11 Adobe Acrobat Alternatives You Must Try
Some of the top Adobe Acrobat alternatives in the current market are Macro, Foxit, Power PDF, PDFelement, pdfFiller, Nitro PDF, SmallPDF, Okular, PandaDoc, PDFescape, and Sejda.
In this article, we will discuss what makes them better alternatives to Adobe Acrobat.
Why Look for an Adobe Acrobat Alternative?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of these tools, let’s see why you would need an Adobe Acrobat alternative in the first place.
Reason #1. Acrobat is Expensive
FACT: Acrobat isn't cheap.
Acrobat Pro costs $19.99 per month with a one-year commitment, or $239.88 per year if paid for the year upfront. Either way, it's equally heavy on your pockets compared to other premium PDF-related tools.
If you take a monthly subscription for the software, it's $29.99 per month.
Acrobat’s Standard version costs a little less, at $22.99 per month. It has, however, its disadvantages ⬇️.
These key features aren’t part of Acrobat’s Standard plan:
- Document comparison
- Built-in OCR that converts scanned PDFs to editable documents
Our 2 cents 👇
There's very little you can do without paying for Acrobat Pro, and paying for a PDF tool isn't everyone's cup of tea. ☕
Several types of PDF editing software offer comprehensive features, even with their free versions.
Besides, the biggest money-killer for Acrobat users is its licensing system, which says:
“Users can sign in and activate Adobe Acrobat on two or more devices but only use the app on one device at a time.”
We took this conversation to Adobe's sales team, and guess what? We learned that running Adobe Acrobat Pro on four separate devices will cost you $90/month .
Reason #2. Hard to Navigate
Adobe doesn't have a user-friendly interface. Even though you paid for it and have access to powerful features, navigating through them is a struggle.
Here's why 👇
Because the platform has grown enormously, Acrobat's interface has some inconsistencies. Features seem to be added on top of each other, making the entire interface complicated for end-users.
Reason #3. Acrobat Slows Down When Loading Large Files
While using Acrobat Pro, we encountered instances where it failed to support large PDFs (more than 100 pages).
Acrobat either takes a lot of time to load the PDF, or the software becomes unresponsive.
During our research, we found that many users faced a similar problem.
If you have encountered any of the above problems while using Adobe Acrobat Pro, you need an alternative.
Here are the 11 best Acrobat alternatives you can try and see if they fit your needs 🎯.
11 Best Adobe Acrobat Alternatives
Macro is an all-in-one PDF editor that combines ease-of-use and built-in intelligence, allowing you to draft smarter and faster.
Anyone from college students to Fortune 100 professionals can use the software..
Capabilities like interlinking, document comparison, and error detection is where Macro stands out from the crowd.
- Leverage automatic hyperlinks and open PDFs in multiple tabs to improve navigability.
- Use the merge feature to merge older and newer versions of PDFs.
- Compare multiple document versions and get a final version in seconds by consolidating everyone’s edits.
- Convert edited PDFs into Word documents or make the Word document uneditable by converting it to a PDF with Macro.
- Comes with a legally binding redaction feature to redact any sensitive content in your document.
- AI-powered error detection helps you avoid making costly mistakes when writing or finalizing a document.
Pros and Cons
✅ Compatible with both Windows and macOS
✅ Gives you most PDF-editing features free of cost
✅ Easy and user-friendly interface makes PDF editing a piece of cake
❌ No online version of the tool is available
Apart from Macro’s free plan, the tool offers two paid plans:
- Professional: $49 per month per user
- Organization: Custom pricing
#2. Foxit PDF Editor Suite
Foxit PDF Editor offers a suite of purpose-driven tools to edit, annotate, and protect PDFs. Optimized software for interconnectivity makes it easier to work with PDFs on the cloud, desktop, and mobile.
- Has an easy-to-use interface similar to MS Office, with a ribbon-style toolbar. Simply click the area you want to edit and get tools to reflow texts, change document layout, format text, and add multimedia.
- With Foxit, sharing feedback and annotating PDFs becomes easy. When finished, view all the annotations and comments in a summarized document and share the PDF via email.
