Greatest PDF editors of 2017: Reviewed and rated

Although it’s practically 25 years previous, the PDF could also be extra helpful than ever in our more and more multi-device, cross-platform world. A lot of the time you may get by with a free PDF reader to evaluation and touch upon these recordsdata. However inevitably, notably in a enterprise setting, you’ll want edit a PDF file and that often requires upgrading to a premium PDF editor.

Traditionally, Adobe Acrobat has been the most suitable choice, nevertheless it has additionally been the most costly, typically placing it out of attain of people and small companies. That has given rise to a wealth of options with various options and prices. We checked out six PDF editors to see what they provide and the way they stack up towards one another.

Greatest total PDF editor

Adobe Acrobat Professional DC stays the trade customary for good motive. Its wealthy mixture of creation, modifying, reviewing, and safety features are what the very best various choices are constructed on, however we really feel Acrobat nonetheless does it finest. Its latest interface redesign makes it a lot simpler to navigate its sturdy toolset than the nested menus of yore, and its cloud subscription possibility places its superior options inside attain of extra people and small companies. (Learn our full evaluation.)


It was a decent race for runner-up, however we actually like Nitro Professional 11 for its wonderful use of the Microsoft Workplace-style ribbon interface, its integration with proprietary and third-party cloud providers, and its $160-per-license charge for as much as 10 customers, which makes it a horny possibility of people and small companies (see our full evaluation).

What to search for in a PDF editor

  • Create, convert, and export PDFs: Essentially the most basic operate of a PDF editor is to make PDFs, both from scratch, scanned arduous copies, or by changing digital paperwork. A great PDF editor ought to be capable of remodel quite a lot of file sorts—from Microsoft Workplace codecs to photographs to HTML—and accomplish that seamlessly, preserving the unique formatting. It also needs to embrace OCR know-how to make the PDF textual content searchable and editable. Likewise, an excellent PDF editor should be capable of export PDFs into different editable codecs reminiscent of Microsoft Phrase and PowerPoint, HTML, or plain textual content, sustaining the unique recordsdata hyperlinks, photos, and different parts.
  • Content material modifying: One other little bit of magic that PDF editors unlock is the flexibility to change textual content; insert, resize, and transfer photos; and reorganize pages within the PDF. A great one will carry out these duties as simply as in a textual content doc or slide deck, permitting in-line modifying, dragging-and dropping graphics, and including or eradicating hyperlinks.
  • Assessment and annotate: A great PDF editor also needs to allow you to or anybody else utilizing it add feedback and different annotations to PDF recordsdata throughout evaluation. It ought to have instruments to mark up each textual content paperwork and graphic-heavy recordsdata like webpages. Widespread choices embrace sticky notes, callout bins, highlighting, freehand drawing instruments, and stamps with messages like “accredited,” “revised,” and “confidential.”
  • Safety: All companies take care of paperwork containing delicate information. Search for a PDF editor that features safety features that permit entry for licensed eyes solely. Good choices will often supply a number of ranges of safety, together with password safety, permissions setting, and content material redaction, which “blacks out” chosen textual content and pictures. Most PDF editors may also supply a number of methods to electronically signal paperwork.
  • Cellular help: Whereas deep PDF modifying is finest achieved on a desktop, it’s good to have the ability to evaluation and annotate recordsdata while you’re out and about. Whereas PDFs can sometimes be reviewed in any PDF reader or editor, no matter which one they had been created in, take into account in search of an editor that has a devoted cellular app, is optimized for cellular units, or permits cloud entry to options by a cellular browser.

One of many nice issues a few PDF is that it may be learn and edited in any PDF program no matter which one it was created in. So past the options outlined right here, let your private preferences information you in making your choice.

All PDF evaluations

If you wish to study extra about all the PDF editors we reviewed, see the listing under. We’re kicking off our information with six PDF editors, however we’ll proceed to judge extra as time goes on—in addition to re-evaluate these we’ve already reviewed.

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