Although almost 25 years old, PDF can be more useful than ever in our increasingly multi-device and multi-platform world. Most of the time, you can manage with a free PDF reader to review and comment on these files. But inevitably, especially in a professional context, you will need to edit a PDF file, which usually requires an upgrade to a premium PDF editor.
Historically, Adobe Acrobat was the best option, but also the most expensive, often putting it out of reach of individuals and small businesses. This has resulted in a multitude of alternatives with varying characteristics and costs. We looked at six PDF editors to see what they offer and how they compare to each other.
Updated on 1/11/19 to include our review of PDFelement Pro 6, which provides hassle-free PDF editing and is an attractive and inexpensive alternative to Acrobat. See at the bottom of the page the list of all our PDF publisher reviews.
Best Global PDF Editor
The full PDF features of Acrobat Pro DC show why it's still the editor according to which all others are judged.
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC remains the industry standard for a good reason. The many replacement options are based on its rich combination of authoring, editing, reviewing, security, and security features, but we believe that Acrobat always does it better. The recent redesign of its interface makes it much easier to navigate its robust tools than the nested menus of the past, and its cloud subscription option makes its advanced features available to more individuals and smaller users. companies. (Read our full review.)
Nitro Pro 12 is an excellent PDF editor that will streamline your document workflow.
Nitro Pro 12 replaces its previous version, Nitro Pro 11, in second place. Its full integration with Nitro Cloud, as part of the Nitro Productivity Suite, facilitates collaboration on documents and secure signatures. The ability to run common editing tasks directly in a browser rather than having to switch to the desktop program makes document workflows simpler and more transparent. (Read our full review).
Best PDF Editor
This customizable PDF editor is available in several versions, each with its own set of "modules" or tools, so you can only buy the ones you need. But even the Professional Edition, which has an almost complete toolkit, costs only $ 109. You sacrifice little for this accessibility because it includes many revision, collaboration, and security features. (Read our full review.)
A word about PDF editors online
Why spend a lot of time in a desktop publisher while free online PDF publishers abound? The simple answer is because you get what you pay for. Generally, free online publishers allow you to add text and comments, merge and split documents and convert files to PDF. However, with rare exceptions, they will not let you edit the existing text and many have file size and page volume restrictions. And many of them will be watermarked on your edited document. For these reasons, PDF Web editors are best reserved for simple and fast editing tasks. Call these big dogs for something more demanding.
What to look for in a PDF editor
One of the advantages of PDF files is that they can be read and edited in any PDF program, regardless of the program in which they were created. Therefore, beyond the features described here, let your personal preferences guide you in your decision.
All PDF reviews
If you would like to know more about all the PDF editors we've reviewed, check out the list below. We are starting our guide with six PDF publishers, but we will continue to evaluate more over time and re-evaluate those we have already reviewed.