- The platform integrates with popular CMS, cloud storage, Sharepoint, Evernote, and other platforms, simplifying cross-platform collaboration.
- Run optical character recognition (OCR) to scan and convert paper documents or images to editable digital documents.
- Leverage Foxit's AI-driven smart redact to hide sensitive information in large documents automatically.
Pros and Cons
✅ Reliable customer support is available by phone, chat, email, or online tickets
✅ Has legally binding e-sign capabilities
✅ MS Word-like processing gives it a lower learning curve
❌ Relatively expensive, not so cost-effective alternative to Adobe Acrobat
❌ Compared to Adobe, it lacks some features like stickers, replacing the image in PDF, and PDF slideshow
❌ PDFs with forms embedded in them might be difficult to edit using Foxit
Foxit PDF Editor comes with a 7-day free trial, after which you must subscribe to one of its paid plans:
- Standard: $12.83 per month
- Pro: $16.33 per month
- Cloud: $6.88 per month
#3. Power PDF
Power PDF by Kofax is a cost-effective alternative to Acrobat. Its low cost, advanced functionality, robust security, and redaction capabilities make it a competitive Adobe Acrobat alternative.
- Create, edit, and convert PDF files without interruption. Buy the platform's license once and get access for a lifetime.
- The tool has advanced OCR tech to scan physical forms and convert form elements to interactive PDF fields like checkboxes, signature fields, and more.
- Power PDF integrates with Microsoft Information Protection to identify and manage sensitive data. This means you can protect documents with encrypted passwords and permissions.
- It’s easy to highlight important information or redact unnecessary statements or texts before making the PDF public.
- Power PDF integrates with SignDoc so you can create and sign PDFs digitally.
Pros and Cons
✅ Mobile support for iOS and Android users
✅ Has a one-time payable fee
✅ Word-like toolbar makes editing PDFs a pleasure
❌ Power PDF lacks basic collaboration capabilities
❌ Doesn’t have a free version
❌ Laggy when loading large PDFs
Power PDF offers a 15-day free PC trial of the app, after which you get three plans to choose from:
- Standard: $129
- Advanced: $179 (only for Windows)
- Advanced Volume (Enterprise-grade): Custom pricing
PDFelement is an AI-powered PDF solution available on-premise, on cloud, and on mobile. Although its AI capabilities are only on its desktop app, the platform excels with its easy-to-use interface and modern PDF editing tools.
- Comes with a suite of AI tools to summarize, translate, rewrite, and proofread PDFs instantly.
- It has a beginner-friendly interface to help edit PDFs like a pro.
- You can edit or add texts, insert links, add watermarks, and change backgrounds in a few clicks.
- Batch converts PDFs to Word, Excel, PNG, JPG, and other file formats without compromising quality.
- With PDFelement, organizing multiple PDFs becomes a piece of cake as it has built-in tools to split, delete, insert, and extract pages.
- Access annotation tools and features like highlight, comment, and sticky notes to foster collaboration and feedback sharing.
- Built-in text recognition to convert scanned or image-based PDFs into interactive files that you can search, copy, and edit.
Pros and Cons
✅ A pocket-friendly tool (charges half of what Adobe Acrobat costs)
✅ AI assistance makes working with PDF a hassle-free experience
✅ Easy-to-use interface makes the tool suitable for beginners
❌ No free version of the software is available
PDFelement provides a 14-day free trial to test all its features. Post which, it has a range of subscriptions to choose from:
- Yearly Plan: $79.99
- Perpetual Plan: $129.99
- Team Plan: $139 per user (one-time)
pdfFiller is a cloud-native platform with online PDF tools to make your document workflows easy and secure. Millions of users trust the software, including teams from top companies like Starbucks, Apple, Walmart, and Netflix.
- pdfFiller has a powerful document editor that works flawlessly on your mobile phone. Use it to edit texts, highlight or redact info, add images, date, and more.
- Has a built-in spell checker to eliminate typos in PDFs. It also has a find and replace tool to quickly search and replace text without reading the entire document.
