allowing the user to convert those documents into other formats later on. On that note, we would recommend taking a look at the iSkysoft PDF Editor 6 Professional, probably the most affordable PDF editor on the market.

Any piece of software is only as good as the interface allows it to be. Which is why the developers of the program made sure to implement their product with a really simple and convenient split-pane interface. On top of the main menu, you will find a toolbar that contains the most important basic functions for navigating, editing, organizing, reviewing, converting, and protecting your PDFs. To your left, there's a pane that can be used to navigate through the recent PDF files or pages within a single PDF. There is nothing particularly groundbreaking here but all of the necessary tools required to edit and convert documents to PDF format are present.

Review of iSkysoft PDF Editor 6

Where Business Meets the Art

Speaking of those tools, we would first like to focus on the batch converter that provides the user with the ability to convert a substantial number of documents all at once. Though it isn't the most useful tool in terms of home use, the importance of batch converter cannot be underestimated when it comes to business applications. And while we're on the subject of business applications, similar to Wondershare's PDFelement, the iSkysoft PDF Editor 6 Professional is capable of recognizing up to 23 languages, making it a great option for business enterprises that work internationally.

Other than that, the product incorporates your standard set of tools that are required for creating and modifying PDFs. That standard set consists of the kind of tools that will allow you to include text editing, crop, watermark, and even change the background to another color or an image, meaning that it isn't a bad option for drawing either. All of the markup options are there as well, from the ability to use sticky notes and to highlight a part of the document. Of course, the stamps and freehand drawing are also part of that equation. Finally, this PDF drawing editor will also let you add your signature, in the form of typed text, images, or mouse drawing.

iSkysoft PDF Editor 6 in the use

Safe and Affordable

Not dissimilar to the majority of programs that work with PDF, the iSkysoft's product is capable of converting PDF files to a number of Microsoft Office formats, several image types, HTML, rich text, and plain text. By the way, we haven't mentioned yet that this is a cross-platform solution, so if you go with the Mac version, you'll be able to convert your PDFs to Apple’s Pages. The program also offers its users the ability to combine PDFs and over 300 other files types into a single PDF file. However, what's great about it is that the reverse option is there as well, meaning that you can split a PDF file into a number of PDFs by page ranges and bookmarks.

In terms of security, the PDF editor in question will allow you to encrypt your files with a password or restrict printing and editing with a permissions password. The ability to redact a specific piece of text, a number of particular images, or entire pages altogether will also be at your disposal. Furthermore, the aforementioned redaction tool is capable of blacking out bits and pieces of content and protecting your private and sensitive information.

In short, iSkysoft PDF Editor 6 Professional isn't the most feature-rich option on the market. However, considering the sort of price tag that it comes with and the number of functions and security measures it offers for all kinds of users, this is definitely one of the most well-balanced offers out there.

Detailed review of iSkysoft PDF Editor 6

 

ABBYY FineReader 14

OCR Editor

ABBYY FineReader has been one of the most popular PDF editing solutions on the market for the past couple of decades. And there's a very good reason for that. Sure, neither the piece of software in question nor its previous iterations can't quite compare to Adobe Acrobat when it actually comes to editing. For instance, the product does not feature the full-text indexing technology that speeds up the searching process in larger documents. However, no version of Adobe Acrobat could hold a candle to ABBYY FineReader 14 as far as the question of Optical Character Recognition is concerned.

While Adobe's very own product is a PDF-editing powerhouse, it isn't even remotely as accurate as the FineReader 14. Plus, aside from its sheer accuracy, there's also the FineReader's interactive OCR editor that is in a class of its own as a tool that checks the program's OCR output and corrects the recognition errors. With its help, you will be able to work with scanned images of old books, marked-up pages, or crumpled paper. The documents that come out in this scenarios almost always produce a number of errors. Fortunately, the OCR editor recognizes those errors and provides you with a list of the most likely accurate readings, so all you need to do is choose the right one.

Review of ABBYY FineReader 14

A Clear Layout

Naturally, none of it would be worth much without a proper interface that will allow the user to control the highly detailed and accurate OCR editor. That said, the interface has always been one of the ABBYY FineReader's strongest suits, and the latest version doesn't seem to be willing to drop the ball either. Though the program offers a multitude of advanced features, the people behind this piece of software have managed to hide all of them behind the most rudimentary set of menus.

However, if you happen to be an experienced user, you shouldn't have any issues accessing those advanced settings via the toolbar. All in all, the interface is much clearer and definitely more modern looking than its Adobe rival. And that says quite a lot since the aforementioned company never had any issues in that department either. And even though the interface of this piece of PDF editor software uses some of the same solutions, like the familiar to experienced users sidebar of thumbnails or bookmarks at the left of a full-size image, the layout seems as clear as a day and all of the icons are conveniently labeled.

ABBYY FineReader 14 in the use

Split the Photos

Now, aside from the exceptional OCR editor, the model comes equipped with the majority of PDF features as well as document management features. However, it also includes a couple of improvements that most of these programs simply cannot match. A good example of that is the search technology that features the ability to highlight or underline all instances of a search string. Another great example of that is the program's outstanding redaction mode. Using the latter, you will be able to blank out any text or region in a document simply by selecting a region with a mouse, clicking, and moving on to the next. Furthermore, the program's ability to clean up imperfect images is no joke either. Aside from the aforementioned OCR technology that recognizes the text with an often perfect accuracy, the FineReader 14 can also be used to split the photos into single-page images or unskew those images with the most effortless ease.

To bring this review to a logical conclusion, we would recommend the ABBYY FineReader 14 to the type of customers who value accuracy above anything else. That said, this is also a great piece of software when it comes to the sheer convenience that its interface has to offer and the sort of control you can have over the program's features.

Detailed review of ABBYY FineReader 14

 

What Is a PDF Editor?

In order to help you understand what a PDF editor is, we will first have to briefly explain what PDF is in and of itself. Simply put, Portable Document Format is the only mainstream file format that is capable of capturing and encapsulating a document in the intended format. Once you have done it, you will be able to convert that document into another format. Of course, in order to do that, you will need a PDF editor.

Again, without going into some of the more technical details, a PDF editor is any piece of software that will allow you to create, convert, and export PDF files. Though that is just about the only thing these programs have to do, there is a considerable number of differences between PDF editor software from different companies. So, when you go looking for one, make sure to choose the program that comes equipped with the OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology as it will allow you to make the PDF text searchable and editable. Also, don't forget to look into what it is exactly that the program offers when it comes to content editing. And, finally, try to make sure that the security features are up to par and that the program is compatible with your hardware.

While we're on the subject of editing software, you could also check out our reviews of photo editing and video editing software that will allow you to unleash your creative side.

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Publish Date: 2018-06-26 13:43:34