- The software integrates with Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox, making it easy to upload and save documents securely.
- The tool has intuitive features like sticky notes, annotations, and comments to foster real-time collaboration. Plus, there’s role-based management to control full or partial access to your documents.
- pdfFiller has a version control feature with options to track the activity on the document and restore earlier versions.
Pros and Cons
✅ Easy to get started – no set-up required
✅ Offers APIs to integrate pdfFiller into your app
✅ Has powerful collaboration tools
❌ Text-eraser is like a block, which sometimes makes it difficult to erase text
❌ Can't organize or rearrange PDF documents in the basic plan
The platform comes with a 30-day free trial with all its paid plans:
- Basic: $20/month
- Plus: $30/month
- Premium: $40/month
#6. Nitro PDF Pro
Nitro PDF Pro is a feature-packed PDF editor and a strong alternative to Adobe Acrobat. The software is powerful enough for Fortune 500 companies like IBM to use it yet so cost-effective that SMBs wouldn't have second thoughts about buying it.
- It has a smart PDF editor with easy-to-use functions to edit text quickly, embed links, write & draw, and highlight PDFs.
- Add logos, bookmarks, watermarks, and page numbers to PDFs.
- Easily convert a PDF to a Word file of images in JPEG and PNG formats.
- Merge PDF files, add or delete pages across documents, or create new documents from physical papers using OCR.
- Redact sensitive information and encrypt and password-protect your files with Nitro PDF Pro.
Pros and Cons
✅ Well-integrated platform (integrates with Salesforce, Sharepoint, PowerAutomate, and 15 other apps)
✅ Cost-effective (starting at $9.99/month)
❌ Complex pricing model
❌ No free version available
❌ Only available on IOS
Nitro PDF pro offers 3 plans to choose from:
- Platform plans: $9.99 per user per month billed annually
- eSign Plans: $9.99 per user per month billed annually
- PDF Plans: $143.99 per user billed once
SmallPDF is a cloud-based online PDF editor that innovated traditional ways of working with PDFs. It's a feature-rich software with over 20+ online PDF tools to edit, merge, and protect PDFs.
- A simple drag-and-drop interface with a Word-like layout and ribbon-style toolbar makes editing PDFs fun.
- Highlight and add text, images, shapes, and freehand annotations to documents.
- Convert, combine, or e-sign PDFs post editing with 20+ other PDF SmallPDF tools.
- Use the Organize mode to rearrange, merge, extract, and split PDFs. SmallPDF has added options to compress or flatten PDFs while organizing.
- Share edited PDFs via quick links. The tool integrates with cloud apps like Dropbox and Google Drive to speed up file-saving.
Pros and Cons
✅ Work on the web (has a Chrome extension too), mobile, and desktop
✅ Reliable 24/7 customer support
✅ 256-bit TLS encryption for secure information transfer
❌ The edit text option is only available with the paid version
❌ Lots of limitations with the free version. You almost have to start paying to get things done.
SmallPDF comes across as a free-forever tool. However, for uninterrupted working, you can opt for paid subscriptions. Not to forget, every plan offers a 7-day free trial, so you never get locked in with the wrong plan.
- Pro: $12 per month billed annually
- Team: $10 per month per user billed annually
- Business: Custom pricing
Okular is free, open-source PDF editing software that allows you to read PDFs, browse images, visualize Markdown documents, and more.
Though incomplete PDF editing software, Okular does provide enough features to view and collaborate on important documents.
- Okular supports opening and editing file formats, including PDF, EPub, JPEG, PNG, and more.
- The annotation mode makes it easy to add inline and popup notes, highlight and underline text, or even add text.
- It has other intuitive PDF tools like Selection mode to copy and paste text from PDFs and Magnifier mode to zoom in and view PDFs quickly.
- With Okular, navigating through PDFs is effortless. The software offers sidebar panels with contents, thumbnails, reviews, and bookmarks, making it easier to work with large files.
- Leverage e-sign support to verify digital signatures in PDFs, check if they are still valid, and detect any modifications using version history.
Pros and Cons
✅ Comes with dark mode for comfortable usage in low-light
✅ Lets you customize the taskbar, GUI, and shortcuts
✅ Free-forever PDF editing software
❌ No text-editing capabilities.
Okular is free-to-use software.
PandaDoc is a free online document editing software. It offers PDF tools to help you sign, modify, and write on PDFs. Over 50,000+ teams from world-class organizations like TATA Steel, AutoDesk, Rakuten, and more trust the platform.
- An intuitive drag-and-drop interface to edit, convert, and organize PDF documents.
- Has a PDF joiner tool to merge and combine PDFs. It also has other tools to split, compress, and convert PDFs.
- It's easy to organize documents with PandaDoc. You get a drag-and-drop organizer with a few handy tools to reorder, rotate, and convert files with a click.
- The platform integrates with leading CRMs, HRMs, and Finance ERP applications.
- Use the File Unlocker feature to decrypt or remove locks from PDFs hassle-free. Likewise, protect files with passwords and extra security.
- PandaDoc's legally binding ESIGN and UETA-compliant free software helps create and embed electronic signatures over PDFs.
Pros and Cons
✅ Has several crucial integrations
✅ Free-forever PDF editing plan
✅ Comes with a dedicated Mobile app
❌ Text editing is not available in the free version
❌ If you want premium features, you need to pay more compared to other PDF software out there
Apart from the free version, PandaDoc has three simple pricing models:
- Essentials: $35 per month
- Business: $65 per month
- Enterprise: Custom pricing
PDFescape is a popular alternative to Adobe Acrobat because of its affordability. Like Acrobat, PDFescape also has an online and offline version.
- Edit, annotate, and highlight texts in PDFs. Furthermore, drag-and-drop text blocks to add text anywhere in the entire PDF.
- The tool helps create basic PDF forms or fill-out forms using interactive elements like custom form fields, checkboxes, lists, and drop-down fields.
- Comes with the ability to merge, compress, and convert PDFs into different formats. It also allows adding custom watermarks, header & footer elements, and page numbers to edited PDFs.
- It's easy to permanently redact or erase content from PDFs (a feature only available with the Desktop version).
Pros and Cons
✅ Comes with free forever version available
✅ Has 256-bit encryption and password protection for PDFs
❌ PDFescape Desktop is only available for Windows users
❌ You can’t upload files >10MB or files that have more than 100 pages on its free version
PDFescape online is entirely free. However, paid plans come with a 15-day money-back guarantee and are as follows:
- Premium: $5.99 per month (billed annually)
- Ultimate: $8.99 per month (billed annually)
#11. Sejda PDF Editor
Sejda offers a comprehensive PDF solution with over 30+ PDF tools ready to simplify workflows involving PDFs. You can use the solution online or download its desktop application.
- It's easy to upload files on Sejda. The tool integrates with popular cloud apps like Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive. Plus, you can import files via web URLs.
- The software boasts a simple drag-and-drop interface with a ribbon-style toolbar.
- Simply drag and drop PDFs to add, edit, or move text. Moreover, it easily changes text formatting (font type, size, and style).
- Has several other tools to add signatures, highlight text, merge, split, and organize documents.
- You can make a text or image grayscale. This is handy when preparing a PDF document for offset printing.
Pros and Cons
✅ Free to use and easy to set up
✅ Has a desktop application you can download
❌ A little expensive compared to other tools on the list
Sejda is a free-forever platform with daily limits on document processing and file size. To get the most out of Sejda, you can opt for its premium plans:
- Desktop Week Pass: $5 per week
- Desktop+Web Annual: $63 per year
- Sejda for Teams: Custom pricing
Read and Edit Documents Faster with Macro
There’s no doubt about the capabilities to edit and protect PDFs with Adobe Acrobat. But its price, interface, and customer support made us look for an alternative.
The tools mentioned above are great Adobe Acrobat alternatives, but which is best for you?
The best way to answer the above question is to try them out and see which fits you best.
Short on time?
Download the Macro app for free and start editing, reviewing, and merging your PDFs 10x faster.